Lactation consultant and Parenting By Heart author Pinky McKay has just shared a common-sense update pointing out that celebrating one thing (breastfeeding) is not covertly shaming another (formula feeding) – and she’s bang on the money.
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“This is what success feels like”
While Pinky’s post was prompted by the chatter around Jessica Simpson’s pride in her breastfeeding supply, this combative phenomenon has been gaining momentum for quite some time. People seem to think that promoting or supporting one thing means you are diminishing another.
Listen to Pinky McKay on Feed Play Love:
What happened with Jess was that she posted an image of a bottle of expressed breast milk on Instagram, with a caption noting that she felt successful for pumping so much milk. The mummy shamers came for Jess quickly, asserting that she was implying that those who didn’t breastfeed were not successful.
Really, Jess was simply celebrating what she’d achieved after a very difficult pregnancy and c-section birth. She was focusing on the good. But critics being critics, they reached for an ulterior meaning and it all kicked off in the comments of what should have been a positive post.
“Let her celebrate”
We wrote about it a little here and Pinky’s taken up the baton too. In a Facebook post, Pinky suggested that we focus on simply celebrating each others’ successes.
“No mother should be shamed for using formula if they need or want to for any reason,” Pinky wrote. “But a mother who has fought hard to get as much breastmilk into her baby as possible? Can we please for the love of God let her celebrate?”
Pinky notes that positive representation of and chatter around breastfeeding – such as Jess’s – should be seen as a brilliant inspiration to mums who are hoping to feed their babies this way or working through their own breastfeeding challenges.
“For so many mothers, it’s other nursing mums who keep them going – even more so than their doctors, family, or friends,” Pinky reasoned. Seeing Jess as gloating or seeing her choices as diminishing others’ is inaccurate and doesn’t do anyone any favours. It’s a lose-lose approach.
Pinky also pointed out “that sharing in someone else’s success does not detract from our own success” and she’s totally hecking right.
No mother should be shamed for using formula if they need or want to for any reason. But a mother who has fought hard to…
“Her success is not your failure”
Commenters under Pinky’s post were in agreement and rallied in support.
“Spot on! If Jessica Simpson posted a pic of herself winning a Grammy award, with the same caption, would people say “don’t shame me for not being able to win a Grammy”? Of course not! Ridiculous that you have to hide your pride and success,” one wrote.
“One woman talking about her achievements isn’t actually about you. So just be happy for her and don’t compare yourself,” another wrote.
“Her success is not your failure,” another summed up and we could not agree more. #ThanksPinky!