A few months ago, while at a La Leche League meeting, we were discussing the advantages of breastmilk. We went around the room and each of us shared one way that we found breastfeeding helped our babies or us. When it was my turn, I said that I felt that it was easier to comfort a breastfed baby than a formula fed baby. Another mother challenged this statement.
"What do you mean by easier?" she demanded.
"Well, I mean that I don't have to warm up a bottle or spend time mixing the formula, I just pull up my shirt and latch him on."
She shook her head angrily then got up and stormed out of the meeting.
It turns out that this woman was unable to breastfeed her first child and was there for support in breastfeeding her yet-to-be-born second and she felt that what I said was hurtful. Hearing this, I was more than a little annoyed myself. What did she expect? This was a La Leche League meeting for crying out loud!
Later I wondered how much of her defensive reaction was my responsibility. Should I have said things differently? Was I in any way insensitive? No, I think that I was not at fault in this situation (it was a La Leche League meeting after all) but in spite of that, I certainly must acknowledge the grief, pain and anger she may have been feeling and that my words inadvertently caused.