YOUNG HEART, OLD SOUL.
This girl is just real. All love and energy - with a unique sophistication for her age. At 21, Haddas Ancliffe is a young mama with a progressive and gracious approach to fashion, motherhood and more recently, media attention.
We chat to Haddas about 'that' viral pic of her breastfeeding at a wedding, being a young mama, breastfeeding in public and her perfect day.
The Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan and HuffPost all featured your Instagram post breastfeeding at a wedding. Oh, the controversy! How did you feel about the attention?
Well at first I was scared because I didn't know how people in my life would react, but I'm actually really proud now. The feedback from family and friends has been so supportive.
Normalizing breastfeeding is so important and we have to bring attention to that in order to get rid of the stigma around doing it in public.
I'm really glad I've been able to encourage others and that I can be a part of the conversation that brings these issues to light.
Besides, I know there's nothing wrong with what I'm doing - so I'm not upset when there is negative attention. The Daily Mail wrote about me in a positive way, which I'm grateful for.
You’re just 21 at the moment and have spoken out about the judgement you feel as a young mother. How have you handled this negativity, and what advice you have for other young mums to rise above it?
I just brush it off because I know my son is healthy and happy - people looking down on me have no idea.
My advice to other young mothers would be to remember that your ability to love your child is what's most important.
That doesn't come from how many years you've lived before them, but how many years you're willing to live FOR them.
What has your personal nursing experience been like?
In the first couple of days I was confused because the different midwives and nurses at the hospital all said different things about how to do it properly. I was nervous that I wasn't doing it right, but as soon I got home and could relax it was a total breeze!
Jonah was gaining so much weight that it didn't matter if they thought his latch was correct, because he was clearly getting the nutrients he needed.
Since then I've loved breastfeeding, even when it was uncomfortable and I wanted my own space I was so glad that I did it.
I remember Jonah had a virus and for nearly a whole week he wouldn't breastfeed. I cried every time he refused and when he finally did feed, I knew I'd never take those precious moments for granted.
Breastfeeding has made me healthier too, it's amazing how much better you take care of yourself when you know it directly affects your child.
Did you nurse in public in the early days, and how do you feel about it now?
Yeah I did. I was a bit more uptight in the early days though I guess. I would sit somewhere relatively out of sight or I'd try a cover but that didn't last long at all.
I'm so proud and so comfortable breastfeeding in public now, I don't even care if I have to pull my entire breast out of my shirt to feed my son! It's what breasts are for, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.
What were your expectations of breastfeeding before Jonah was born?
My mom had told me a lot about her experience with breastfeeding my siblings, so I was aware of things like cracked nipples and biting - but I knew that she really loved feeding us so I expected to feel the same. I was excited to breastfeed, I was hoping it would be as wonderful as it seems!
You have a unique sense of style - where do you find inspiration?
Oh everywhere! I've always had a great passion for expressing myself through clothing. Current trends, old movies, uniforms, traditional garments, anything! I find inspiration for my style everywhere.
Has your fashion sense change much to accommodate for nursing?
Ohhh yes! I completely changed my wardrobe to be breastfeeding friendly.
I wear a lot of crop tops and shirts with buttons now. Sweaters with splits are a favourite for nursing, and anything that sits well with my super comfy maternity bras.
Describe your perfect day.
Hmmm...probably being with my entire family just laughing and dancing and singing gospel songs together. Oh and eating soul food all day, I love doing that.
What’s the best advice your mother ever gave you?