Breastfeeding Criticism: When It’s None of Their Business!

We all know that breastfeeding is natural and normal. It's also something that everyone seems to have an opinion about. Whether it's coming from your mother or a complete stranger, breastfeeding criticism can be tough to endure. Why do they think it's ok to voice their opinion? How do you handle a potentially awkward situation? Plus, are there ways to prevent that situation from happening in the first place?

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Featured Expert

Featured Segments

  • Breastfeeding Multiple Babies

    Breastfeeding one baby can be challenging. How can you successfully nurse your little ones and provide the nourishment they need? Hear tips and tricks from a mom of twins, who also happens to be a certified lactation consultant.

  • Overcoming Societal Booby Traps

    We want you to have a positive breastfeeding experience… without feeling “booby trapped” by the cultural, institutional and legal barriers that prevent us from making informed decisions? How can we change the overall perception of breastfeeding within our society?

Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
Breastfeeding Criticism: When It’s None of Their Business!

Please be advised that this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may have altered the accuracy of the transcription.


Cassidy Freitas: While breastfeeding may be considered natural and normal, it seems that everyone has an opinion about when you should wean, where it is acceptable and whether you should cover up. Sometimes the criticisms and comments can really bring a momma down and may cause her to not meet her personal breastfeeding goals. I’m Cassidy Freitas, Marriage and Family Therapy Intern at the University of California, San Diego. Today we will be discussing how to deal with breastfeeding criticism. This is The Boob Group, Episode 17.

[Theme Song/Intro]

Robin Kaplan: Welcome to The Boob Group, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center, San Diego. I’m your host, Robin Kaplan. I am also a certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center. At The Boob Group, we are your online support group for all things related to breastfeeding. And we are not only online, but we are mobile as well. You can now take The Boob Group with you wherever you want to go. The Apps are now available at Amazon Android Market and in the iTunes Apps Store. I love that I can share my favorite episodes on Facebook, right through my App. And I feel very internet savvy. Today, I’m joined by three fabulous panelists in the studio. Ladies, would you please introduce yourselves?

Megan Weber: I’m Megan Weber. I am 26 years old, I am a billing clerk and I have two children: Madelyn, she is three years old and Kolton is four months.

Erin Esteves: My name is Erin Esteves and I will not divulge my age. I have one child. He is nine months old and I work in international business.

Crystal Mullet: My name is Crystal Mullet, I am 27 years old. I am a Pharmacy Technician. I have two children: a three year old and an eight week old.

Robin Kaplan: Well ladies, welcome to the show.

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segments: Breastfeeding Multiple Babies -­‐ Positioning Options for Breastfeeding Your Twins]

Robin Kaplan: Before we start today’s show, here’s Jonnarose Fineburg with some Tips for Breastfeeding Multiples.

Jonnarose Fineburg: Hi BoobGroup. This is Jonnarose Fineburg, Editor of I’m a mom of twins and a Board Certified Lactation Consultant in the Seattle area. Today, we are going talk about positioning options for breastfeeding your twins. In the beginning, you may find it easiest to focus on feeding one baby at a time, but once you and the babies get the hang of things, you may want tandem nurse for some or all of your feedings. Many mommas find that using the special twin nursing pillow, helps them comfortably support both babies in the football position. This is great for babies when they are younger and continue to work for many people as their babies grow, because it gives each baby their own space. For small babies, you may need to add rolled or folded receiving blankets, wash cloths or other props to help position the babies and keep yourself comfortable. As the babies get bigger, you can adjust the number of props or add some pillows behind your back or under the pillow for extra support. You can also tandem nurse while reclining. You may want to experiment breastfeeding on a recliner or leaning back on some pillows with one baby resting along each side, supported by your arms. This position is well suited for babies who are latching well and have good head control and it’s a nice way to feed babies and let mom rest a bit.

Once the babies are older, you might want to experiment with more up-­‐right positions. Babies who are sitting on their own can straddle your leg and lean in to nurse. This position is especially nice when you are out and about because it doesn’t require any nursing pillows and props and can be easier on your back. Whatever position you choose, remember that as your babies grow, new options will be available. So please keep experimenting to figure out what works best for you. For pictures of breastfeeding positions and to read more tips and personal breastfeeding stories, please visit and keep listening to The Boob Group for more Twin Tips.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: So today on The Boob Group, we are discussing how to best respond to breastfeeding criticism and how to deal with it, possibly preemptively. Our expert Cassidy Freitas is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern at UCSD as well as a breastfeeding and working mom. Cassidy, welcome to the show and thanks for joining us.

Cassidy Freitas: Thank you for having me.

Robin Kaplan: Sure. So, when we are talking about breastfeeding criticism, I know that it isn’t always overt; it could be a passive aggressive comment that life might be easier if you just offered a bottle or that formula might help your baby sleep a little bit more soundly in the middle of the night. Or it could also be just be a rude look at a restaurant for example, if you nursing in public. So Cassidy, let’s start with the basics. Why do you think others are so comfortable offering criticism about breastfeeding? Is it jealousy? A lack of understanding? What do you think?

Cassidy Freitas: That’s a really great question and you know I really think it depends who we are talking about, in terms of who’s offering the advice or the criticism. You know, is it a friend, is it a family member, is it a complete stranger?, because that definitely happens as well. You know, I think that if we are talking about a friend. If there is a critical friend in your life, potentially, they
didn’t have a positive experience with breastfeeding, so there’s just a….., she may unwittingly be discouraging the new mom. The truth is that breastfeeding can really be challenging at times and if she didn’t have a positive experience, there might be a little bit of jealousy there. A little bit of breastfeeding jealousy and that really speaks to how important it is for us as successful breastfeeding moms, how important it is for us to encourage our friends and to be supportive. Family members: That…., that can be a real tough one. And I think, a lot of times, there is a lack of understanding, but it’s also important to understand that just like we have this important relationship with our child, the family member also has a special relationship with that child and with us, which can kind of leave the door open for offering their you know, insights or advice because they want to be involved. So, you know, lack of understanding, just trying to be helpful, you know, some jealousy, yes, and there’s just the complete stranger who might be, you know, uncomfortable, seeing a breastfeeding mother, or who just really has an opinion and wants to share it…., so yeah, it can come for…., you know, come for a variety of reasons.

Robin Kaplan: Okay thank you. Ladies have you dealt with overt breastfeeding criticism, or has it been mostly passive aggressive?

Erin Esteves: You know, I’m sitting here and I’ve realized I haven’t experienced any negativity!

Robin Kaplan: That’s fantastic!

Erin Esteves: Whether it be in the workplace or at home and initially when I started breastfeeding, I had a lot of difficulties and it was very challenging and I had so much support that it sometimes it was overwhelming. On my side of the family, there was really never any discussion about breastfeeding, but my husband’s side of the family, they are very open, very supportive, so yeah, I’ve been very, very lucky and the work-­‐place has been awesome too for me.

Robin Kaplan: That’s fantastic! Crystal.

Crystal Mullet: I think mine’s mostly been passive aggressive a little bit. Like my mother-­‐in-­‐law, she’s really loves…, you know, love the baby which is great, you know, but I think she’s a little jealous that she can’t feed the baby. So, she’ll always like be telling me, “Oh, just bring over some frozen milk and I’ll feed the baby today.” And I’m like, “Oh well, I’m here, so, I’m fine. Thank you.” You know, I just have to know how to just kind of brush it off and know that she means well, but I really would prefer to nurse, you know, directly, instead of giving a bottle. In public, I’ve nursed in public often and I use a cover and it’s uncomfortable, sometimes, but I’m getting better at it and I’ve nursed in a restaurant before and I…, I’m so focused on nursing, I don’t really look around to see if anyone even cares, because I’m with family usually or my husband and they…., they don’t care for the most part that I know of!


Crystal Mullet: So, I don’t notice other people and no one’s ever said anything to me, so…., I think that’s….

Robin Kaplan: That’s great, that’s great! How about you Megan?

Megan Weber: For me, you know, I’ve experienced kind of both the passive aggressive and just the straight-­‐in-­‐your-­‐face, for…. It was a dear friend of mine, who coincidentally enough was also nursing her baby at the time, told me that it is considered incest to be nursing your baby once they get teeth, which absolutely boggled my mind, and I just …..

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely!

Megan Weber: ….smiled and moved on from that. Also, I notice, you know, in public I do try to use covers just to be respectful of other people, but, when I notice people kind of giving you “The Stink Eye”, and you know, I’m just like, “Well, you know….,” I don’t know, for some times, I just want to take off the cover and be like “Really, this is, this is what you want to see?!”


Robin Kaplan: You know and something that I found as well. I didn’t really have overt….., I mean I pretty surround my people…, myself with people who are supportive in many ways, but I found that kind of Crystal, like you had mentioned, where it was just, well, you know, your…., I found, “Oh, your baby would probably sleep better.” Like, I gave my child rice cereal in their bottle at three weeks and so that way, they would sleep better and you know, for me it was just like: “Well, this is…., I’m not going to do that. But thanks for the, you know, for the information”. But it did feel like it kind of passively aggressively kind of give me a little dig. You know, like, “Well, maybe you could be doing this differently and life would be easier for you”, and…., and especially when breastfeeding is somewhat of a challenge, I found having someone come in and say, “Well, it’s okay if you give a bottle.” And, that…., where they were coming from was a place of helping and understanding and trying to make things better, but it also was a little bit of a sabotager because I was like, “Well, it probably would be, but that’s not my goal yet.” And I was afraid that you know, if I gave a bottle too early, that it would cause some problems, and so, those little comments were….., while they came from a place of love, I found that they weren’t super helpful for me, because, then it just made me second guess what I was doing and I didn’t….., my self-­‐esteem was low anyway, I didn’t need it. You know, I didn’t need any more at the time. So, that’s kind of how I saw it. Cassidy, go ahead….

Cassidy Freitas: Well, I was just going to say, I did get that when I was experiencing a lot of my challenges. I did get that from girlfriends who had nursed, and in particular, friends who had their own issues and had to leave nursing aside, because…, for their own reasons, but they kept telling me that if I couldn’t do it, it was okay. But somehow, the words, they seemed almost empty to me and I was just adamant to continue.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. And, I remember, we had a couple of women on here a couple of weeks ago, about or maybe a month ago, who had twins and they had mentioned that dad even comes with his own set of challenges of breastfeeding two babies, not just one! One of them had mentioned that having…., when people came into their home, that she said – “You may only say positive things about breastfeeding -­‐ like ‘You are doing such a fantastic job!’” Because she said, she knew she was struggling, she didn’t really want anyone else to point it out. And I thought that that was a really interesting bit of advice and so, Cassidy, do you have other tips on how to deal with these either passive-aggressive or overtly very opinionated things about…, and not even just for breastfeeding but parenting in general, because everyone seems to have an opinion about that too!

Cassidy Freitas: That’s a good point. This doesn’t just stop once you stop breastfeeding, you know, the advice or the input, it continues as your child grows. I think the first thing you can always do is disregard, you know, you’re….., regardless of what anybody says, you are the mother and you get to decide what you are going to do. So coming up with some sort of generic statement like, “Hmmm, yes, I’ll have to look into that,” or “Let me ask my pediatrician, I’ll…., you know…., let me see what he has to say about this.”

Robin Kaplan: I always say “Well, I have to speak to my lactation consultant.”

Cassidy Freitas: Yeah, just blame it on me, that’s fine, they don’t know me!


Cassidy Freitas: Yes, quote, I mean, blame, I mean quote, yes, quote them. Yes. So…, or listening. This might not sound like something that you would expect me to say, but you know, if we take a step back and before getting defensive actually listen to what it is that, you know, the friend or the parent is trying to say, you might actually find something in there that is helpful. A lot of it might not be helpful, but if we are not getting defensive, there are much more…., much less likely to kind of force it on us. You are giving them the opportunity to kind of offer up their advice and who knows, you might find something in there that, you know, can be helpful. So, educating yourself, that way you can educate others. And not just educate others, but if you have the knowledge, knowledge is power and it’s going to give you the confidence to kind of make your own decision in the end, just by what your loved ones or complete strangers are telling you. So pick your battles too. You know I think that, you know, whether it’s your mother-­‐in-­‐law or your own mother or just that…., that one dear friend, you know, who keeps coming you know, with the advice or with the criticisms, pick your battles. You know, I think that you are exhausted anyway and expending all your energy on kind of fighting these battles, isn’t really always going to be so helpful. So, asking for advice in other areas of child-­‐rearing: So if this is especially particularly for families. You know, for the grandmother or the great grandmother or, whoever else, you know, ask them advice about other things that maybe you actually want advice about, just so that they feel like they are involved, you know, in one way, shape or form. And finding a gatekeeper: I think husbands can really serve as wonderful gatekeepers, especially when the critical person or advice-­‐giver is a family member, so kind of you know getting him on your side and kind of helping you know, having him serve as that gatekeeper.

Robin Kaplan: That was…, yeah, kind of my next question too is: How can we get our partners involved in this? You know, what can…, what’s…., what’s appropriate to ask them to do?

Cassidy Freitas: You know, it’s really just about communication, you know, letting them know that you are feeling criticized or you are starting to feel a little insecure about your decisions and that you know, this advice or that advice or these instances are sort of, you know, causing you to feel this way and just kind of letting him know that this is happening and that you would really like his…., his help in all this.

Robin Kaplan: Now what if the criticism is coming from the partner? Because there are some times we get that too where, you know, it’s just the partner is not understanding what our needs are.

Cassidy Freitas: You know, and this, this can really be the most difficult type of situation for a breastfeeding mom, because this…, your husband or your partner; they are the person that’s on this journey with you and they are the one that you are the one you are around the most, so that can be really difficult. Your husband or your partner is really the person around you the most and the one person you need the most support from you know, as you are on this journey through parenthood. In fact, the last episode I was on,was all about the importance of Partner Support in Breastfeeding and sometimes really, all it takes is your honesty and your open communication about how your partner’s criticism or advice is actually impacting you. Anger will always bring that with defensiveness, so if you are coming at him with anger, he’s probably going to get defensive. So if you are really opening up to your partner with your kind of deeper emotion about how this is impacting you, whether you know, how it’s hurting you or you are feeling more disconnected from him or her, he’s much more likely to reciprocate with his honest feelings about the whole situation. So, for example, your partner may feel like they are having to share you, you know, both physically or emotionally, and most likely they are feeling probably a little left out and just need a little help feeling more included in this whole process and you know, it can really feel like a dyad at time, but what we are trying to do is include that partner because you know, they might be feeling left out.

Robin Kaplan: That’s a really good point. Ladies have you found that your partners have been pretty supportive on this journey?

Crystal Mullet: I would say yes for the most part. He doesn’t really get too involved in it, just because, I don’t know, that’s him…,


Crystal Mullet: ….but, I know if say I have to go run to take a shower or something, I’ll take a shower and I’ll come back out and they maybe might be fussing a little bit and he’s like holding her and he’ll look at me and… “She’s hungry!” and just hand her to me!


Crystal Mullet: I’m like, “Okay!” And most of the time, it’s not really she’s hungry, but he knows that by me nursing, she’ll calm down and we’ll have like a nice couple of next hours where she’s calm and maybe takes a nap and…, and so he knows that I can give that to our child and although he enjoys taking care of her, I’m the main caregiver for the infant and he knows that, so he’s supportive of that in that sense.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. How about you Erin?

Erin Esteves: Yes, absolutely supportive almost to a fault. Because when I was having such a hard time and I did want to give up, I didn’t feel like I had that option. So not only was I really hard on myself, but also, my husband, he was and still is, very determined that our child be breastfed for as long as possible. So, it’s a, you know, it’s a double-­‐edged sword. Good and bad.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. That’s a good point, very good point. How about Megan?

Megan Weber: Yeah, my husband, he’s definitely supportive. I will say that I think sometimes he, he comes from a place of good, you know, wanting to just offer the baby a bottle so that we could go out for a few hours because as you know, as of right now, I need to be by my son every two hours and that’s the way it goes. So I do think that he misses that time, where just, we can go out as adults, child-­‐free, but at the same time, he realizes how important this is to me which he…, it’s wonderful having him support that.

Robin Kaplan: That’s great. Well, when we come back we will discuss how to halt breastfeeding criticisms before they occur and where to find breastfeeding support if you are not receiving it from your loved ones. So, we’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Well, welcome back everyone. Cassidy, we’ve had a couple of panelists on this show who’ve talked about preemptively setting rules for the family members about the types of breastfeeding comments that they feel are appropriate. Such as only acting as the cheerleader and maybe not offering advice on how to solve breastfeeding challenges, for example like “Oh, I see you nipples are hurting so badly, why don’t you just offer a bottle!” [Laughs] Do you think that this is helpful.

Cassidy Freitas: Absolutely. I mean, as I said before, you know communication, communication, communication. You know, not only with your partners or your husbands or your friends but also with family members and letting them know that, you know, this is…., I’m really trying to do this and it’s really not that easy, so I really need cheerleaders. I need you guys to back me up on this. And just letting them know that ahead of time, absolutely, I think that’d be very helpful.

Robin Kaplan: Ladies, did you try this at all? Did you…, did this even come into play that you would think to have this conversation with family members before you had your babies?

Crystal Mullet: Uumh, not really, with my first child, I think I decided to breastfeed…, maybe, I don’t…., didn’t really think about it until maybe a few weeks before my due date and everyone just kind of went along with me. And I had some challenges and I didn’t have much support with my first child, so that’s why I didn’t go as long with nursing as I wanted to. With this one, I think everyone just assumed that I was going to be breastfeeding and they…, they just let me make the decisions that I want to make about it and I don’t really get too much negativity, so I don’t really have to make those boundaries or rules or anything, so….

Robin Kaplan: That’s great.

Crystal Mullet: Yeah, it’s really nice.

Robin Kaplan: How about you Erin?

Erin Esteves: Well, my father was concerned because I was having a difficult time and he was concerned for my physical health, so in that sense, he was…., he did voice his opinions and his concerns, but I did tell him, “Look, I’m going to try this as best as I can. Thank you but…”. The one line that I’ve given my father…, I learned it when I was about 17 and I use all of the time and it’s been the best come back ever…, which is: “Thank you for the suggestion Daddy, but the decision is ultimately mine.”

Robin Kaplan: That’s great. That’s perfect because it acknowledges that you are
listening and that you are open to, you know, his thoughts but that you are going to process it and do what you need to do.

Erin Esteves: So, that’s, that’s my defense.

Robin Kaplan: Very cool. Very cool. How about you Megan?

Megan Weber: I think for me, that I knew that I wanted to breastfeed you know right from the beginning and so I told my family and they always knew, so I don’t think I ever gave them a chance to say anything negative about it and so far it’s worked. They’ve been great cheerleaders. Both my mom and my grandmother weren’t successful with nursing, so I think they are living vicariously through me and they are great cheerleaders for this.

Robin Kaplan: Oh, that’s fantastic. I hear from a lot of moms who come to our support groups of even when I read online, is that, sometimes, that the challenges don’t arise necessarily in the beginning but they do when they decide to nurse their babies longer than maybe their family members or friends thought they were actually going to nurse for. You know and they get these questions, “Well, when are you going to wean?” And so, Cassidy, what type of advice do you have for these moms who have decided that they are not done with breastfeeding yet, but kind of their support system around them is constantly asking these questions?

Cassidy Freitas: You know, I think it kind of goes back to what I said earlier about you know, first please being disregarding [laughs], you know, you are the parent and you get to make these decisions and you get to feel empowered by that decision. But that’s not always, you know, it’s not always the option and some people want to say something and I’m all for that too. So, I think that education for yourself so that you can educate others is really crucial here. There are many variations of this kind of criticism. You know there is your child, baby has…, once they have teeth, they are too old to nurse, you know, once they can walk, they are too old to nurse, once they can ask for it, better not be nursing any more…


Cassidy Freitas: …and when truth is that breast milk continues to be an excellent food for as long as your baby wants to nurse. It continues to provide health benefits as long as your baby nurses and continues to provide psychological benefits for many years. You know for instance a toddlers life is very demanding and frustrating and the safety and the constancy of their mother’s breast really makes them much better able to you know, cope with their, you know, often very busy and frustrating lives. And you know, for the annoying stranger that asks you, you know, “How long are you planning on breastfeeding for?” I usually like to respond with “Oh, probably for the next five minutes!” so…,


Cassidy Freitas: ….and just leave it at that. You know, some dry humor.

Robin Kaplan: Very good. Absolutely. And then sometimes, I’ve heard from several of my mommas that I work with is that they actually get the criticism from the pediatrician. Like you know, they…, a lot of them believe that you should breastfeed exclusively for six months and then up to a year with complementary foods, but then after the…, that first year, they don’t see the benefit of it, and so, how would you recommend dealing with someone in kind of an authority figure and someone you also have to see on a very regular basis?

Cassidy Freitas: That’s a great question. You know, my first instinct is to say, get a second opinion. Anytime a health professional suggests that you’re weaning or is giving you any sort of parenting criticism, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life and with continued breastfeeding for a year or as long as the mother and baby desire and you know, even The World Health Organization which recommends mothers breastfeed for at least two years. So, if your health care professional or pediatrician is asking you to wean, I would really be questioning their, you know, where they are getting their information from or where that opinion is coming from and I would get a second opinion.

Robin Kaplan: And, just a kind of a side note for a couple of other articles that are out there that are dealing with this as well, on San Diego Breastfeeding Center website, we have an article called “How can I respond to my Pediatrician who is not Supportive to Breastfeeding?” And actually, I kind of started that one out with dry humor too…. “Can I have my records please?”


Robin Kaplan: But, you can also look on the Natural Resources Defense Council, and their article on Benefits of Breastfeeding and has fabulous ones that talk about the many benefits of breastfeeding, just tons and tons of resources, so if you do have a health professional or, you know, even…., even a family member who is questioning why you would want to continue breastfeeding after six months to a year, there are lots of resources out there that can provide you with that information.

Erin Esteves: My response has always been, “I’ll stop when it gets awkward. For me or him. Not for you!”.

Robin Kaplan: Oh, that’s a great one as well.

Erin Esteves: Because with my first son, I only nursed for three months, so that’s the thing I’m looking forward in the future is to see what my family is going to say when I continue nursing, hopefully to a year. You know, if I’m going to be getting those types of responses from them at six months: “Oh, you’re still nursing!” You know, and I’m interested to see how my family reacts to that because I think they know that I want to at least do it for a year, but I’m not sure if they understand that I’m actually going to do it for a year, so ….


Erin Esteves: I’m interested to see how my family reacts in the future.

Cassidy Freitas: And you have the resources just in case you need them


Cassidy Freitas: And you can keep us posted!


Robin Kaplan: Yeah! Exactly, exactly! Do you think that it was helpful, ladies, to set up, you know, these support systems, you know, also not only your families, but do you…, do you support groups? Do you go online and look for information, so that way, you can get this continued support, not only from family members but from outside resources?

Megan Weber: Absolutely. I find that I surround myself with other breastfeeding moms. It’s…., they are the ones who know where I’m coming from. I notice that if I am around other moms who maybe chose differently than breastfeeding then I’ll get, you know, kind of some information that maybe I don’t want for my baby. So I definitely find that I surround myself by who will give me kind of the information that I want.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, absolutely. How about you, Crystal?

Crystal Mullet: I do for my Lactation Consultant that I see, we have a weekly breastfeeding support group, that again, I didn’t do something like that with my first child and I think that’s part of the reason why I didn’t stick with it as long as I want to now. It’s great to be around other breastfeeding mothers with children that are on the same age as yours and that are going the exact same things. Because when you are alone at your house trying to get your child to nurse and there’s something going on, you feel alone, you know, like my husband’s at work, I don’t have anyone to call, I’m like

“Ahh, freaking out!”

Crystal Mullet: But, the next day, to be able to go to a support group and find that this woman sitting next to me had the exact same issue. It’s nice to know that we got through it and it gives me the encouragement to keep going.

Robin Kaplan: And then you can, you know pay it forward as well, once you overcome something, you can also provide that encouragement to somebody else.

Crystal Mullet: Definitely! Yes. Yes.

Robin Kaplan: And how about you Erin?

Erin Esteves: Whole-­‐heartedly, I…., I’m a research girl, so I did tons of research
during my pregnancy in particular regarding breastfeeding. I attended classes and a support group before birth and I know that had I not that support group, beyond my immediate family and my husband’s family, I would not have continued, because I went through hell and high water….


Erin Esteves: …and nine months into it, it’s great. So I’m…, I’m extraordinarily grateful for all of the support and will happily offer any to anyone!


Erin Esteves: ….in the payback.

Robin Kaplan: How about you Cassidy?

Cassidy Freitas: Well, you know, I could tell you all the research as a Family Therapist how incredibly important it is to have that support and find like-­‐minded people, but I’m just going to speak for a second, like as a breastfeeding mom and shout-­‐out to my playgroup because they’ve been amazing. It is so…, so wonderful to describe myself by like-­‐minded mothers and have the same sort of values that I do. You know, and we even have a Facebook message thread, where you know, it could be two in the morning and one of us is messaging the rest of the group, like “Oh my God, I can’t like…, you know…, my son or daughter isn’t sleeping! Are you guys up? Like what should I do?” It’s just, it’s so.., it’s so wonderful to know that there are other mothers out there who are either struggling with or enjoying the same little sort of phases that I am, so then it gets so important.

Robin Kaplan: And you found these at your breastfeeding support group. Didn’t

Cassidy Freitas: I did!


Robin Kaplan: That’s super cool.

Erin Esteves: I just wanted to say that just having the internet helps so much. I find myself, when I’m doing a night feeding or something, I’m browsing message boards about breastfeeding and I’m looking and it one: keeps me kind of awake and aware of what’s going on…

Erin Esteves: ….but it’s nice again, to have the peop…., know that other people
are going through the same things that you are and it’s so nice with the day and age we are in, that you can just hop on your phone and have that support right there, even though that other person doesn’t know that they are helping you, they are helping me in their own way, that I don’t even know, half across the country.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely.

Erin Esteves: It’s so nice.

Cassidy Freitas: I think it’s interesting that you said “This day and age”, because I think part of the inhibitions and lack of education or experience that we as a culture have towards breastfeeding, has to do with our society in this day and age. So I find it really interesting that it’s the new technology that’s kind of bringing us back, because these support groups, these message boards are mimicking what we would have experienced in the social environment 200 years ago. We would have had more firsthand experience with seeing somebody else breastfeed, we would have gotten all of that support and knowledge from our aunts, grandmothers, our neighbors, so it’s very exciting for me, to see this kind of return to communication, but being so far apart from everyone at the same time.

Robin Kaplan: It’s like the village mentality but it’s…, I’m kind of on top, not really, I’m going to a conference next week called “Blog Her”, which is in New York and I went to it last year when it was in San Diego, and the thing that’s so cool about it and you’re like “Oh my gosh!”, like you walk up to a person and say “Hi, I’m so-­‐and-­‐so and my blog is this…”, and it’s like “I totally know you! I know about your kids, I know about what you do…” and all this kind of stuff. And it’s the same type of thing with these online groups, where it’s like, physically, we’re not spending time in space or in the same space, I should say, but, we know each other so well, because we are offering all of this support through this other media which is just…, it’s unbelievable. What do you find Megan? Do you find support as well online?

Megan Weber: Oh, absolutely. We just started…., or I didn’t start, but there was a Facebook group that was just recently started for breastfeeding and you know, if I have a question, I just go and type it on there and immediately, there is you know, another mom on there, answering and helping and it’s also a great way too that there’s some moms in there who have passed milestones of how long they’ve been breastfeeding, so they can share that on there and then you just get a ton of moms congratulating them so, it’s just a great support.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely and you know, with some of the terrific breastfeeding support networks online, definitely, the Lelechi League website, the Facebook groups like you mentioned Megan, for breastfeeding and for baby wearing. Nevada Breastfeeds which is actually going to be on our next show. She’s leading a whole Facebook page and group dealing with breastfeeding and then Kellymom Forum and even the Leaky Boob have great places where you can post your questions and you’re going to get a whole ton of support from a lot of great mommas out there. So…, well, that’s going to wrap up our show. Thank you so much Cassidy for your insights into ways that moms can overcome and handle breastfeeding criticism, we really appreciate it.

Cassidy Freitas: Thank you so much for having me, it was my pleasure.

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segments: Overcoming Societal Booby Traps -­‐ Why don’t hospitals provide more breastfeeding support?]

Robin Kaplan: Before we wrap things up, here’s Lara Adelo talking about ways to overcome Societal Booby Traps.

Lara Adelo: Hi Boob Group listeners. I’m Lara Adelo, a certified Lactation Educator, the Retail Marketing Manager – Best for Babes and owner of Mama Bear Designs. Today, we are here to talk about how you can achieve your personal breastfeeding goals without being undermined by cultural and institutional booby traps. Let’s look at why only one in four hospitals provide good breastfeeding support. One of the first thoughts that all parents share when they leave a hospital with their new born baby is: Are we really qualified to take care of this little being? Leaving the controlled atmosphere of the hospital can be scary especially because breastfeeding changes so much once we are home. Most moms’ milk doesn’t come in until then and night time feedings can seem a little more scary without the extra support. Our breastfeeding journey gets off to an important start in the hospital, but the rest of the long road runs through our home and communities. That’s where on-­‐going breastfeeding support has repeatedly been shown to increase breastfeeding success and why Post Discharge Support is one of the ten steps to successful breastfeeding. The CDC collects information about hospitals’ compliance with the 10 steps and for 2009 they reported that only 26clinics in hospitals routinely provided 3 modes of Post Discharge Supports to breastfeeding moms and while all the other measures improved from 2007 to 2009, Post Discharge Support remain unchanged since 2007. It’s been said, hospitals assume that the community will take care of breastfeeding. The community points to the hospitals and moms fall through the cracks. We all have to make it our responsibility. Make sure, you are prepared before you give birth with resources such as books, family and friends with helpful breastfeeding experiences you can share, a list of community programs available and of course, online help. A special thank you to Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC for writing The Booby Trap Series for Best for Babes.Visit for more great information on how to meet your personal breastfeeding goals and my business for breastfeeding supportive wearables, and be sure to listen to The Boob Group for fantastic conversation about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.

[Theme Music]
Robin Kaplan: So thank you to all of our listeners. I hope you will visit our
website and our Facebook page, to offer your advice on how you dealt with breastfeeding criticism. If you have any questions about today’s show or the topics we discussed, please call our Boob Group hotline at 619-­‐ 866-­‐4775 and we will answer your questions on an upcoming episode. Coming up next week, we’ll be talking with Sarah Ortega about local and online breastfeeding support. Thanks for listening to The Boob Group because mothers know breast.

This has been a New Mommy Media Production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though such information materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical, advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problems or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

(00:35:46) End of Audio

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