When Your Pregnant Friend Isn’t Interested In Breastfeeding

Photo credit to www.perfectbabyshower.com.au
Photo credit to www.perfectbabyshower.com.au

It can be heartbreaking when something you feel really passionate about, is of no interest to a close friend. Besides the obvious benefits, I personally have found so much joy and confidence as a woman and mother through breastfeeding, that it makes me sad that someone close to me won’t get to experience the same. It’s been good for me to breastfeed, and I want good things for the people I care about too.

But if your friend has expressly stated to you that she’s not interested in breastfeeding, what can you do?

You can respect her decision.

You can continue leading a positive example by breastfeeding your children.

You can refuse to give lactivists a bad name by pushing her after she’s already said no.

You can tell her you are there for her if she changes her mind, and you can leave it at that.

Please don’t insult your friend by suddenly “randomly” sharing lots of information on Facebook about breastfeeding in an attempt to passively convince her to change her mind. Please don’t assume your friend is selfish, ignorant or a bad parent just because she has made different decisions to you.

Think of it like door-knocking salesmen. You’re quietly going about your business at home when someone rudely knocks on your door and starts talking at you about crap you’re not interested in. They appear to be reciting from some terrible script and they don’t really give you any opportunity to ask a question or state your opinion without being steamrolled by another barrage of their premeditated speech.

Their foot is practically jammed in your doorway so that you can’t politely back out of their spiel. They aren’t interested in how their product is going to fit in with your personal circumstances. Not that you’d give them any information about your personal situation because they’re being so god damned rude. In fact, you’ve mentally taken a note to steer clear of this brand for the rest of your life, because you want nothing to do with a company that uses such rude tactics to get you on board.

Don’t be that kind of friend.

Be the friend that remembers that unsolicited advice SUCKS. Be the friend who graciously accepts her choice without question. Focus your energy on helping people who actually want your help. If you need to redirect your energy, please check out Breastfeeders in Australia on Facebook – literally thousands of women seeking support there.

She knows you breastfeed, and she knows it’s important to you.  If she changes her mind, she’ll remember your kindness, and maybe she’ll ask you for help.  It might not be this time, it might be when she has her next baby.  And if that happens, every word you didn’t say will be worth it.

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    1. That’s right! If she’s taken breastfeeding off the agenda, there’s still at least eleventeen billion other parenting decisions left on the table!

  1. Excellent advice! I loved breastfeeding my kids and felt very passionate about it, but would never dream of pushing my ‘agenda’ (for want of a better word) on friends who didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t.
    I think leading by example is the best way forward, and letting every mother make their own decisions about how they want to parent :).

    1. Thanks Rachel! There are so many mums who desperately want support to breastfeed. I focus on them, because the biggest heartbreak is seeing a mum who truly wants to breastfeed, but doesn’t receive support

  2. Such great advice. Sometimes and in particularly when it comes to birthing or breastfeeding everyone thinks their way is the best. But we all do what we believe to be the best for our children and we do have to respect our friends decisions. Great tips and also great advice to share if they do want to. We are so lucky to have amazing resources like this available.

    1. You are so right Suzy! Becoming a mum is hard enough without our friends questioning our choices before our baby’s even been born yet!

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