This mom got shamed for posting a photo of her toddler pretending to breastfeed
When one mom recently shared a photo of her toddler trying “breastfeed” a doll, she was expecting a few likes and maybe a couple awws. What she didn’t expect was to wake up the next morning to an ugly Facebook post from a friend that said she should be “punched in the damn face” for allowing her toddler to mimic breastfeeding.
The mom, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent her story and some screenshots of both her post and the mean comment to the popular Facebook page Breastfeeding Mama Talk. In her original post, her two-year-old daughter Charlotte is sitting in a shopping cart and lifting her shirt to press a doll to her chest. She captioned the photo, “You know you’re a breastfeeding mom when you look over in the middle of the store to your toddler saying, ‘Baby cry, baby just wants to eat.'”
Seems pretty innocent, right? Yeah, well, apparently not everyone feels that way.
In the post on Breastfeeding Mama Talk, the mom said she woke up the next morning to “messages asking if this [status update] was about me.” She included a screenshot of the status — posted by a “friend” — which said, “I just saw some of the nastiest shit of my life!! If you’re okay with your daughter lifting up her shirt and putting her baby dolls mouth to her little ‘dots’ pretending to breastfeed then I personally think you need punched in the damn face!!! It’s just simply not okay!!!”
The mom said she was “shocked” and “blown away” by the ugly response. “I still am breastfeeding Charlotte (2) and I formula fed my son, Bentley (5) and I am open to both, both are equally wonderful,” she wrote. “I would LOVE to know how it is ‘the nastiest shit of her life.’ Breastfeeding is something that is natural and IS normal… How can I or why should I tell her this is wrong when it is what she knows?”
A toddler pretending to feed a doll seems like the most innocent thing in the world to me and many other parents, but apparently there are some crazies out there who just can’t stop sexualizing breastfeeding. Last year, a toy company introduced The Breast Milk Baby — a doll that makes sucking sounds and was created specifically to mimic and normalize breastfeeding — and plenty of people lost their ever-loving minds.
On the First To Know Facebook page, dozens of people took to the discussion about the doll to say it’s “borderline sexual” and “not appropriate” for little kids. One person even wrote that the doll encouraged “underage sex and pregnancy,” while another said, “Geez — let kids be kids. What are they gonna do next — have Ken come with condoms? [sic]”
Given those reactions, it’s not at all surprising that someone attacked this mom for her daughter’s innocent attempt to mimic breastfeeding, but that still doesn’t make it right. Far too many people still see breasts and breastfeeding as sexual in nature. They view women’s bodies as perverse and shame us for using our breasts for their intended purpose, and that’s not okay.
If there’s one thing the mean reaction to this mom’s photo proves, it’s how important it actually is for kids to grow up seeing breastfeeding as normal and natural. There’s nothing sexual at all about someone feeding a baby, and if someone sees something inappropriate or perverse about an innocent child lifting their shirt to feed a toy, they’re the ones who should feel ashamed.