Steph Coen is a brave breastfeeding mother and good friend, but many have come to disagree with that assessment. When she shared a picture of her dedication to helping a friend online, she had no idea that viewers would latch on to the details in a monstrous debate as outrage ensued.
Coen is a friend to a photographer who took a now controversial photo, where she is seen breastfeeding her two-week-old baby on her left breast. As Mummy Pages reports, she was nursing the photographer’s three-week-old baby on her right nipple.
The mother’s posted the following picture to the Breastfeeding Mama Facebook page:
In the post, the photographer and friend commented, “My baby and I have struggled with a malformation of tissue and an inability for me to produce enough to feed her on my own. Thanks to my amazing friend Steph Coen, who not only donates but wet nurses for my sweet girl, she is still only fed with human milk! Our girls are 8 days apart. My little one on the right is 3 1/2 weeks, hers is 2 1/2 weeks on the left.”
However, neither of the two mothers expected the online outrage that would ensue after people started to notice the picture.
One woman posted, “I trust no-one to feed my baby out their body except me! Nope… that’s nasty, unsanitary, and WRONG!” Another said, “I’m on the side of it’s not for me, and if my friend offered to BF my baby it would freak me out not going to lie. Each to their own.”
Others rushed to defend Coen’s actions with one person saying, “This is just so amazing! I find it sad that this is seen as gross…”
As the controversy grew, some came up with some valid questions regarding the health of the baby and mother. “I’m not trying to offend anyone by asking this I think it’s amazing people helping others in need. But with the donors do they get tested for sti’ s before being able to donate milk? Cause I do believe sti’ s can be passed through breast milk! Like I said not trying to offend anyone just curious,” one person questioned.
It is true, the donor could pass an illness on to any child they nurse. When viewed in that light, the practice does seem a bit more suspicious. However, mothers who receive appropriate prenatal care are tested for sexually transmitted diseases/infections.
At the end of the day, it is up to the parent to decide what their child eats. While some sanitary and health concerns are valid, it is no one’s business except the mother’s and father’s. At the same time, posting private and personal images online often causes controversy, and it makes me wonder if these women are not sharing pictures just to enjoy the attention. Perhaps, these caring mothers should simply keep their decisions to themselves if they want to avoid all of the ridicule and backseat parenting advice.