Shocking: Mom Accused Of Giving Baby “Expired” Breast Milk

If you talk to any new mom, she’ll likely have a story to share about receiving unsolicited advice – or even judgmental comments — from strangers, friends, or family.

These comments can be difficult to handle, especially while dealing with the fatigue and stress that comes with being a new mom – and each of us has a different approach to handling these often insulting remarks.

One woman recently shared her experience on Facebook in which she overheard judgmental comments that really hit home for her – and she was shocked at the ignorance and misinformation she was hearing.

Café Mom reported:

The mom from England shared on her Facebook page, Mama’s World, that she was sitting in the waiting room at a doctor’s office when she couldn’t help but overhear a nearby conversation about breastfeeding. “I thought NO comments could ever SHOCK me anymore on the topic,” she wrote. “And yet someone managed to do just that, SHOCK me with some uneducated opinion about a breastfeeding mother.”

Two women whom Stefania estimates to be in their 30s were chatting about being too old to breastfeed — but with a surprising twist. “I am sure you are all familiar with the ‘too old to breastfeed’ remark, BUT have you ever heard it in relation to the MOTHER???” she wrote. “That’s right, these two ladies were going on about how a woman they knew, who is 42 years old, was, in their opinion, too OLD to breastfeed!!”

According to Stefania, the ladies were saying how her milk probably isn’t good enough anymore because of her age and that she’s doing a disservice to her baby. Instead, they mused that her baby would be better off with formula instead of mom’s “expired” milk. 

Although new moms in their forties or older may face some challenges during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, by and large, older moms are having healthy babies and enjoying good health.

Stefania could not believe these younger women would think that breast milk is affected by age, and she was disturbed by their criticisms of someone who was younger than Stefania herself.

“They were almost ridiculing that mom; of course I was fuming,” she tells CafeMom. “Where did their knowledge come from? Did they even have the slightest knowledge on breastfeeding? Plus, I can’t stand judgment. They were judging and criticizing this mom for her choice.” 

Physicians and lactation consultants agree that “advanced maternal age” (a term coined by physicians for pregnant women over the age of 35) does nothing to decrease the quality of breast milk.   It remains the best source of nutrition for a newborn and allows for an irreplaceable bonding experience.

Lactation consultant Jan Barger tells Baby Center that

“The quality of breast milk does not change over time. Regardless of your age, socioeconomic status, length of time you have been breastfeeding, country of origin, or any other parameters you want to consider, breast milk remains high quality and chock-full of nutrients and antibodies,” she wrote for Baby Center. “The quality of your milk is based on the age and need of your baby — designer breast milk, if you will.”

Stefania stated that while she does not like to become confrontational, she just couldn’t help herself from addressing such ridiculous comments.  With sense of humor in hand, she nursed her little one in the doctor’s office waiting room, obviously noticed by the women.

As she was leaving with her toddler, she approached the women and said, “By the way, I am 44 years old, 45 next June, and my milk is perfect!” she told them, according to Café Mom. “The look on their faces, priceless.  Sorry, I felt good!” she wrote.

Every new mom must decide for herself how to best handle these types of ignorant comments, but for Stefania, she felt she must correct the ridiculous misconception that there is an age limit to breastfeeding.

Although older moms can go through pregnancy, birth, and nursing with little or no complications, being a new mom in your forties does come with some challenges.  We often do not have the same energy levels or metabolism of women in their twenties or early thirties, so older moms may need to pay special attention to their bodies and give greater thought to their health and nutrition.

Mom.me has some tips on how older moms can take care of themselves while nursing and caring for a new little one:

A new mother in her 40s has a somewhat slower metabolism and might not feel revitalized after a few broken hours of sleep each night. Rest is a vital component to producing a good milk supply.  When you can’t nap, rest your body through yoga, breathing exercises or even a bubble bath. To ensure the best night’s sleep possible, keep your caffeine intake to a minimum and don’t go to bed with a full stomach.

It might feel strange to think about menopause so soon after having a baby, but perimenopausal symptoms can begin anywhere from a few months to 10 years before menopause. Symptoms can include breast and nipple soreness — generally midway through your menstrual cycle and in the week before menstruating — irritability just before menstruation and exhaustion. If these symptoms interfere with your ability to breastfeed comfortably, your health care provider may suggest vitamin supplements, herbal therapy, acupuncture or changes in your diet.

Find a local breastfeeding support group for women in their 40s to share your experience with others in a similar situation.

Mommy Underground recently reported that women are becoming moms later in life and the joys of being a mom at any stage.  Moms of all ages need support and understanding, and we’re here to help with all the information you need to take care of yourself and your little ones!

Are you an older mom who has been the target of judgmental comments or misinformation from strangers, or even friends and family?  How did you handle the situation?  Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

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