Parenting is hard and most families try their best to do what is right. Sleepless nights and hectic days put pressure on parents and having to defend your choices as a parent is standard issue, even for celebrities. Living in the spotlight is difficult, as every choice you make is headline news to be discussed endlessly by pundits, but parenting choices are already a contentious issue. Every parent knows the sting of being questioned or called out about a parenting choice you have made, the embarrassment and humiliation of having to explain yourself. Life is no better when you exist in constant limelight.
Can Everyone Breastfeed?
Breastfeeding has always been one of the most contentious parenting decisions and few people agree. There is no doubt that science has shown that breastfeeding for at least a year offers healthful benefits for babies and may ward off illness. However, on the other side of the coin remains the fact that breastfeeding is not always practical, especially for working mothers and many women struggle to successfully breastfeed, even with professional assistance. Even with the large number of laws that exist to protect women’s right to breastfeed their infants, workplaces are at best non-committal to breastfeeding support and at worst, openly hostile. Nearly daily, national news outlets run stories about breastfeeding mothers being ejected from public places for feeding their infants. This attention has caused many celebrities to become actively involved in breastfeeding promotion and publish pictures and stories that capture their breastfeeding experiences.
While many mothers appreciate this very public support of breastfeeding (click here for breastfeeding in public laws), others point out that lack of realism in celebrity lives and how poorly this translates to the experiences of modern working-class women. Most women do not have access to nannies and top quality lactation experts to support them when they struggle with fatigue or frustration. Whilst celebrities, often spend the first year of their child’s life not working or toting their infant to their place of employment with a parade of nannies and other support personnel, ready to assist. Celebrities have access to a massive support network that the average women can only dream of. Many people point out that this create an unrealistic image of the ease of breastfeeding and can place unreasonable expectations on new mothers, whom are already extremely sensitive to the cultural expectations of motherhood. Regardless of the choice mothers make for their infants, there is no doubt that parenting is always a struggle and someone will always question your choices.