'It’s only failure if you don’t feed your baby': Jessica Simpson's post about breastfeeding sparks criticism

Jessica Simpson. Image via Getty Images.
Jessica Simpson. Image via Getty Images.

Jessica Simpson is drawing criticism online for seemingly implying that when it comes to feeding babies, “breast is best.”

Nearly a month after giving birth to her third child, daughter Birdie Johnson, the singer and designer is receiving backlash for her latest Instagram post, in which she proudly shows off her breast milk.

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Last week, Simpson shared a photo of a full bottle of breast milk with the caption “This is what success feels like.”

View this post on Instagram

This is what success feels like 🐄

A post shared by Jessica Simpson (@jessicasimpson) on Apr 2, 2019 at 11:36am PDT

While the new mom received praise from celebs like Hilary Duff and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi for her ability to produce “liquid gold,” not everyone was happy. The 38-year-old immediately drew criticism from fellow moms, for seemingly suggesting that women who are unable or choose not to breastfeed are failures.

“Every[one] does what they need to do to feed their baby. Just remember it’s not [a] failure if you don’t pump or breastfeed,” follower Diana Parnell wrote. “It’s only failure if you don’t feed your baby anything at all #fedisbest.”

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The comment set off a flurry of debate and backlash from Simpson’s followers, but Parnell stood firm. “Women who can’t breastfeed are made to feel horrible about it,” she wrote, adding that her issue was with Simpson’s choice in wording.

“I think success is your baby being fed no matter how you do it,” added Jeannine Henderson. “The measure of success is not how much you can breastfeed, or if you can at all, just love your babies. To all the mothers reading this and struggling with breastfeeding: Don’t get discouraged! It doesn’t work out for everyone.”

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Many mothers have said they feel immense pressure from doctors and their peers to breastfeed. Some healthcare professionals have added that the obsession with breastfeeding often causes unnecessary stress on mothers and babies, who could potentially go hungry without formula as a supplement.

Simpson’s husband Eric Johnson, son Ace and daughter Maxwell. Image via Getty Images.
Simpson’s husband Eric Johnson, son Ace and daughter Maxwell. Image via Getty Images.

The reminder from fellow moms such as Parnell and Henderson not to doubt themselves was met with praise.

“I totally agree,” shared Juanita King. “I could barely produce 1 ounce between both breasts. Became very depressed but snapped out of it when I realized that I have a happy baby who I am able to bottle feed.”

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“Thank you for this,” another wrote. “I struggle with very low supply despite immense effort put forth by me every day of my life. My inability to produce milk to feed my son tears at my soul. It’s heartbreaking and I wish those who have an abundant or even normal supply could understand how hard we try. We try and we get nothing. It’s horrible.”

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