Breastfeeding mums the world over are quietly – and sometimes not so quietly! – making a point. They want people who get offended by the sight of a mum breastfeeding her baby in a public place to think again, and accept that breastfeeding’s just a natural thing that lots of mums do and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
In the past few months, we’ve seen breastfeeding mums from the UK, the US and Australia – and some of them pretty famous mums – organise mass ‘feed-ins’, post celebratory breastfeeding selfies on Instagram and Twitter, and make the most funny viral video.
We think we’re seeing a new ‘no-shame-in-breastfeeding’ trend. In fact, we know we are – because even the Pope’s got in the act, recently encouraging mums to breastfeed in the middle of a Sistine Chapel family service.
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Just two months ago, women in Nottingham came out in force to protest against retailer Sports Direct after a mum was thrown out of the store for feeding her baby, despite the Equality Act 2010 making it unlawful to treat breastfeeding women differently.
The protest was organised by Nottinghamshire Breastfeeding Mums Network and, during the half-hour mass ‘feed-in’ about 30 mums breastfed their babies, supported by 30 other men and women and 70 children.
And then there were the women who took to social media to stick up for the mum who was called a ‘slut’ by a couple in their 60s as she breastfed her son in a Costa Coffee store in Purley, south London.
Across in the US, the #FreeTheNipple hashtag, launched to protest at the way some social-media channels ban all photos that show nipples, even those clearly taken in a non-sexual breastfeeding context, has been gathering huge support.
Jaime – who posted this Instagram snap of herself breastfeeding her 8-month-old son James – has said she believes “these are the moments a mother lives for”.
“Breastfeeding should not be taboo – and bottle-feeding should not be judged. It’s ALL fun for the whole family!” read Jaime’s Instagram post.
Even supermodel Gisele has joined the trend, releasing a picture of herself breastfeeding 11-month-old daughter Vivian while being preened at a photoshoot.
Meanwhile, in Australia, witty music duo Juliet Moody and Catherine Crowley have done their bit for normalising public feeding by making a hilarious music video called Ruin Your Day.
It’s already clocked up almost 600,000 views on YouTube as it pokes gentle fun at the outraged-at-public-feeding brigade.
And then there’s the new fashion for the ‘reality of breastfeeding’ photo, like this one taken by photographer Stacie Turner as part of a series called ‘Breastfeeding in real life’.
Stacie describes her photo as “part of a conscious attempt to normalise breastfeeding”.
“I think it’s important to celebrate women as they feed their babies, no matter whether they go with formula or breastmilk or a combination.”
We couldn’t agree more. But what do you think? Do leave a comment to let us know…