If you're a breastfeeding mama, you rock. It's not (always) easy; it takes dedication, stamina, and you take a lot of heat (sometimes). As someone who worked that pump to death in hopes of making breastfeeding magical when I was at my wits' end, I salute you. Breastfeeding can be profound and an amazing moment between you and your child. In fact, breastfeeding is ALL about the child. Nourishing him, making him feel safe, happy, and loved. It's a beautiful time in your life and your baby's life. But let's face it, it's not necessarily beautiful for anyone else, especially not your college boyfriend.
Of course, breastfeeding shouldn't be offensive for anyone else either. And you should have the right to feed your baby at your mother-in-law's house, at the beach, and even at Target. This is all a given. And while I don't see anything sexual about posting photos of yourself breastfeeding on your favorite social networking site, I also have no idea why you would actually do it.
Breastfeeding is an intimate act, so why are you sharing it online? I get it if you're a website dedicated to showing women the positive aspects of breastfeeding, and promoting the normalcy so we can all get over our hang-ups. But as an everyday mom just trying to feed your baby, why would you want to take your picture and post it? Breastfeeding is very personal, between you and your baby. Not you and your 3,000 Facebook friends. You don't post pictures of you and your partner in an intimate embrace, do you? And if you do, why in the world would you do that?
That's called over-sharing, people, and it's no wonder your friends get annoyed. Just like you don't want to see a picture of your FB friend in her bikini, maybe she feels weird about seeing your naked breast. (Note, if either of these scenarios is popping up because you're somewhere in public and a group photo is being taken -- all bets are off. I'm talking about posed, on purpose, intimate photos. There's a huge difference.)
There are beautiful photos of moms and nursing babies out there. You should take those, and frame them, and keep them in your home. Or in a photo album to treasure. But if you're sharing them with thousands of people, I have to wonder if your sense of boundaries aren't off just a bit. While Facebook may be a bit screwed on their methods of censoring photos, perhaps everyone -- breastfeeders and hot pant wearers, alike -- should check their own inner censor before sharing every beautiful moment with the world. I don't mind seeing breastfeeding photos, and I love seeing pictures of my friends and their newborn babies. LOVE. But I'm a mom who writes about parenting. I'm not your average Facebook friend.
But I still wouldn't post a photo of myself breastfeeding on Facebook, Twitter, and especially not Pinterest. Some things are more meaningful when you focus on those that are directly involved instead of those who are simply scanning their news feeds for the latest YouTube sensation.
Why do you post photos of yourself breastfeeding?
Image via theodens/Flickr