Facebook Deletes Photo of 5-Year-Old 'Breastfeeding' Her Sister

Say What!? 27

breastfeeding dollNot the photo in question.As all parents know, kids love to mimic what we do. And nursing moms know this includes breastfeeding. Both my son and my daughter have given "milkies" and put a doll to their chest in moments that I thought were inexplicably adorable. Naturally I grabbed my camera and took some photos. Mom Lauren Ferrari did just that ... only the photo was of her 5-year-old "breastfeeding" her 2-year-old and she posted it on Facebook

This turned into another tirade against Facebook for deleting a photo they deemed obscene and violated their community guidelines. Breastfeeding photos are NOT obscene. I have posted some of me nursing my kids on my own Facebook page so I don't think they should be lumping these pics in with truly R-rated images of naked people. As a mom, though, I personally wouldn't have shared the image Ferrari did. I think she had every right to do so and shouldn't have had her photo deleted and then banned from Facebook for a week.

The police agree with me. Yes, Komo News 4 interviewed Stefanie Thomas of the Seattle Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children and she noted that because the mom has little control over where the photo will end up, it was "poor parenting." There wasn't any police intervention beyond that.

That right there is what strikes fear in me. The thought of any image I share on Facebook, Instagram, or a blog could be used for something sinister, disgusting, or illegal. Showing a photo of your daughter with her shirt up and her sister "breastfeeding" from her chest is just too much for me. (Click to see image.) I do not think the photo is obscene -- I do think it's adorable and would take a snap if my kids did the same. But I wouldn't post it anywhere because I fear what people could do with that image of my children. I'm not judging Ferrari for doing so -- that's her call as a parent. I'm just saying I wouldn't do it. I also don't think she should be that shocked that Facebook deleted it. And I really don't think she should have taken her story to the news, blasting that photo in very public websites and even shown on her local news. But that's just me.

The same me who loves Breast Milk Baby. The same me who rallied to help people understand all the good that is coming from Latch On NYC. The same me who breastfed my twins in public whenever they were hungry.

I agree with Ferrari when she said that the photo was "not sexual" because they were just pretending. Most people won't see it as sexual. But some will and that's why I don't agree with her decision to share it on her Facebook, and then with the local news, so essentially with the world. I love that she wants to make a statement about how breastfeeding is not obscene -- I agree with her all the way there. But using that photo isn't the way to do it.

Would you share a photo of your child breastfeeding another? What do you think of the photo? Should it have been removed from Facebook? Was it a bad decision to post?


Image via Nico Nelson/Flickr

breastfeeding, natural parenting, facebook


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nonmember avatar meghan

I don't see the problem with sharing the picture among family, but I wouldn't post it on the internet. You never know what creeps are trolling. Her job is to protect her children, not use them to make a statement.

nonmember avatar myobnoxiouspov

This coming from a non-parent, as well as from someone not raised in a breastfeeding home, so take with a grain of salt. I wouldn't say that picture is obscene, it's actually quite cute, but, I'm guessing before Facebook took it down that it originally had been flagged by one of the poster's 'friends' who deemed it as inappropriate. People really need to learn how to use facebook, what is apporpriate and what may not be. It's not your photo album that you pull out to show your mom, sister or best friend, or to decorate with at graduation or to embarass your kid when they bring home their boyfriend, it's FACEBOOK.

Stacey. Stacey.

This lady is an idiot. 5 year olds do not make milk. Therefore they arent "breastfeeding", therefore you cant compare it to a woman nursing in public or use the argument "breastfeeding is not obscene". I dont think most people will see this as sexual, but it sure is creepy to share with the world especially since this child had no say. Also, had it been a little girl "feeding" a doll with over her shirt I may feel differntly, but an actual child and her shirt pulled up? hell no.

nonmember avatar Lili

I'd have to agree she should not have posted this pic. In a sense it is disturbing how some perv could get access to it. She should've kept it to herself. And the thought of the girls actually doing this is a lil wrong. I could see how if it was a baby doll at least.

spark48 spark48

I agree with stacy on this one. I found the photo disturbing. It may not be intended as sexual but I'm sure there are a number of creeps out there who would see it that way. Leave those photos in a shoe box for your iwn memories not on facebook.

cmjaz cmjaz

Very creepy and stupid to put on fb. Any perv can now add it to their collection

nonmember avatar Dawn

What mother posts a picture like that?? I am all for breastfeeding, as I did it long term for both of my kids, however, this is not cute. There has got to be boundaries set for what is appropriate. This picture posted of facebook is not appropriate or cute. Very poor judgement on the mother's part. And this author is an idiot.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

I'm with Facebook on this one. That isn't cute, it is bizarre. Doing it with a doll is one thing, with another child is completely ridiculous and shouldn't be encouraged.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

Um yea... I think if perhaps it'd been a doll or something it'd been different. Its rather creepy O.o

ethan... ethans_momma06

I'm a mom, and can see why it's endearing and innocent.

Unlike other bfing images, I support FB's removal of this image. There are sick sick people out there and that photo out of context is waiting to be abused.

Should it be a police matter? No. It's unfortunate that we can't let innocence trump this stuff, but sadly, it's for realities sake that those images stay with the immediate family who can enjoy them as they were.

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