I have a lot of friends on Facebook, and lately a lot of them have been furious at the latest privacy rulings. Facebook decided that photographs of mothers nursing their babies were obscene (some were even labeled sexually explicit) and removed them from the site. Some of the support groups for nursing mothers were banned and one woman had her account frozen 30 times.
In retaliation groups of mothers held “nurse ins” outside Facebook offices in California and some accounts and photographs have been reinstated.
It’s not just Facebook that nursing moms have been angry at lately, Target stores found themselves at the center of a similar protest after asking a customer to stop nursing her baby in one of their stores.
Why all the hoopla? Women are constantly told that breastfeeding is best for babies. After you deliver in hospital, nurses are trained to help new moms get their baby to latch on and nurse effectively. Those moms having difficulty may even get help from a lactation consultant. So you would think we would have public support for doing something not only healthy but natural. Right?
Why is it then that women feel compelled to hide when nursing in public? They either resort to using public bathrooms or draping a blanket over the baby so no-one catches a glimpse of bare flesh.
Sixteen years ago when I first moved to Connecticut, a woman was arrested for nursing her baby in car at the mall parking lot. After a public backlash, it is now illegal to harass a nursing mother in public. How sad that we have to make this a law and you can’t trust people to leave moms alone to do what comes naturally; feeding their child the way nature intended.