Instagram's New Rules for Breastfeeding & Kid Photos Are a Mixed Bag for Mom

breastfeeding momIt's not just Facebook who faced confusion regarding photos of mothers breastfeeding. Instagram had an issue as well. Naked yoga breastfeeding mom, as she was called, was booted off the site for violating their terms and showing a bit of breast. But now Instagram's breastfeeding photo guidelines have changed, and they are also addressing the innocent child nudity pics so many of us parents post as well.



Instagram updated their guidelines to now read:

We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.  People like to share photos or videos of their children. For safety reasons, there are times when we may remove images that show nude or partially-nude children. Even when this content is shared with good intentions, it could be used by others in unanticipated ways.

I appreciate this. It shows they are thinking. They know what their site is all about and they know what the Internet is capable of, and it is their right to make rules. And whether we like it or not, when a woman removes her top to show her breast in any way, it is nudity. It is not, however, obscene or pornographic in any way when a mother is nursing her child. As a breastfeeding mom who has shared photos of myself breastfeeding, I'm glad they will allow it and in doing so they are breastfeeding advocates. Seeing photos of mothers breastfeeding helps normalize it, helps people see it's a natural act.

More From The Stir: Why Are You Posting Breastfeeding Photos on Facebook, Anyway?

Instagram also gave us all a stark reminder. "Even when this content is shared with good intentions, it could be used by others in unanticipated ways." Sometimes we need a wake-up call regarding that. We think we are sharing with just our friends but once a photo is out there, it's there for people who may have ill intentions to see. This includes those photos of our kids nakey in a bathtub. We see it as innocent, but others may not view it the same way.

Their statement makes it feel as if they have our best interests in mind, they are "protecting" us, and they want to protect their site from predators and those with ill-intent. And for that, I'm satisfied with the updates they made. We still need to be our own first line of defense especially when it comes to protecting our kids.

What do you think of Instagram's new guidelines? Do you post photos of yourself breastfeeding or your kids partially-nude?


Image via Jacob Botter/Flickr

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