New mom Emily Ratajkowski is facing backlash for the unusual way she decided to hold her child in a recent Instagram post.
The model posted a photo with her three-month-old baby Sylvester on the social media app on Monday, June 7. In the shot, the 30-year-old held the infant with one arm at an unusual angle — inspiring critics to express outrage that the baby had no head support.
Ratajkowski had gone on vacation with husband Sebastian Bear-McClard and their firstborn to celebrate her 30th birthday. "Bday eve with the dream vacation partner," she captioned the controversial post.
The picture subsequently went viral. EmRata turned off comments on the post, but that did not deter people from voicing their concerns elsewhere.
"u know the anxiety you feel when you see little kids manhandling their pets? yea that’s how i feel about emily ratajkowski holding living things," one user wrote on Twitter, alongside a snap of Ratajkowski holding a puppy the same way.
"Looks like she’s wearing them as an accessory!" another user noted.
Some users came to Ratajkowski's defense, calling out mom-shamers.
"Christ! Criticising a mother's parenting skills is a no go area. She grew that baby. There is nothing stronger than a mother's love for her child," one pointed out.
"She’s a model. She wanted to show off her body. And the baby was probably only like that for a matter of seconds," blogger Perez Hilton noted.
"It’s not motherhood shaming[,] every person on the planet should know how to hold a baby especially if it’s yours! I think she is more concerned with how she looks," one added.
Piers Morgan even weighed in. "That's not how you hold a baby @emrata — and your millions of followers shouldn’t be encouraged to do the same. Happy to give you some tips if you need them," he wrote.
"Baby accessory, what a joke, support the child’s head fool," one user responded.
Dr. Danelle Fisher, a pediatrician and chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., explained to Yahoo Life that babies up to four months old do not have good head control. "Their head and neck muscles are still strengthening, so you want to support the head," she said.
According to Fisher, a baby should be supported under the arms, torso and head at the same time, but "there are lots of different ways to hold a baby, and you don’t have to hold them the same way. You just want to make sure that the baby has good support."
However, in the end, Fisher explained that the amount of support a baby needs varies case by case. "We want to assess how well that baby can sit and position themselves, and respond to the needs of the baby," she said.
Scroll down to see the pictures everyone is talking about:
Ratajkowski wrapped one arm around Sylvester's back and held her dark tresses with the other.
In another shot, she let one arm dangle by her side and gave fans a glimpse at her toned abs.
In another photo from the same series, Ratajkowski pulled her child in close to cuddle, putting one arm underneath the baby's bottom for support.