Meghan Markle has had her first brush with mom shaming.
Fresh from celebrating the private christening of son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the duchess made a surprise appearance to watch husband Prince Harry participate in the King Power Charity Polo match on Wednesday. Baby Archie came too.
The duchess held Archie throughout the match while sister-in-law Kate Middleton played with her own three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, nearby.
Photos emerged of the two families enjoying their day out, including a number of the new mom kissing and cradling 2-month old Archie.
But the parenting police were quick to call out Meghan for the way she was holding her son.
Some lovely pix of Kate, George, Charlotte & Louis and Meghan & Archie supporting Harry & Wills at the Billingbear Polo Club, where they’re playing in the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day on opposite teams. Pics Tim Rooke &James Whatling pic.twitter.com/wNcNclEcSj— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) July 10, 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
But not everyone was out to criticize Meghan, with many jumping to her defense.
Meghan held king Archie as such Because sh was shielding him.— SHOW ME YOUR BABY! MY TAX MONEY! MY TAX MONEY!🇺🇸 (@Aqarius_girl) July 11, 2019
Haters gonna hate! Me, I’ll simply enjoy the pictures! 😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/jJ32RPV7rc
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 U.K.’s 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 Style U.K.
“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 mom’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.”
Shrimpton pointed 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 added. “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 parent 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,” Cathy Ranson, editor of ChannelMum.com, told Yahoo Style U.K.
“Archie is only 2 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 added.
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,” Ranson explained.
“Some like to snuggle in tight, others prefer to peek out at the world and it’s their mom 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 Ranson pointed out, finding your feet as a first-time mom is tricky enough as it is, without doing so under the world’s gaze.
“It’s tough enough being a new mom 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,” she said. “If it takes her a few months to look totally at ease, then let’s give her that time.
“Mom-shaming Meghan for doing what millions of us have done is pointless and nasty. Let’s see some mom solidarity and support instead.”