Today co-host Jenna Bush Hager is coming to new mom Meghan Markle's defense after the Duchess of Sussex was mom-shamed following the release of photos of her enjoying a walk with 8-month-old son Archie. The photos, snapped on Vancouver Island amid Markle and Prince Harry's exit from their royal duties, immediately faced criticism due to the way in which Markle was holding Archie, who was secured in a baby carrier for the outing.
Meghan out and about with Archie & two dogs in Canada-smiling very happily for a photographer. In 🇬🇧 the PPOs would not allow this photo to happen & most “off-duty” pix of royals never see the light of day. Harry is en route to 🇨🇦 to join his family. Nice to see her beaming. pic.twitter.com/k6cocKAoPB— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) January 20, 2020
"I will say the one thing that I noticed that irritated me was that there was a lot of mom-shaming around it — like tons of people piled on," Hager, a mom of three, said. "It just brought up things in me."
Hager went on to express the toll that mom-shaming has taken on her own life. Just last month, she faced criticism when she traveled to Vietnam to help former First Lady Michelle Obama put a spotlight on girls' education, leaving her 4-month-old son at home.
"I got people writing things on my social media. And I was going to respond, but I was too tired," she said. "But here's the thing, as mothers, we're constantly questioning ourselves. Right? Every day you and I say to each other, 'I failed again!' And leaving my little people broke my heart, so let's lift each other up!"
The topic of mom-shaming was brought up after Markle, earlier this week, was photographed in Canada taking a stroll with Archie and their two dogs. With Archie secured in a baby carrier, some royal watchers criticized Markle, stating that her son looked uncomfortable in the position while others slammed the way in which he was being held as unsafe.
"The right hand strap is falling off her shoulder," wrote one person. "Archie is NOT strapped in securely. Unsafe. Someone please teach her before an accident happens."
"Please someone show Meghan how a baby carrier is used correctly before poor little Archie drops out," commented another.
Despite the mom-shaming and concern, experts have largely discredited it. According to Dr. Jen Trachtenberg, a board-certified pediatrician who spoke to Today Parents, Archie appeared perfectly comfortable and safe.0comments
"Ideally, you want to make sure that the straps are tight and secure," he said. "But Meghan has her arm wrapped around Archie and she's holding him tight. If he were upset, he'd be flailing or crying and there's no sign of that."
Photo credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images