Dealing With Negative Comments on My Breastfeeding Toddler Meme


Negative gymnurstics pinterest

For every positive and relatable feedback for my breastfeeding toddler meme I conjured up when Humnoy was 13 months old, I had yet to see a single negative comment. You see, breastfeeding is a hot topic: you either breastfeed because you’re anti-formula or you’re doing it for too long. I myself have been caught up, involved in, and contributed to the circus of Breastfeeding Wars. There was this one time it even happened on Yelp of all places and then, of course, Twitter.

The Pinterest caption doesn’t bother me. I’ve heard much worse regarding the choice my child (and I) made to not sever a breastfeeding relationship before he was ready. It is actually the comments that still have me question how this society can be so jaded by recent decades’ efforts to shame the natural process of feeding children. After all, why are my breasts (still) filled with milk if it was not meant for my human children? What is it about my child’s physical abilities at a certain age that trigger a time for his weaning off the breast? Isn’t it ageist to assume how someone should be fed based on how old they look to you?

My final question after the one negative post I’ve seen was, “Who cares?” Who cares if a 17-year-old posted an ignorant caption under my meme? Who cares if I respond to her with my favorite method to deal with internet meanies, by way of sarcasm? Who cares if your sister breastfed for 11 months and my 2 years is too long? Who fucking cares?

With that, I love how there is this growing community of breastfeeding mothers and supporters that enjoy the picture. By continuing to share it and laugh at it, you are normalizing breastfeeding. You can talk about this and about ones you’ve encountered with your wiggly nursling. Only within this community have I felt normal for doing what’s actually normal. Being in this special form of support, I realize there is far more positive reaction to breastfeeding a toddler and taking pictures of it then posting them on the internet. The one negative time I caught it isn’t going to change a single choice in the breastfeeding journey because it is mine and my children’s, Continuing my effort to advocate for breastfeeding is contributing more positivity to the already outpouring of positive feedback for breastfeeding past infancy and a solitary reaction of ignorance is just that.

How do you react to negative comments on breastfeeding?

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26 thoughts on “Dealing With Negative Comments on My Breastfeeding Toddler Meme

  1. Potamus is into this new breastfeeding trick, where he squats like a little frog and then faceplants into my boob squealing and pops up every five seconds like a meerkat. Oh, his other new fun trick is when we are showering, he just reaches over and lets himself have a little snack. 14 months in and no end in sight, in fact, we were day-weaned, but now he’s nursing more when I’m home so I’ve noticed my supply has picked back up even.

    I got hung up on that poster’s terrible grammar. But I wonder, if we took a reeeeeaaaaallllly big step back and took her question literally. Like, what if she (I’m guessing it’s a she) just doesn’t know? What if she is so entrenched in the fact that milk should come from cows and doesn’t understand that we make milk for babies and that your toddler DOES eat food?

    • I love your point- maybe she just really thinks that babies should be consuming cows milk after a certain age because she *doesn’t* know the benefits of breastfeeding, extended or otherwise? In that case, then I feel guilty for making such sarcastic comments.

      But, I have the feeling that most of our society is just brainwashed against breastfeeding and when used for its rightful purpose, breasts and babies should be mutually exclusive after an arbitrary age, milestone, or idea. Her included but she is pretty young, so who knows? I’d be more than glad to educate her on all boobs, if she’ll let me 🙂

  2. If anyone says anything (negative) to me about nursing my 19 month old, I usually just quote the WHO rec’s for BF’ing. Also mention that the avg age for bfing worldwide is 4.5. Smile and carry on.

  3. I have had people ask how old my daughter is in this subtle judging way as though to say she is too old. And had people in public stop talking to me if I mention that I breastfeed my 2 year old. Too often people put their ignorance on the forefront and allow it to guide their interactions. I agree that the positive output is greater than the negative but it still boils my blood to hear the silliness.

    • It makes me very mad too, but really more sad that we have to defend ourselves so often. It’s not like this would ever happen just at the turn of the century, which is *not* that long ago (it is, but ya know…). Somewhere along the way, breastfeeding and babies are being done a huge disservice in our culture and all we can do is gently promote what we know best – breastfeed our babies as nature intended.

  4. That’s the most ghetto commenter ever too. If you can’t spell half of your negative paragraph, just stop and go to school instead of stalking breastfeeding pics on instagram. Clearly she isn’t a doctor. I also agree- WHO CARES!??!? It’s not anyone else’s boobs or baby, all yours! They’re not going to raise your kid for you, so why would they tell you how to raise him/her, especially why would they give you a diet recommendation?! I always felt like my MIL was pushing my buttons by making comments about other women feeding their babies “too long” and telling me how gross it was for a baby to be “that old and still breast feeding”, all the while knowing that I was breastfeeding Harper and hadn’t discussed when I wanted to stop. It made me mad, like she was already telling me I should stop when I’d just started, and breastfeeding is hard work even when you have a great support system! BTW, Harper has amazing lashes too and mine are falling out. I feel ya.

    • It’s so sad how we can’t even get support from our own family, huh? Heck yeah breastfeeding is hard work and it’s even harder when that support system is lacking from those we seek and need the most support!

      I don’t even know all the mascaras I’ve tried to replicate baby lashes, it’s ridiculous.

  5. I dealt with a lot of negativity with my second born. (My daughter weaned at 6 months, but Speed nursed for 39 months) It was hard, because by that point, my support systems were fading. Ziggy is 28 months and still nursing strong. I occasionally get a “Still??” but then I remind them that big brother nursed for more than 3 years, and Z will nurse for as long as he needs to.
    It’s all the negativity that makes it hard for new mothers to have a long fulfilling nursing relationship, and that makes me so angry.

    • No wonder breastfeeding rates have been (or maybe still are) dismal. If I wasn’t the most hard-headed and stubborn person I know, I am sure I would have given up on breastfeeding in as early as the newborn days with Humnoy. It was hard work but my husband and online support was amazing, thank goodness. I love my online mommies, you included! 🙂

  6. Good for you and all the nursing mamas out there… judgments be damned- do what’s best for your family! I have no idea how long I will end up nursing my new baby, but I know I won’t force her to wean just because of some ignorant comments. Stay strong! 🙂

  7. Just tonight I was telling my mawmaw we are purchasing a deep freeze tomorrow to help with frozen BM stash. Her response “well you aren’t going to breast feed him forever” told her HA! Don’t tell him that!!!!
    I already get odd looks/comments because I am proud of my almost 8 month old breast fed bebe who will continue till he weans. The way I see it is MY BOOBS MY BEBE if you do not like it you can remove yourself from the situation very easily BUH BYE!
    I love seeing how happy & content Makana is when he nurses. That boy loves his boobs ❤

  8. I don’t understand why people get so angry about other people’s choices in parenting. I feel very happy for you that you are still breastfeeding Humnoy AND your new little one. That’s impressive! I wish I was able to breastfeed because it is the best thing for them. I do have an uncomfortable feeling seeing 5 year olds being breastfed, but thats just because I’m not used to seeing it. That doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Mothers should support each other’s decisions instead of putting them down. And the women who have no children should have no say.

    • Ironic as it may seem, I feel the same way about 5-year-olds too for the exact reason you stated – I’m not used to it! I’m also not used to being around sick people but that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or strange; just strange to me. Good point, Jordan! I’m sure if we were all cave people, we wouldn’t bat an eye but we live in America with lots of influences of modesty and personal autonomy.

  9. I loved your meme! Makes me wonder what the commenters would think about how I breastfed my first till age 5… I have very thin skin, so I have trouble not letting negative comments get to me. But eventually time dulls the jabs I felt, and in cases like this, as you point out, you’re left with the beautiful memories of your entirely normal, mutually agreeable breastfeeding relationship with your little one, for however long it lasted.

  10. I know this is an old post but-OMG-I am fuming! Who died and made that CourtneyC chick God??? Your response was fine. I would not have been as nice. Just SMH as I sit here nursing my snoozing 2-year old. 🙂 Keep on keepin’ on, mama!

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