Shawn Johnson defends herself after being mum-shamed over video of daughter's first flip

'I'm her mama. I know' 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Friday 07 February 2020 17:52
Shawn Johnson helps her daughter do her first flip

Shawn Johnson has defended herself from mum-shamers after receiving criticism over a video of her three-month-old daughter’s first “flip”.

On Monday, the Olympic gymnast shared an Instagram video of herself slowly flipping daughter Drew Hazel over on the beach in Miami, Florida.

“Roo’s first flip!!” Johnson captioned the video, tagging her husband Andrew East. “(She was PERFECTLY safe… so don’t even haha) #momlife #milestone.”

But despite assuring her followers that her daughter was safe, one commenter still criticised Johnson for her handling of the baby and for “not making her warm enough” during the beach visit.

“While she may have been perfectly safe, sometimes you are a bit rough handling such a young baby, and not making her warm enough when you take her out. She needs at least socks if not shoes, as well, and hats,” the person wrote.

In response to the comment, Johnson said: “Are you holding her? Have you physically felt her sweat when she wears socks? Or felt her strength when she stands? Or seen her fuss until she stands up because she hates laying down. Nope. You haven’t. I’m her mama. I know.”

Johnson defended herself on Instagram (Instagram)

Johnson was not the only one to defend herself from the mum-shaming, as the exchange prompted hundreds of others to also come to the athlete’s defence.

“Well said mama!” one person wrote. "You know your baby. Don’t listen to the mum-shaming comments!”

Another said: “I hate that you even have to post that she was perfectly safe. You’re doing great mama! Keep it up. She’s beautiful!”

A commenter who identified as an occupational therapist also backed Johnson up, and explained that the flip was actually “beneficial” to the child.

“It is actually beneficial for a child’s development to challenge their positioning,” they wrote. “It increases trunk and neck strength and decreases likelihood of sensory processing difficulties (such as gravitational insecurity) in the future. Plus… mum-shaming is LAME.”

In an Instagram Story that night, Johnson again addressed the mum-shaming she’s experienced, and the impact the critical comments can have on mothers.

“Mum-shaming is a real thing. Like a real, real thing. And I truly don’t understand it,” she said, according to Yahoo. “There’s comments that come across like: ‘You’re doing this wrong. How could you do this to your child?’ And those just aren’t good, those aren’t nice. Those aren’t worth the effort, and they make mamas feel like crap.

“All of us mamas are doing the best that we can. We’re trying, we’re crying, we’re pushing our way through it.”

The 28-year-old concluded the post reminding people to “be kind” and “talk to people the way you would want your daughter or your son to talk to people”.

“And stop picking on our little babies, ok?” she added.

This is not the first time the gold-medallist has opened up about the struggles of new mothers face. In December, Johnson and East revealed that they’d accidentally been “waterboarding” their daughter while trying to feed her with the wrong size bottle top.

At the time, Johnson said she’d decided to share the mistake as a reminder to other parents that “you’re not going to do everything perfectly and that’s okay”.

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