Criticising and shaming parents, especially moms for their parenting choices is unfortunately pretty common. Breastfeeding in public, not breastfeeding, going back to work too early or staying at home, and babywearing are all popular topics. And the list goes on. Starting with breastfeeding we have listed some of the most common mom-shaming topics.
Breastfeeding in public
Breastfeeding in public is a popular topic to debate and shame mothers for. Social attitudes and legal protection of public breastfeeding varies widely from country to country. Breastfeeding publicly is common in many countries and not regarded as an issue. The nursing mother is protected by law in most of these countries, while few countries forbid women to expose their breasts in public, even to breastfeed.
Even in countries where breastfeeding in public is legal and somewhat socially accepted, some mothers are reluctant to do so. Afraid of other people’s objections, negative comments and harassment. Mom-shaming.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by WHO, (world health organization) for babies up to six months of age and continued breastfeeding along with complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. This is however not always possible due to a variety of reasons but still one of the most common mom-shaming topics. Mothers who “choose” to not breastfeed their children are often criticized publicly and privately. However, the reasons for not breastfeeding or choosing to stop breastfeeding early can be many.
Breastfeeding too long
Yes, women are criticised for not breastfeeding, but breastfeeding too long is not accepted either. Most of us have probably heard people talk about a three or a four-year-old that is still breastfeeding and how strange that is.
We could and should probably try to realise that there are different ways to do things. We don’t have to have an opinion on others parenting choices and could instead just let parents make their own choices. Whether it’s breastfeeding in public, not breastfeeding or breastfeeding too long. We are all trying to do what we believe is the best for our children.