Recently on Instagram a celebrity posted a photo of herself at home carrying her 5 week old first born child in a branded baby carrier – the baby was positioned in a way that didn’t comply with baby carrier use instructional advice.
The celebrity was forced to defend herself when multiple people commented on her ‘mistake’. There was quite a bit of context to the photo, which the celebrity went to lengths to explain in her response, and which all made sense – mostly that she had purposely positioned her baby like this to protect his privacy for the staged baby carrier promotional photo.
Context, as we know is very important when it comes to babies. I can only assume that comments about the baby’s positioning came from a concern for his physical safety that others felt compelled to voice.
I would like to say that as equally important as baby physical safety is baby psychological safety. In the beginning the developing mind of the baby is protected and scaffolded by the ego of the parent. Attempts to undermine the parent, erode Maternal Confidence and ultimately hurt the baby.
Maternal Vulnerability, at the time a first born baby is around 6 weeks, is particularly high with a new Mother seeking to affirm herself and her baby.
In her response to commentators the celebrity said ‘It was brought to my attention that in the previous photo I am not holding my baby correctly’. I noted that she did not say ‘in the previous photo I am not using the baby carrier correctly’. The attribution the celebrity makes is revealing of just how these comments have left a mark on the mother-baby relationship.
Holding, in baby terms doesn’t just mean the physical holding of the baby, it also means the ‘psychological’ holding of the baby, a task made much harder with reduced Maternal Confidence.
To comment at a new parent in anyway that suggests that they are not holding their baby correctly is posing a risk to the well-being of the baby that could otherwise be avoided.
In fact, thinking about it now, can we protect Mothers from being exposed to comments that undermine their Maternal Confidence as we seek to protect babies from physical danger?
Hopefully this celebrity is supported by friends and family who can build her up again!!
(Oh, and I love her movies!!)
As for the baby carrier brand…no press is bad press right!