“Why aren’t you breastfeeding?”
If you see a woman – not a close friend – bottle-feeding her baby, don’t ask why she’s not breastfeeding. It’s not the same as asking, “How is she sleeping?” It’s personal and it may not be something she feels like talking about to with a stranger at Starbucks.
“Formula is junk food”
Diet Pepsi and formula are not the same and suggesting that what a mother has put in the bottle is as nutrition-free as cola is nasty.
“That must be why your baby has allergies”
Kids can have allergies for many reasons, like inheriting them from their parents. And since you don’t know, zip it!
“Formula-fed babies are less intelligent”
File this along with formula-fed babies being more prone to obesity and asthma, etc. The mind reels. It’s a wonder that many of us born in the 60s and the 70s can even walk given how common formula was then.
“You can’t bond with your baby if you don’t breastfeed”
Guess what, when I held my babies’ bottles, I still did it while holding them and gazing into their eyes.
“You’re being selfish”
Perhaps, rabid internet commenter, but consider that bottle feeding is sometimes the best choice a mother can make for her child. And that allowing others to bottle-feed your baby – like, say, the father – does not make you a lazy slacker. Just a thought.
“You could breastfeed if you really tried”
You don’t know that. No, you really don’t.
An extra tip
This isn’t so much a say as a do. Do not touch the body of a woman you wish wasn’t bottle-feeding. One mum I spoke to had someone grab at her chest and offer to help her breastfeed. Just don’t.