Moms.com: Nearly Half of Women Experience ‘Mom-Shaming’ on a Regular Basis

By Madison Serrano

Sixty-three percent of Americans believe there will always be gender discrimination in the United States and six out of 10 mothers experience parental criticism, according to new research. 

OnePoll and Vitamin Angels recently polled 2,000 Americans on the subject of gender inequality. The survey participants included 1,000 women and 1,000 men, yet the results seemed consistent regardless of gender.

Half of the women surveyed feel that they face gender discrimination on a daily basis, and close to three-fourths of the men surveyed agreed that women face gender discrimination. Many women face difficulties in landing jobs when pregnant or after giving birth, and 65 percent of survey participants feel that women face more questions during the interview process.

This discrimination doesn't just happens in the workplace, though. Women also face discrimination in public places.

Overall, nearly half of the people surveyed admitted that they've faced instances of mom-shaming or judgement from others regarding their parenting approach. What's more, forty-four percent of the mothers surveyed mentioned that people treat them rudely when they breastfeed in public.

In another national poll, six out of 10 mothers of children ages 0 to 5 said they have been criticized about parenting from their own spouses, other parents, and even their in-laws. Social media feeds into this criticism, as many moms feel that even sharing innocent images of their children creates a space for negativity and judgement.

Ultimately, these comments end up causing mothers to fret over their parenting style.

However, Vitamin Angels' founder and president, Howard Schiffer says that we can overcome gender discrimination and mom shaming by empowering mothers.

“Healthy women are empowered women, and the cornerstone to thriving societies. Yet, maternal and women’s health remains a global public health problem," Schiffer said. "In order to help close the gender inequality gap, we must prioritize women’s health."

However, when we feel judged about our parenting choices, shame consumes us and impacts our overall health and well being. According to Richard A. Honaker, MD, "Mom shame is often carried for many years, and this can ingrain abnormal brain chemistry. The cultural expectations of American mothers, when high, will make shame stronger and emotionally deeper and more difficult to treat."

These feelings of shame can cause hormone fluctuations, affect the firing of neurotransmitters in the brain, and even cause depression and anxiety for mothers. What's more, mothers who receive flack for their parenting choices don't just end up feeling bad about how they care for their children; they eventually start seeing themselves as a bad person.

After studying the survey results, though, Schiffer had this to say, "By giving the gift of nutrition to millions of women around the world, we’ve seen first-hand the amazing way in which health empowers women to stand up for what they believe in and reach their full potential as human beings. The generational impact healthy, empowered women have on their children and their communities is astounding — this holds true here in the U.S. and around the globe.”

The good news is that not everyone shames mothers. In fact, most women who participated in Vitamin Angels' survey said that their own mothers provide inspiration and encouragement. Also, 70 percent of the women surveyed stressed that they want to prioritize uplifting fellow mothers instead of tearing them down through mom shaming.

Ultimately, we must empower mothers. This empowerment is a critical piece to the puzzle that will help us achieve gender equality. We can't prevent gender discrimination entirely, nor can we stop every single instance of mom shaming. However, we can make a conscious effort to change how we talk to fellow mothers. If you experience mom-shaming, remember to reach out to your friends or consult a doctor instead of the internet for advice. Your mental and physical health will ultimately benefit from this sage piece of advice.

To view the original article, please visit: https://www.moms.com/women-experience-mom-shaming/

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