Facebook Flack Regarding Breastfeeding Mothers

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine feels that the social networking website, Facebook, would be well advised to review its policy banning photographs of breastfeeding mothers. Such a policy perpetuates the notion that breastfeeding is an unseemly bodily function best kept from public viewing, a misguided and antiquated concept that has no place in contemporary society.

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It further perpetuates the idea that formula feeding is normative when breastfeeding is, and should be considered, normative infant and young child feeding. Health professionals widely acknowledge that breastfeeding is biologically unique and appropriate for the mother and infant.

Throughout most of history, breastfeeding, whether performed in private or otherwise, has been regarded as a natural and wholesome aspect of daily living. In fact, some of the greatest works of Renaissance art dealt with the theme of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding her infant son (the Madonna Lactans).

So important is breastfeeding for the well-being of infants, mothers, and society at large that no less than forty four states have enacted legislation safeguarding the right of a mother to breastfeed in public. The Surgeon General's Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding encourages "images of breastfeeding as the normal way to feed infants in most places women and their infants go." Facebook should certainly be considered one of those places.

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