Breastfeeding isn't without its controversies, including adult breastfeeding relationships and nursing strangers' babies without permission. But one mom's recent statements seem to have gone too far for many parents.
Vlogger Tasha Maile faced years of backlash after she revealed she had sex while breastfeeding her 3-month-old. In July, she defended her decision once again in a viral interview with "This Morning."
“The baby was sleeping while breastfeeding, he was very attached to me," she said in the video. "If your baby is sleeping, and, again being an adult about the conversation, I think we all like sex, there’s no secret about it. I think it's totally fine if the baby is sleeping."
The mom of three has more than 500,000 YouTube subscribers and often posts videos of her day-to-day thoughts on motherhood and veganism as she breastfeeds her little ones.
We get that it can be tough for moms to make some time for sex when it's not even possible to pee in peace. "Parent sex" can be few and far between and last three or so minutes before you have to change another diaper or break up a sibling fight. But where is the line? Is having sex with baby in the room OK? What if baby is breastfeeding or asleep? What if the child was older?
When faced with similar questions by the hosts, Maile responded, "If the baby's OK, then the baby's OK. They're not sitting there judging you and thinking, (gasp) my mom and dad are having sex. It's a 2- or 3-month-old baby. They're so innocent."
She also said she doesn't make love in front of her eldest child, her 5-year-old son, though “it’s not about being right or wrong. If you’re having sex in front of your children and it feels right, then it feels right."
It can be distressing for kids to see their parents having sex, but there's a gray area when infants are in bed with you. "If the child's younger than six months old, you probably don't need to worry," Dr. Michele Borba told Today. "It's unlikely there would be problems, only happy, contented parents."
But critics are saying Maile's actions goes too far because it includes the baby in a sex act. Though the mom notes that she did what she did because her baby would not let her put him down.
The couple "did IT while he was sleeping next to me or on me, so it had nothing to do with my child. My child was not in the act of what we were doing. He was not involved in it," she clarified in a video in May.
In an older video, the one from 2015 that sparked the backlash, Maile described how she and her ex-husband had sex with him behind her as she breastfed and that sex is a beautiful thing.
"We are sexual beings. Without sex ... nothing would be here. Why is sex so taboo?" she said. "There's nothing bad about making love at all, ever. Just enjoy it, enjoy yourself, enjoy your fantasies."
Though the mom wants to normalize sex, some viewers see her actions and words as having the opposite effect.
"Seeing this all over social media is frustrating to me, a fellow breastfeeding mother, considering how hard so many women have worked to desexualize breastfeeding. It's not my place to judge what do in your own home, but I don't see the point in making this something you discuss publicly. It's laughable that you're questioning why sex is such a taboo subject but don't see how physically including your children in your sexual acts perpetuates that way of thinking," writes one mom.
But Maile isn't fazed.
"I wasn’t surprised (at the backlash). I know that people read titles and don't actually listen to the video," she said.