When it comes to motherhood, there’s a whole lot of judgement, and none of it is asked for.
You are judged if you breastfeed, or if you don’t. You are then judged for where you breastfeed, and where you don’t. And one mom, who frankly had been through enough, made a sign (literally) that the judgement stops here.
Meghan Koziel is a Pittsburgh-based new mom who is also a breast-cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy at age 26 in 2015, and gave birth to her first child, daughter Kendra Jane Koziel, on Sept. 15.
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Meghan didn’t want to encounter the whole breastfeeding question drama – since it was clearly not an option for her – and had the hospital staff post a a pink sign over her bed that read, “No Breastfeeding Zone” with a poem about her wishes to formula feed her daughter and ending with, “This Mommy Is a Survivor.”
“Attention please, attention please. We do indeed have a mommy-to-be who had breast cancer and a mastectomy which means, without boobs in the houseeeee!” Koziel joyfully captioned her photo. “Got the banner raised just in case people are confused at why we are NOT going to be breastfeeding our little bundle of joy.”
She continued, “Yes I have foobs, no I do not have boobs (or nipples) therefore … my body is incapable of breastfeeding:) -sign was made by me!!!!!) 💕”
In an interview, Koziel told Parents.com, that she had actually considered getting breast milk from a local milk bank but it turned out that having the need based on a mastectomy wasn’t covered under her insurance — therefore, she would be spending $3 to $5 per ounce of tested milk.
“I was then referred to local Facebook milk donation groups but was turned off because the milk has no way of being tested,” she said.
“Yes, breast milk is fabulous and filled with utmost nutrition … however, it can also carry disease!” Koziel noted. “I am not willing to risk my daughter’s life simply to use breast milk when formula has been used for years and there is no known difference from a breastfed to formula-fed baby.”
Koziel says her wonderful ending to the story of being a survivor is an important message to never give up hope. “Doctors cannot guarantee fertility, but if you think about it … fertility isn’t guaranteed for anyone in life!” Koziel told Parents.com.
“Miracles happen, and whether you can conceive naturally, through IVF, or adoption … there is ALWAYS a way to become a mom! You just have to find the path and trust in it once it’s found.”
“To all the mommies like me facing complicated health histories or facing social media trolls for how you’re raising your child, I would say … keep on being you!” she added. “We all must make decisions that are best for our families, and it is truly no one else’s business if it doesn’t affect them! Raise your child surrounded by love and with happiness and that baby will be amazing.”
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