Normalizing Breastfeeding

Normalizing Breastfeeding

According to Facebook, a profile picture and comments like this are acceptable.

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Ads like this are acceptable.

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Yet an advertisement like this is not.

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As you can see above, I attempted to pay Facebook to promote my breastfeeding classes. I was told I could not promote my post because it contained profane, vulgar, or offensive language. I then appealed Facebook’s decision, writing them an email with an explanation and a link to their policy on breastfeeding photos. I received an even worse response to my appeal.

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Almost every day, I see ads on Facebook for infant formula, but the word “breastfeeding” with a photo of a baby and breast (nipple not even showing) is prohibited. This is a perfect example of breastfeeding discrimination. Our society has so sexualized the breast that the primary purpose of the breast is ignored. Breasts are used to sell everything under the sun-clothing, cars, lingerie, cheeseburgers and no one cares! But the minute they are shown being used to feed a baby, people go crazy!

We know that breastfeeding is best for moms and babies. We know it has significant, long-term affects on the health of mothers and babies and the communities in which they live. It can save us billions of dollars in health care costs. Yet, we aren’t giving the moms the support they need to do it! We’re shaming mothers for breastfeeding, attempting to isolate them from society, and not giving them the support and information they need to be successful. Mothers are left feeling guilty and like failures. Yet it isn’t mothers failing their children. It is society failing families. Mothers need support and they need to know where to turn for help. Ads for Similac run rampant all over Facebook, but ads to help women find support for breastfeeding are shut down.

We need to normalize breastfeeding so that women don’t have to feel ashamed about using their breasts for what they were designed to do. Breastfeeding is normal, beautiful, healthy. Normalize it! Fight for your rights! Keep talking!

About the Author:

Leah Segura has been working with breastfeeding parents in the MidMichigan area for over a decade. She works as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in private practice and volunteers through several organizations, advocating for parents in her community.

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