Here at GoodtoKnow HQ we feel like we’re constantly hearing negative stories about breastfeeding.
Which is why when this photo landed in our inbox, we just had to share it with you.
Tara Ruby, a professional photographer, mum and air force veteran from Texas, took the amazing snap to show how breastfeeding connects women from all walks of life, even those in military service.
Tara said she had the idea for the shoot after hearing that an American military base called Fort Bliss had a dedicated room for breastfeeding mums.
After putting out an invite for mums to participate, she rallied together 10 women, all in active service, to pose for the shoot.
She told us: ‘I wanted to show that strong soldiers can be strong mothers as well. The response we’re getting is that this photo goes beyond our military and shows that many others, globally, are ready to #normalizebreastfeeding.’
The photo, posted on Tara’s own Facebook and also in the Facebook group Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, has been removed twice, but not before it received thousands of shares. The latest upload of the photo alone has received over 19,000 and has even had a like from Hilary Clinton.
Remember these other cases of women flying the flag for breastfeeding?
Back in early 2015 Kaya Wright (pictured below) had her breastfeeding picture removed from a closed breastfeeding group on Facebook. And after a mass of UK mothers posted breastfeeding selfies (aka #brelfies) in protest, Facebook finally changed their nudity policy to allow images of breastfeeding.
Take that Facebook.
The social networking site changed its nudity policy to say: ‘We restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring.’
At the time, 32-year-old mum of two Kaya Wright probably had no idea the impact her #brelfie would have. After receiving a notification from Facebook telling her they were ‘reviewing’ the image she’d posted in the Liverpool Community BAMBIS group, its defiant members – all 1,700 of them – started posting their own breastfeeding selfies in protest.
Here are a selection of them below:
‘Breastfeeding is hard and it’s made ever harder by other people’s perceptions’ – Kaya Wright
Photos from: Facebook/Liverpool Community BAMBIS
The mum told the Liverpool Echo: ‘Breastfeeding is amazing, everyone should try it. But in this country I’ve noticed there is a different attitude to breastfeeding. Ever since Kayden was born, people have kept asking me when are you going to bottle feed. Breastfeeding is hard and it’s made ever harder by other people’s perceptions. I think breastfeeding should be taught in schools to raise more awareness.’
Even the Pope has had his say on breastfeeding in public. Earlier in the year, he encouraged breastfeeding in the Sistine Chapel. He said:
‘You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, don’t worry.’
So to the owners of Claridge’s hotel – who recently asked this mother to cover herself with a napkin while she breastfed her daughter – if it’s okay to breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel, it’s most certainly okay to breastfeeding during your afternoon tea. So there *blows raspberry in Claridge’s general direction*.
Mother Louise Burns tweeted the before and after pictures with the captions:
‘Asked to cover up with this ridiculous shroud while #breastfeeding so not to cause offence @ClaridgesHotel today..’
‘…SO much more obvious with it than without! Such a shame I can never go back…. @ClaridgesHotel #breastfeeding’
Claridges said in a statement:
‘We are saddened to see what is being discussed and we feel we need to clarify that breastfeeding is of course embraced at Claridge’s.
‘All we ask is that mothers are discreet towards other guests.’
But Louise was being discreet, right? This image isn’t the first breastfeeding snap to cause a stir on Twitter. In December 2014, an American actress made the very valid point that society says it’s okay to see Kim Kardashian’s (fairly large) derriere circulate the internet, but that it’s not okay to see images of mothers breastfeeding their children. Unfair? Exactly.
And the ‘offensive’ breastfeeding selfie? It was this, just this.
The tweet had such a reaction that it begun a chain of mums sharing images of them breastfeeding their babies on social media, with the hashtag: #normalizebreastfeeding.
And they’re beautiful. Just look!
Want your breastfeeding photo included on this page? Tweet them to us @goodtoknow and we’ll try and include them.
‘@Alyssa_Milano Your pic is beautiful. It’s what theyre made for anyway! #NormalizeBreastfeeding #BreastfeedingSelfie’
‘Breastfed both my babies! #normalizebreastfeeding’
‘Joining with @JW_Photog @TheLeakyBoob @Alyssa_Milano and sharing a nursing pic to #normalizebreastfeeding’
‘@Alyssa_Milano Love your photos! I breastfed Sofie for 3 beautiful years. #normalizebreastfeeding’
‘I hope this isn’t as offensive as kardashians bum! #breaktheinternet #normalizebreastfeeding’
‘@Alyssa_Milano You rock! #normalizebreastfeeding @bfmamatalk #BreakTheInternetBFMamas’
‘Im trying to #normalizebreastfeeding #BreakTheInternet with something that matters’
@TheLeakyBoob #beautifulbfing my 11 week son at the lake. Happy & hot Seattle day! #normalizebreastfeeding #bfing
‘She likes to sit in bed, cuddle, and watch cartoons early in the morning. #DailyNursingSelfie #NormalizeBreastfeeding’
‘Breastfeeding my 2nd set of twins! 🙂 #normalizebreastfeeding’
‘Day 1 – if you don’t approve, even Lena says f-off #normalizebreastfeeding #breastfeedingawareness #Breastfeeding’
‘If you find this obscene, but naked women on Twitter are fine, your priorities are screwed up #normalizebreastfeeding’
‘@Alyssa_Milano solidarity beautiful mama. With my son when he was 14 mos. #BreakTheInternet #normalizebreastfeeding’