We know lots of people have issues with seeing moms breastfeed. Facebook considers the pictures pornographic and others consider them sexual or can't imagine sharing something so "private."
But when you're living the life of a breastfeeding mom, it doesn't take long to realize that you really can't hide it if you ever want to leave the house. With so many arguments against it, it's likely moms are put on the defensive -- what other situation do people approach you to tell you they hate how you eat?
Moms nurse in many different ways, with many different comfort levels, often tailored to the company or location. But all of it is just a mom, taking and sharing pictures of an important part of her child's infancy and toddlerhood -- just like people take pictures of a father feeding a bottle.
And none of it is obscene, as these women display so wonderfully in their photos they've allowed me to share:
Trust me when I say that breastfeeding advocates are tired of talking about breastfeeding. We really wish we didn't need to say, "Don't like it, don't look" all the time. But when story after story comes out of women being treated like they're being offensive merely for sitting down and feeding an infant, it becomes a social issue, and one that needs people being active champions of. Women need to know they're supported. They need to know that it's acceptable, no matter what they might run into. They need to know where to turn for support.
As Lara of Mama Pear Designs put it, "Please don't let me die a Lactivist." I hope that one day, sooner rather than later, I don't have to constantly defend nursing moms. Moms, all moms, need support of their decisions. And a lack of support can often stop a woman from reaching her goals, leaving many women with regrets.
And I hope that breastfeeding moms draw no more attention than the mom bottle-feeding her baby. As you can see from these pictures, breastfeeding moms are first and foremost just MOMS who are feeding their babies -- not trying to make statements until one has been made of their normal function. What next? We start banning bottle pictures because the nipple is intended to mimic a human nipple? Nah, we're smarter than that and don't need to read into pictures and find fault where there isn't any.
I'll say it again, nursing pictures are just moms feeding their babies, and taking a photo so they can remember special moments with their baby. Nothing more, nothing less.
Do these photos change your mind about breastfeeding in public? Do you think breastfeeding in public or seeing a photo of a woman breastfeeding is obscene?
Images via Candice Young; Meredith Coombs-Jones; Tiffany Reeves; Katie Newton; Katie Anderson Zuko; Janine Fowler; Melissa Hubbard; Karine Vaillancourt; Samantha Marquis; Anne of Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths; Marina Alonso; Michele Zipp