The holiday season can absolutely be a heartwarming opportunity to connect with loved ones you don't see on the regular, but for plenty of stressed parents, all that extra family togetherness doesn't exactly benefit one's blood pressure. Lactation consultant and mom Melissa Ostroth, who runs the popular Milkivity Facebook page, wrote a viral post that perfectly illustrates just how frustrating it is to contend with your loved ones as a breastfeeding mom during the holidays.
In a post that has racked up nearly 8K shares and over 1K comments, Ostroth shared "some of the questions and comments you may receive as a breastfeeding mom during the holidays," as well as "how to respond":
"Isn’t your baby too old to be breastfeeding?
Your baby is breastfeeding again—you must not be making enough.
You better not eat the green beans—it will make your baby gassy.
You can't drink that glass of wine while breastfeeding.
You're weaning soon right?
Just let the baby cry—it’s good for their lungs.
You're holding your baby too much—you're going to spoil it.
If you just supplemented, you wouldn’t feel like such a cow.
Please don't breastfeed with out a cover. You need to go to a private room.
Just give your 3-month-old a taste of pumpkin pie. I did with all my kids.
You really need to put your baby on a schedule.
You need to give the baby a bottle, so others can feed and bond with the baby."
What Ostroth suggested as a catch-all response to the above: "Uhhh no" with a waving emoji.
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About a week later, Ostroth shared a follow-up post, noting that she had received "so many comments claiming I should respect myself and others and either wear a cover or go to a private room if breastfeeding around family. Especially at the dinner table and with a child the age of 2." Her response: posting a photo of herself breastfeeding her 2- year-old right before her L.O. "digs into her turkey dinner." Ostroth is sitting next to her mother, oldest daughter, and brother in the shot.
She continued, "You do not need to hide breastfeeding your child. No matter their age or where you are at. Breastfeeding does not need to be a private act anymore then if my 2-year-old wanted to drink a glass of cows milk. Breastfeeding mothers need to be encouraged not discouraged. They need to feel comfortable not shamed. They need to feel accepted not excluded. Breastfeed your children when they want to whether that’s at the mall or Thanksgiving dinner. Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. Oh, and pass the gravy."
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Ostroth's follow-up post has received just as much attention as her first, boasting over 3K shares and nearly 2K comments, most of which applaud the blogger. One commenter wrote, "Way to be mama! No covers! You don't like it, look TF away!" while another shared, "Go mama!! Feed your baby where THEY need to be fed."
Ostroth later summed up her inspiration for the post to CafeMom: "I hope when women have these issues they know they’re not alone and feel encouraged. Women are still be kicked out of public places and humiliated. Negative comments are given daily. I hope people will read the words and understand what breastfeeding is and to not make breastfeeding mothers feel like they need to hide or feed with a cover on if they wish not to."