As if the first few days of motherhood aren’t tough enough, it’s been an especially rough time for former TOWIE star and new mum Maria Fowler.
Even with a smooth-sailing birth, it can be quite hard: navigating family and friends, coping with the unbearable tiredness, dealing with haywire hormones and getting used to the fact there’s suddenly this tiny baby living thing in your house you’re responsible for keeping alive.
But when the TV personality welcomed her first daughter Evie Paris Batey, just a few days ago, she quickly confirmed that she’d had a difficult labour.
She shared that she’d lost “half her body’s blood” – 2 litres – and in an online conversation with a fan, revealed she was currently on iron tablets as she recovered from a blood transfusion.
That’s more than enough to deal with during the first few days of parenthood, we’d say – so we were pretty gutted to see some of her social media followers add to her stress, by being questioning and judging Maria’s decision to bottle-feed baby Evie.
Mum-shamed for bottle-feeding…
In a sweet snap shared to Instagram, Maria popped Evie’s bottle next to her cup of tea. It’s an innocent pic, though the Derby-born star was quickly inundated with questions.
“How come you’re not breastfeeding, just we’ve just had a baby and combi feeding! Any thoughts behind it!?” one Instagram user wrote.
She wrote back: “If you were at the birth you would understand.”
Fair enough – it’s clearly for a medical reason – so you’d think that’d be the end of it, right? No…
One of many commenters didn’t seem to get it: “I lost loads of blood after my c-section and bubba was latched on within the first hour of her life.
“She is 9 months old and still breastfed. Give all the excuses you want. But just own it, if you didn’t want to breastfeed its cool! As long as a bubba gets food who cares how it is given?”
As Maria rightly retorted: “I actually wanted to. It’s not an excuse. You know nothing about my situation.”
Too true – we’d have to agree. Every situation is so different.
But it’s not over yet…
Well, that’d be enough to do us in, if we’re being honest.
But to make matters worse, Maria was then forced to defend her decision to keep images of Evie’s face offline – and for being on social media at all – all the while newborn Evie had been admitted to hospital.
One commenter wrote: “Get off social media and enjoy being a mum ffs”
But Maria snapped back: “I’m lay in f*****g hospital with her at the moment and she is sleeping in her crib as she’s not very well so we brought her to A&E last night so f**k off and get off my social media.”
And in response to numerous fans who were unhappy with Maria and her partner’s decision to keep Evie’s face off social media for the time being, she wrote:
“Not publishing our baby’s face online has nothing to do with a “mag deal” she is the most precious thing in our life and we are unsure …” Maria began.
“… as to whether we want to expose her images to the nutters & scumbags that seem to crawl out the woodwork on comments sections…
“…she is innocent, tiny and vulnerable and we want to enjoy her to ourselves before we decide weather to share our precious photos online x”
Wow. We totally think that whether or not you post your baby’s image on social media IS a really interesting topic… but after all this noise, we’re not surprised mum and dad want to protect her from it for a bit.
What we think
We understand that some people have well-meaning intentions with their questions and as much as we’d like them not to, some people will always have bad intentions when writing these comments to mums online.
But, either way, a few days into the baby’s life while both mum and baby are in and out of hospital is not an OK time for this.
Save the lively debates for when mum is back to full health and has had time to recover – and actually figure out how she feels about all of these new things.
It’s also really insensitive to press your views about breastfeeding on someone else, especially when the mum has made it clear it’s down to something out of her control, such as a medical issue.
We totally get where Maria’s coming from, too. It’s so hard NOT to defend yourself when you’re being attacked from all sides. But clearly, this extra stress was the last thing Maria needed.
It seems she’s damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t… so we hope she’ll soon feel like she doesn’t owe mum-shamers any explanation at all.
Luckily, it seems that Evie was well enough to be sent home from hospital.
“Finally on way back from hospital… don’t ever want to see Royal Derby Hospital again haha. The staff are amazing can’t thank them enough.” Maria wrote on Twitter.
And mum is FINALLY getting a more-than-well-deserved nap.
She posted the following on Instagram, with a caption that simply read: “Motherhood…”
We hope Maria and Evie are starting to feel better, and that Maria can enjoy this precious time with her newborn ❤️