23rd Sep 2015
What happens when you take to Instagram with a photo of your baby enjoying his or her milk from a bottle? You face the wrath of a wave of mothers who are seemingly on the lookout for their next victim. Then comes an onslaught of judgements and unsolicited advice on how you should be raising your child. From controversies over photos of women breastfeeding (a real, live boob, shock horror), to babies who (again, shock horror) aren’t breastfed, it’s become quite the minefield.
Should you find yourself in the public eye, you must decide whether or not to share this kind of personal experience. Either you keep it to yourself, protecting you and those around you from the unrelenting keyboard warriors, or you decide to take a stand for what you believe in, maybe inspiring other mothers out there in a similar boat. The choice is yours.
Canadian model Coco Rocha recently shared what you might view as a fairly innocuous post of her baby drinking her formula while on vacation. The purpose of the post was to thank GoButler, a service she used to have her baby’s formula delivered to Hawaii.
Though she didn’t ask for it, Coco opened herself up to critique, with some women utterly bemused at the thought of a mother not breastfeeding. How could she? Well, not that it was any of their business (though you might argue that she made it their business when making it public), but Rocha had been breastfeeding her baby until one day, her milk dried up.
Having removed most of the nasty comments, Coco returned to Instagram to offer her response. It went a little something like this:
‘Getting a lot of unwanted advice based on my last post. Not that this is anyone’s business – I loved breastfeeding Ioni for the first 5 months of her life and then one day my milk went dry. It happens to every mom at different times. She’s been on formula for a few weeks now and seems to be doing just fine. In the last 4 weeks she gained another 2 pounds, grew another inch and is in the 90th percentile for her age. Anyone who has a negative comment to make on the way I raise my baby will be blocked. This is not a democracy; everyone doesn’t get a say [sic].’
Thankfully for Coco, it wasn’t all vitriol on her Instagram profile; some women were rightly supportive of her decision to raise her baby how she sees fit.
“A mother should be able to make her own choices about how she feeds and cares for her child. It’s her business and no one else’s. Take a chill pill people” said @cateweigand.
The topic breastfeeding has long been fraught with tensions, and there will always be those who feel the need to impose their views on others. However, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that your baby is healthy, happy and, failing that, didn’t the middle finger emoji just launch on the iPhone? That’ll do the trick.
Getting a lot of unwanted advice based on my last post. Not that this is anyone's business – I loved breastfeeding Ioni for the first 5 months of her life and then one day my milk went dry. It happens to every mom at different times. She's been on formula for a few weeks now and seems to be doing just fine. In the last 4 weeks she gained another 2 pounds, grew another inch and is in the 90th percentile for her age. Anyone who has a negative comment to make on the way I raise my baby will be blocked. This is not a democracy, everyone doesn't get a say.
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