Photographer's Gorgeous Image of Breastfeeding Soldiers Goes Viral (PHOTO)

It may not always feel like we're making progress in breastfeeding rights, with women being kicked out of this store or that restaurant for nursing their babies. But progress is happening, and it's happening all over -- as one former air force servicewoman's viral breastfeeding Facebook post shows.

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Tara Ruby served in the air force between 1997 and 2001, which was not a time when many accommodations were offered to breastfeeding mothers on active duty. She describes having to steal time in unoccupied offices or empty bathrooms in order to be able to produce milk for her infant son.

But the times they are a-changing, and so is the setup for nursing mothers at the Fort Bliss army base in El Paso, Texas. The base has recently launched its first lactation room for active duty service members to pump: comfortable chairs, a sink to clean pump equipment, and a fridge to store breast milk. No more squatting on potties or hiding in dark offices!

More from The Stir: Breastfeeding Military Moms to Get On-Base Rooms Just for Pumping & Nursing -- Yay!

Ruby, who has a photography business based in El Paso, heard about the new lactation room and decided to offer her artistic talents to add a touch of warmth to the comforts already on hand. The picture she took for display in the room also got posted to her photography website, where it's been shared over 8,000 times: 10 moms in uniform nursing in sync.

I posted this on here last night at 11:59pm. It has since disappeared from my feed and my wall. So we are posting this...

Posted by Tara Ruby Photography on Friday, September 11, 2015

Over 8,000 times, that is, not counting however many times it was shared the first time it was posted, before it mysteriously disappeared, probably thanks to someone reporting it to Facebook for "nudity." But Ruby isn't fazed: Her goal with the image was both to offer inspiration to the new moms making use of the Fort Bliss lactation room, and to normalize breastfeeding. But with the way the image is going viral, it's likely that a lot more than just the local military moms will be inspired by it -- and the number of people seeing it on their Facebook feeds will hopefully make some progress on her goal of normalization, too. (And can we take a moment to appreciate the challenge of getting 10 infants to latch simultaneously?)

This is a great photo, and the only thing it needs now is even more lactation rooms to be displayed in. Come on, other big employers, what's the holdup?

 

Image via © LWA/Dann Tardif/Blend Images/Corbis

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