When it comes to breast-feeding, it can sometimes feel like moms can't win. If they don't breast-feed, they can be shamed for supposedly not putting in enough effort for their child's health. If they do breast-feed, they can be shamed if they do so in public. One mom, however, is posting a photo of herself breast-feeding in hopes that it will help normalize something that society still often doesn't want to see — no matter how much we tell moms that they should do it.
Samantha Montgomery wasn't initially planning to share her photo to her public Facebook page, she said, "in fear of ignorant backlash & shameful/negative comments." But when she posted the picture of herself breast-feeding her baby to a private breast-feeding support group, another community member changed her mind.
"Someone brought to my attention that by not sharing it, I actually wasn't helping to normalize this beautiful, amazing bond between a baby and mother through the natural process of breastfeeding," she wrote.
"This photo got over 1,400 likes and 200 comments & requests to share (what?!?!)," she continued. "All because my fellow mamas understand the *magic* in these moments. I didn't realize that the photo would spark such a wonderful conversation, but I'm so happy that it did, and that daddy caught this precious moment between us, as I will cherish it FOREVER."
Thanking those who made her realize how beautiful the photo is, she wrote that she hoped the photo would help to open a dialogue about breast-feeding.
"This is natural," she wrote. "This is raw & real. This is beautiful. This is special. I hope I can at least open up a positive and supportive dialogue about breastfeeding."
For as much as we advocate breast-feeding as being beneficial to both mom and baby as well as a special bonding experience, we also stigmatize it just as often — and even celebrities like Mila Kunis aren't immune from breast-feeding shame. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go when it comes to normalizing breast-feeding, but thankfully we have moms like Montgomery to pave the way.