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This breastfeeding image has left mums feeling like total failures and wishing people would be more understanding.

The image was shared on the Australian Breastfeeding Project Facebook page with the caption,

The power of this image almost made my knees buckle.

During my feeding journey the pressure I felt by family and friends to feed my children artificial milk due to the normalisation of artificial milk in today’s society was crippling.

Every time I struggled artificial milk was suggested instead of support to help me meet my goals. Society’s conditioning is failing mothers and babies all over the world! I hope one day I will see this change before my children have to go through the same thing.

How many of us felt like the woman in this image?”

Mums have soon jumped up and down with their responses, some totally loving and agreeing with the message, while others are angered and very hurt by the what the picture represents.

The post has attracted over 1600 shares, 300+ comments and 2600+ reactions.

One comment states, 

– “God I hate this. There is so much pressure for mother’s to breast feed!

I couldn’t keep up my milk production, then after weeks of trying I finally could I had to go back onto immuno suppressant steroids I had to stop because that’s something they couldn’t tell me would or would not effect my baby.

This shit makes me so mad because we try and sometimes it just isn’t what is best. I’m so tired if people and their opinions being shoved down my throat. It’s hard being a parent but twats undermining decisions like this when there is no other safe alternative really get me going.”

– Another wrote, “This photo makes me angry. Not for the fact of people pushing formula but for the fact that I LOVED breastfeeding my first child.

I was so excited to start nursing my second, everything worked against me when it came time. A week in the nicu, ppd, struggle with letdown, not enough milk… I am still heartbroken I can’t nurse her, not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could comfort my child by breastfeeding, not a day goes by that I wish I could bond between nursing.

I am thankful for formula and how it’s contributing to my daughters growth. I tried, I struggled and I went to formula to give me some relief, so my husband could help me emotionally and physically.”

“Fed is best, breastfeeding or not. Don’t shame mothers who are unable to and turned to the bottle, don’t ever make them feel bad.”

bf bottle image

– Another shared, “What is needed is to empower all women to feel confident in the choices they make for their children, in whatever aspect of their lives it is. If you want to choose ‘A’, then be confident in your choice, same if you want to choose ‘B’.”

– As one mum wrote, “Your a good mum either way in my eyes. No judgment here!”

– Allison wrote, “This art hurts my soul…. I was totally as committed as one could possibly be to breastfeeding my daughter.

3 months after her birth me only eating unseasoned grilled chicken and tasteless plain oatmeal, going to countless Dr appts to figure out why my child screamed 24/7, never slept, spit up constantly, and was absolutely MISERABLE, we found out she was allergic to my breast milk. Something that I had NO control over. The ONLY option I had was to feed her a hypoallergenic formula.

DO NOT shame mothers for feeding their child. A FED child is the best. The lack of compassion I have felt over not being able to breast feed her for at least a year as planned is heartbreaking.

As a mom the most important thing I can get is support from other mothers. This picture and some of the comments break my heart and makes me feel inadequate as a mother. My daughter is PERFECT in every way and has progressed so much faster than others her same age and older. I don’t for a second regret feeding my child formula.”

– Another said, “I agree and I disagree. I wanted to breastfeed my son so badly, but he turned out to be very lactose intolerant so I was forced to formula feed and I was so put down and judged by those around me for not breastfeeding, even though it was not my choice. Basically I think this image varies depending on what type of community one lives in.”

- Tina said, “This is just shit the minute I seen this all I felt was failure I couldn’t breastfeed and all this did was make me feel terrible to the point I am in tears yes breast is best but please spare a thought for those who couldn’t no matter how hard they tried.

I still remember feeding my daughter with a bottle in tears because I couldn’t breastfeed I still get those feelings when ever I see images like this or how you should always breastfeed.

Feeding your baby should be the ultimate not how they are been feed just that they are been feed either by breast or formula.”

International Board Certified Lactation consultant, (Milk Meg) Meg Nagle also shared the image saying, “This picture really affected me when I saw it. People talk so much now about the pressure to breastfeed. However the reality for millions of us is actually the opposite.”

“You’re breastfeeding him AGAIN? You just fed him! He needs some formula.”
“Why don’t you just pump and give him a bottle?”
“Don’t you want a break? Let me give him a bottle.”
“Wait, you’re STILL breastfeeding him? Why don’t you just give him a bottle?”
“Come on, let’s go out! Just leave her with someone and they can feed her with a bottle.”
“He really needs formula. You’re not making enough.”

…and on…and on…and on. The pressure to bottle feed can be overwhelming. And it often leaves us questioning our instincts and confused. But you know what? Many of us will find here is absolutely no reason our baby HAS to have a bottle. Breastfeeding can be just that. Breastfeeding. #keeponboobin’

And the original caption with this photo from the artist’s Instagram page (@typhainelegallo)…
“Conceptual Illustration based on an article from The New York Times: “Working to Close the Breast-Feeding Gap (color inks and watercolor pencils) Despite decades of the “breast is best” message, African-American women often are not encouraged to nurse as much as white women. The newborns of African-American women are nine times more likely than the babies of white mothers to be given formula in hospitals.One of the reasons is because the hospitals serving lower-income populations often rely on formula companies for financial support and lactation consultants are seen as supplemental, not essential.”

{Artist Typhaine Le Gallo can be found here: http://typhainelegallo.com/}

Do you think this image is shaming anyone OR is it a total overreaction?

Share your comments below

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Original image via Instagram

  • If you read the artist’s comment first then there would be no need for all the anti reaction about the painting.

    Reply

  • I remember being affected by these things as a woman when I had PND. We need a society willing to embrace all forms of motherhoodand stop making this into a fight against each other. The pressure works both ways.

    Reply

  • Seriously, it’s just a photo. People need to calm down! To me it’s very uplifting and I think that was the intention of it. I was one of the people who was always getting people trying to push formula feeding onto me and I managed to persist with the breast. At the end of the day breast feeding is the best way, but if for some reason you can’t there’s nothing wrong with that either.

    Reply

  • I wish people would stop judging Mothers for breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Focus on the beautiful baby and her Mum who is looking after her baby’s welfare. Not all Mums are able to breastfeed so don’t make them feel guilty.

    Reply

  • I agree that it is just how you perceive it to be. People need to quit judging, As it says in the article, A FED child is the best.

    Reply

  • I guess it’s perception and everyone has a different take on it. When I first saw it my initial thought was of a Mum trying to do it all. It doesn’t bother me or evoke a strong reaction in me.

    Reply

  • Personally it doesn’t bother me, but I had no problems breastfeeding. I know quite a few mums who really struggled, tried their best, then had to switch to formula. I can fully understand how this image would upset them, as they already put guilt on themselves over it. Yes, in an absolute perfect world, breastmilk is the most ideal food source, however the reality is, a baby needs to be fed regardless, so thank goodness for formula being available to keep babies alive, healthy & thriving!


    • Indeed. I didn’t have any problem breastfeeding either, but for mums that wanted to, but couldn’t, it has surely been a very difficult time.

    Reply

  • Only got part way through article and lost all interest.
    This statement is sooo true…“Fed is best, breastfeeding or not. Don’t shame mothers who are unable to and turned to the bottle, don’t ever make them feel bad.”

    Reply

  • Consider the source. The Australian Breastfeeding Assiciation does lots of shaming. Presumably this is a similar organisation.

    Reply

  • I don’t feel this image is shaming anyone – most Mother’s have the choice whether they breastfeed or not – their decision, nobody else’s!!

    Reply

  • I’m not bothered by this image either. But people should stop judging mums for the choices they make.

    Reply

  • There does need to be less pressure on women to breastfeed and more support for them if they want to. Its not for everyone and rather than shaming anyone for how they feed their baby we should just feel lucky to have access too good quality formula and clean water if you can’t or don’t want to breastfeed.

    Reply

  • There will always be a photo or picture that will trigger someone over something. If you’re triggered by something, it means you might have to work on the issue and learn to deal with it in a way that doesn’t affect you negatively. That being said, I was able to breastfeed. If I hadn’t been, I’m not sure if this picture would’ve affected me; it might have.

    Reply

  • Art is an expression of one persons feelings/perspective. Every one is free to have an opinion and feel and think in a certain way. Another persons opinion should never affect us in such a way that we think we should think and feel the same. When that is the case there is something wrong with our own perspective. We should just learn to respect each other.

    Reply

  • nah i’m not bothered about this image. it’s no big deal and there are bigger things in the world to worry about. A picture is not one of them lol


    • I agree – there are bigger things going on in the world.

    Reply

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