9 Responses When Someone Gives You Sh*t for Nursing in Public

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

Imagine, if you would, a world where lactating breasts could be discharged with laser-guided accuracy — where squeamish foes could be neutralized with a single, surprise squirt. “Stand down, ignorant villain, lest I zap you with my lactato-ray!” I know that most would prefer a planet where breasts are instruments of peace, but you have to admit that access to such milky weaponry would be handy for breastfeeding moms getting heat for nursing in public.

Every week, it seems, we hear a new story about a woman harassed for breastfeeding her child in a store, restaurant, etc. And for every one of those stories, there are plenty of others that don’t make headlines. In online groups, many women commiserate about being sneered at, asked to cover up or just plain criticized for nursing in public (or NIP, if you will).

Breastfeeding women don’t have lactato-rays at their disposal — let’s get on that, Science! — but they do have a tool that can be just as powerful, if not more so: humor. A witty retort or pointed joke can deflate a tense situation faster than an electric pump on an engorged boob. Of course, coming up with a cunning comeback on the spot isn’t necessarily easy when your mind is focused on more important matters — namely, making sure your 12-pound cutie finishes her liquid lunch.

Some of us need a script … so I asked nursing moms* to share the best NIP-related zingers they know. Next time someone tries to make you feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding on the go, feel free to milk these for all they’re worth.


When gawked or sneered at …

“Sorry, I don’t have enough to go around. If you’re hungry, you’ll have to go somewhere else.”

When told that what you’re doing is disgusting …

“You think this is awkward? Wait ’til my husband gets hungry.”

When nursing around someone who has criticized NIP in the past …

“If anyone is afraid of seeing a big scary evil partial breast, perhaps you should leave now.”

When asked to cover up …

“If you don’t like my breastfeeding, put a blanket over your head.”

“Do you pitch a tent every time you eat?”

When asked to cover up at a restaurant …

“Your face offends me but I don’t ask you to cover it up while I eat.”

When asked to leave your table and breastfeed in a bathroom …

“I’ll go feed my baby in the bathroom when you go eat your lunch on the toilet.”

When asked to stop nursing on an airplane …

“You’re just jealous that you don’t get an in-flight meal.”

When asked when you’ll finally stop breastfeeding …

“I’m just hoping he chooses a local college so I can be there for him when he gets thirsty!”

*A big thanks to the members of the La Leche League USA, Mom 2 Mom, and Badass Breastfeeders of NJ Facebook groups for contributing to this story.


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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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