When Coco Rocha's mothering skills were called into question on Instagram, the Canadian model struck back against rude commenters and stood up for parents everywhere.
It all started when she posted a screenshot onto Instagram of a text message conversation with GoButler, an on-the-go personal assistant service. Rocha was requesting a can of formula for her baby to be sent to the Hawaiian resort where she was staying. In a matter of minutes, the situation was resolved, and Rocha's baby had a meal on the way.
It should have been the end of the story, but it wasn't.
While the post was just to share with her followers how awesome and convenient the service was, many people decided to respond to another aspect of the post: the fact that she fed her daughter formula.
Unfortunately, too many mothers who feed their infants formula are subjected to harsh criticism from folks who think they should be breastfeeding. There is indeed evidence to support the benefits of breastfeeding, but the truth of the matter is that infant formula is not tantamount to poison and judgmental individuals need to stop acting like it is.
Mothers don't breastfeed for a number of reasons: the baby has trouble latching on, the milk supply is inadequate, some find it too stressful and it interferes with actually bonding with the baby, their work schedule makes it too difficult, or they simply don't want to. The reason, of course, is irrelevant to anyone but the infant's mother, and Rocha was more than happy to set some people straight on the matter.
After receiving unwarranted advice about how to feed her child, she made another Instagram post. This one was a picture of her daughter drinking from a bottle; the same one she sent the GoButler representative in the previous post. The picture is too cute for words, but her caption was absolutely dynamite.
The caption read:
"Getting a lot of unwanted advice based on my last post. Not that this is anyone's business - I loved breastfeeding Ioni for the first 5 months of her life and then one day my milk went dry. It happens to every mom at different times. She's been on formula for a few weeks now and seems to be doing just fine. In the last 4 weeks she gained another 2 pounds, grew another inch and is in the 90th percentile for her age. Anyone who has a negative comment to make on the way I raise my baby will be blocked. This is not a democracy, everyone doesn't get a say."
Mothers who breastfeed face a number of obstacles as they fight for the right to feed their child in public spaces, which is a very worthy cause. But mothers who don't breastfeed also deserve the right to do so without getting berated by strangers.
Let's take this opportunity to remember that all mothers struggle trying to do what they believe is best for their child, and parents should be more united in helping to build one another up; not wasting time and energy passing along judgment and dragging each other down.