Ask any woman who has given birth at a hospital and she’ll tell you that what’s supposed to be a very private, special occasion can sometimes feel a bit crowded.
You have all sorts of people checking up on you, asking you questions, and offering opinions (that you probably never asked for). It’s no wonder that some women want to keep invasive questions at bay.
For one woman who was giving birth after beating an aggressive form of breast cancer, she knew the one question she didn’t want to hear after delivering her baby: Are you going to breastfeed?
Meghan Koziel was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2016.
The process was tough, but Meghan was deemed cancer-free at the start of 2017. She began the process of getting her body back to what she was used to, and in 2018, Meghan discovered she was pregnant!
While she was overjoyed at the news, she knew her pregnancy would be different because of what her body had been through. She could not, for example, breastfeed, something that is encouraged for all women after giving birth. Not wanting to explain her medical history over and over when the time came to deliver, Meghan had a ‘No Breastfeeding Zone’ sign created that said it all for her.
Meghan Koziel has blogged about how her life changed after being diagnosed with breast cancer at just 26 years old on her website, She Sparkles On.
Meghan was diagnosed just two weeks prior to her wedding and began the grueling treatments just a week after the wedding.
It was a whirlwind experience for the couple, and included going through IVF for egg retrieval and embryo freezing, as Meghan’s ovaries would have to be temporarily shut down as part of her treatment.
Meghan had a double mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy and radiation before being declared cancer-free in early 2016. About a year later, after easing her body back into a semblance of normalcy, Meghan found out she was pregnant.
This baby was nothing short of a miracle for Meghan and her husband. They were cautiously optimistic, and thankfully everything went pretty smoothly.
Meghan was worried about one thing, though: She wasn’t going to be able to breastfeed. Mothers are often encouraged to breastfeed. It’s a decision that women constantly hear opinions about while pregnant, and they are encouraged to try breastfeeding as soon as possible after delivery.
When Meghan saw Instagram user @japalelis’ brilliant banner to ward off questions from those unfamiliar with her medical history, she was inspired.
Meghan had her own sign ready for the big day.
NO BREASTFEEDING ZONE
Though breastfeeding is a very special task
Please be aware before you ask
Our miracle baby will be formula fed
And it will not affect her future ahead
This Mommy Is A Survivor
Meghan and John welcomed their daughter, Kendra Jane Koziel, on September 15.
Meghan explained that people tried to point her toward other methods of receiving breast milk since she cannot produce her own. Ultimately, she feels the risks outweigh the reward.
Other women who have had medical reasons not to breastfeed applauded Meghan’s straightforward approach.
Although many people suggest donor milk to women who cannot produce their own breast milk, donor milk cannot be tested for certain transmittable illnesses.
Meghan continues to be a champion for women trying to navigate their way through a stressful and terrifying diagnosis.
Her story not only comes with support for those still battling but also offers a message of hope that there is life after cancer.