I was hanging out on Facebook last night (because I live there when I’m online) and came across an interesting question. Why do people take breastfeeding pics and put them on Facebook?
Before anyone starts thinking that she’s anti-boob or what have you, she is breastfeeding her child. However, the idea of having breastfeeding pics taken and splashed on the web was outside of her comfort zone. And before anyone thinks that they need to come after her with a pitchfork or a boobie beanie… it was a very respectful conversation.
As someone who has not breastfed due to her own hangups, I feel like I offer a middle ground. Five years ago, I would have quickly scrolled past breastfeeding pics. I’d have been supremely uncomfortable. I did tend to avert my eyes when someone in front of me was breastfeeding. (Of course I’d never tell them that they shouldn’t breastfeed because it offended my delicate sensitivities. There were other directions to look, but a crying baby? You can hear that, no matter where you are.)
Now, five years later, those breastfeeding pics don’t faze me. I’ve helped with organizing a nurse-in when a breastfeeding mom faced illegal discrimination in our local mall. I’ve had friends sit on my couch and breastfeed their children.
Those breastfeeding pics helped. They normalized breastfeeding enough for me to be fairly comfortable with other people doing so around me.
Breastfeeding controversies and discrimination will not stop in our society unless women are willing to be pioneers and share those breastfeeding pics. This does not mean that anyone has a duty to breastfeed in public without a cover, nor does it mean that she has a duty to share intimate photos of herself and her baby. It means that if sharing her breastfeeding pics or nursing in the mall without a cover is within her comfort zone, then she should feel free to do so.
After all, isn’t it all about caring for our babies in the way that’s most natural for each individual?
Have you ever shared breastfeeding pics on the web? Why or why not?