Many new parents often face a variety of challenges, especially regarding feeding decisions. While some people are shamed for breastfeeding in public, for instance, others receive hate for bottle-feeding. And if you fall into this latter category, there's a good chance you'll love this new mom's *genius* no breastfeeding sign.
New mom Meghan Koziel wants to make life a little easier for people who can't breastfeed their newborns. Koziel, who survived a 2015 breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 26, got the idea shortly before she gave birth to her daughter, Kendra, on Sept. 15, according to Parents. To avoid a discussion about her mastectomy and difficult medical journey, a friend suggested Koziel hang a sign in her room detailing her history. And a day before Kendra's arrival, Koziel hung a pink sign above her hospital bed that read, according to Instagram: "NO BREASTFEEDING ZONE. Though breastfeeding is a very special task, please be aware before you ask. Our miracle baby will be formula fed, and it will not affect her future ahead. This mommy is a survivor."
Making matters even more poignant? The sign included an image of an unclothed woman with a breast cancer awareness ribbon over her right breast.
Koziel captioned the moving post:
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! Got the banner raised just in case people are confused at why we are NOT going to be breastfeeding our little bundle of joy. Yes I have foobs, no I do not have boobs (or nipples) therefore... my body is incapable of breastfeeding:) -sign was made by me!!!!!) 💕 thank u @japalelis for the inspiration!
Amazing stuff, right? This sign is the perfect solution for parents who want to avoid the potentially uncomfortable task of explaining why they're not breastfeeding. No parent should ever have to relive a medical problem or have to put themselves in a potentially uncomfortable position, which is why this sign is so important. And while no bottle-feeding parent owes an explanation to anyone, it's nice to know that an easy solution to this common dilemma exists.
Of course, it's also important to note here that this sign isn't a jab at medical professionals. Many nurses do take the time to read their patients' medical histories in full, but there are those rare instances that they might miss something, a phenomenon Koziel is understanding of since she used to work in a hospital.
It's also common for multiple medical professionals to assist in the care of a patient, so the sign is an effective way to catch everyone up to speed.
Additionally, Koziel's PSA isn't a dig at breastfeeding. She explained to Cafe Mom:
I fully support the natural miracle that our bodies allow us to provide nourishment to our babies. However for me, thinking about not being able to physically breastfeed is, in a way, heartbreaking. Every time my baby reflexively turns her head to my chest, opening and closing her mouth like a little bird wanting to breast feed, it breaks my heart a little. The sign was a way to not be reminded every single time a staff member entered the room and would ask me about breastfeeding that I physically am unable to perform this special act.
As for reactions to Koziel's sign? Parents love it.
"I love your sign I got so much flack for formula feeding my son who's 4. I couldn't breastfeed after 2 weeks due to mastitis that wouldn't go away for a long time," one person wrote. "Formula was invented for a reason. You have such an inspirational message 💖."
"What a beautiful baby💖and so precious. I have an autoimmune condition and take meds, so couldn't breastfeed. In the UK, we get told 'breast is best' all the time, but I believe being fed and healthy is best," another person chimed in. "Good luck to you and your beautiful family❤️
"Love love love this! Mommy and cancer survivor here too!" someone else said. "Your babe is absolutely stunning!"
"I love this...my baby is 2 months and I got asked constantly if I'm breastfeeding by medical professionals despite knowing my medical history....even my son's pediatrician at every visit!!!" one commenter penned. "Very upsetting. Congrats to you and your family!!! ❤👶🏼❤."
Yep, this sign is definitely a hit.
On that note, a big thanks to Koziel and her creative friend for coming up with this important idea. Although this sign might seem like a small thing in the grand scheme of life, this hospital hack is invaluable to new parents.