Ashley Nicole, model and girlfriend of Miami Dolphins player Phillip Wheeler recently posted a picture of herself breastfeeding on Instagram:
Of course, people lost their shit. Cover up! You’re holding the baby wrong! Don’t wear sunglasses because you can’t make eye contact. You shouldn’t be dressed so sexy while feeding [really? who said nursing moms have to look frumpy?]. And one of my favorite comments:
Problem is she is standing up, holding the baby like a sack of potatoes and not even looking at the baby. Doesn’t look like a tender moment.
Uh, so when did breastfeeding have to be all about tender moments? Yes, part of breastfeeding is bonding with the baby, making eye contact, enjoying the rush of feel-good hormones. Those are important and necessary for both mama and baby.
But honestly, we all know it’s not that way 100% of the time. Sometimes, it’s about getting the job of feeding done. Sometimes (like this mama) we’re on our way out the door and baby decides it’s time to nurse. Maybe she decided to multitask and feed while getting ready to leave. Maybe she thought, I’ll feed him right up until he goes in the car seat, and then I can feed again when we get to where we’re going. I know I’ve had those thoughts before!
It would be wonderful if every time the baby feeds, we could hit the pause button on Life. The majority of the time, we can. But sometimes, we can’t. And mothers should not be chastised for fitting breastfeeding into their busy lives
The point is, don’t try to pretend that breastfeeding is 100% rainbows and sweet moments and then berate a mother for not following that credo. Breastfeeding is hard work, and occasionally you have to sacrifice the tender moment to keep life moving. Don’t hate the mama who is making breastfeeding work for her.