Meghan Markle mum-shamed for how she held Archie - but experts say she's done nothing wrong
Meghan Markle, 37, has had her first brush with the mum-shamers.
Fresh from celebrating the private christening of her son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the duchess made a surprise appearance to watch husband Prince Harry participate in the King Power Charity Polo match.
And baby Archie came, too.
The duchess held Archie throughout the match while sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, also 37, played with her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, nearby.
Photos emerged of the two families enjoying their day out, including a number of new mum kissing and cradling two-month old Archie.
But the parenting police were quick to call out the new mum for the way she was holding her son.
Meghan likes the press today of her and the baby.... always looking for attention. But she doesn't know how to hold the poor thing— Catherine Holveck (@CatherineHolve2) July 10, 2019
Can someone please show Meghan how to hold a baby? She looks pregnant 🤔 pic.twitter.com/LYTQCElJWo— Nancy (@nancylasocki) July 11, 2019
She can't have any maternal instincts at all. Archie's neck and whole body not supported by her at all. No sun hat to protect him.— Sue Jones (@SusanAnnJones1) July 10, 2019
Not everyone was out to criticise Meghan, with many jumping to the duchess' defence.
Protective mothers hold their babies like that I'm just hear for the love I have for Meghan and Harry and baby Archie— makungu nygracent (@nygracent) July 11, 2019
I'm not a mum but I cannot stand women mum-shaming other women. Poor Meghan can't even hold baby Archie without "The Perfect Mums" coming out and criticising her. 🙄— Abbie (@abbiecarolin_x) July 11, 2019
All this shaming of Meghan Markle is getting beyond pathetic. Whatever she does is wrong in the eyes of some. The latest being she can't hold her own baby properly. 🙄— Amanda Hunt (@man_ders11) July 11, 2019
I've seen a LOT of comments today about Meghan not knowing how to hold her baby.— Duchess of Pemberley (@World_Royalty) July 11, 2019
That's not what I see here. I could be totally wrong, but I see a mother being very protective and almost wrapping him up with as much of her arm as she can. I remember what it feels like ... (1/2)
According to Lucy Shrimpton, The Sleep Nanny and parenting expert at The Baby Show there was nothing wrong with the way Meghan was holding baby Archie.
"While parents will adopt their own styles of holding and comforting their babies in a range of ways, the way Meghan is pictured holding Archie is actually a commonly recommended hold," she told Yahoo UK.
"She is supporting the majority of Archie's body with her right arm while he rests his head on her chest. Babies are comforted by this position and hearing mum's heartbeat too. So long as the face is to one side, which Archie's is, this is a wonderfully soothing way to hold to a baby."
Lucy points out that Meghan is also supporting Archie's neck with her left arm in case his head were to lift from her chest.
"Perhaps people are confused about the safe ways to hold a baby," she adds.
"There are lots of styles, some of which are less commonly seen but perfectly safe. The main thing is that the body and head and neck are all supported."
As any new parents will appreciate, sometimes the struggle to soothe a wriggling newborn can leave your hold on your child looking somewhat unnatural.
"When a baby is born so is a mother – and it takes a little time to learn how to care for a child," says Cathy Ranson, editor of ChannelMum.com.
"Archie is only two months old so of course Meghan is still learning. Yes she looked a little stiff and awkward in some of the pictures, but that's OK," she adds.
Whether it's swaying, rocking or jiggling, however parents choose to settle and hold their babies is their decision to make, particularly as it is often the parents who will best understand how their child likes to be held.
"When it comes to holding your baby, mother really does know best as not all tots want to be held in the same way," Cathy continues.
"Some like to snuggle in tight, others prefer to peek out at the world and it's their mum who will read the signals and ensure they feel comfortable and reassured. Meghan will know what Archie wants and will make sure he gets it."
And as Cathy points out finding your feet as a first-time mum is tricky enough as it is, without doing so under the world's gaze.
"It's tough enough being a new mum for any of us, but imagine how pressured you'd feel with world's press watching your every move and millions more commenting on social media.
"If it takes her a few months to look totally at ease, then let's give her that time," she continues.
"Mum-shaming Meghan for doing what millions of us have done is pointless and nasty. Let's see some mum solidarity and support instead."
- This article first appeared on Yahoo