Cancer survivor puts 'no breastfeeding zone' banner in delivery room and here's the touching reason why
One new mom just got ahead of breastfeeding shamers in the most creative way.
Meghan Koziel had a double mastectomy and reconstruction due to breast cancer back in 2015, and as a result, she physically cannot breastfeed her daughter.
Koziel, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 26, gave birth to her first child, Kendra Jane Koziel, on September the 15th.
But before Kendra arrived, Koziel had one request for hospital staff, which was conveyed via a bright pink sign over her bed, marked "No Breastfeeding Zone".
Also printed on the banner was the new mother's wish for people not ask her whether she was breastfeeding her baby.
"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," the sign read.
Koziel added text around the poem which said "no breastfeeding zone" and "this mommy is a survivor".
She explained the sign in greater detail in an Instagram post, where she told her 18,000 followers that she had made it herself.
"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 the ensuing photograph, which was posted to Instagram. "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!!!!!)"
"I love sharing my breast cancer journey," Koziel said when speaking to Buzzfeed. "I made it my goal to share my story to encourage other girls like me going through the same thing."
She went on to disclose that her determination to share her journey only became stronger two years later when - after six months of trying to conceive naturally - she and her husband John discovered she was pregnant.
"Finding out I was pregnant with our miracle baby was incredible. After three years of absolute hell, I was able to put together a little reveal just for my husband, and we were able to bring everyone on our journey through social media again, to provide other cancer patients with the hope that you can still be a mom," she continued.
"I got the idea to make a banner from one of my followers who also had a baby post-mastectomy and felt 'formula shamed' by hospital staff. It would be heartbreaking enough to have my baby reflexively rooting for my breast when I am physically incapable of breastfeeding her. I didn't want anyone pushing their breastfeeding views onto me without knowing my history. So I wanted to come up with something subtle to let them know, but also direct enough to get my point across."
Naturally, Koziel's nurses and doctors loved the banner, and the people of the internet were all there for the sentiment too.
"Congratulations!! What an amazing idea! I dont have production to give breastfeeding, but all of my three kids, grow up with the bottle, and they are strong and healthy! Sometimes you dont have a choise! Great job Mommy!" one Instagram user wrote, while another corroborated "I just love your positivity! You go girl!!!!"