Another Breastfeeding Photo Gets Facebook All Hot & Bothered

breastfeeding mom emma bondTwenty-four-year-old Emma Bond had to have an emergency c-section after complications arose with her pregnancy. Born 12 weeks early on October 3, baby Carene weighed just 2 pounds, 2 ounces. Doctors told Bond and her partner, Ashley Kitchen, that their daughter's chance of survival was small and she may not live past three days. But baby Carene beat the odds and has been thriving. On Sunday, Emma was able to breastfeed Carene for the first time -- it was a huge milestone and triumphant moment the family caught on camera.

Emma posted the photo to her Facebook page as well as a pro-breastfeeding website where words of encouragement and support poured in. Other moms shared the image on their own pages and then the unthinkable happened. The image was reported for being obscene and removed.

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Emma was told by Facebook that the image was removed because it contained offensive nudity. She said:

It was the first time she had breastfed so there was a reason for me posting that particular picture. It was a magical moment and to have it removed the same day for breaching nudity policies was really rubbing salts in the wounds.

The picture represents more than just me breastfeeding my newborn baby. ... we fought very hard to get to this point.

emma bond breastfeeding careneNot everyone is on the same page when it comes to breastfeeding. We still have more than half of Americans thinking it's obscene to see a woman breastfeeding in public. That same statistic holds true for people everywhere -- in parks, schools, stores, social media sites. We hear stories of women being told to cover up, hide in the bathroom, or leave when breastfeeding their baby. 

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For Emma, there are so many emotions. Here she was showing a photo of survival. Her baby beat the odds and she was able to experience something she didn't think she would ever be able to -- breastfeed her daughter. And what beautiful photos these are. When a baby is born, we cherish each day even if we didn't have the complications Emma had (and even with the sleepless nights). We created life and now we are nourishing life. And to be told that nourishing life is obscene is wrong.

When you have a photo removed from Facebook when you know you've done nothing wrong, it's hurtful. When it's a breastfeeding photo, it makes the mom feel violated because not only did someone look at the image and see nudity, failing to see breastfeeding -- not seeing it is nourishing and sustaining life -- it's also sending the message that seeing breastfeeding is vile, gross, bad. Which all furthers the "obscene" notion that breastfeeding should be hidden. It hurts a mom's ability to successfully breastfeed anytime, anywhere without feeling like she is offending someone.

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Emma is from Oswestry, Shropshire in the UK, but she received messages of support from women all over the world. And Facebook ended up telling her that they removed the photo in error and it has been reinstated. They told her "photos that show a nursing mothers' other breast will be allowed even if it is fully exposed." Thank you.

I wish the photo was never removed, but thankfully it was put back up with the site's policy on breastfeeding photos reiterated for all to read. That is a show of support, and one nursing moms need and deserve. Breastfeeding, the act itself, isn't always easy -- there can be issues with latch and supply and comfort. People questioning if it is obscene shouldn't be a part of the equation; it shouldn't be another thing breastfeeding moms need to worry about. It is natural. And beautiful. And should be supported. Everywhere.

What do you think of Facebook removing then reinstating the photo?


Images via Emma Bond

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