As I was scanning through posts and pictures on Facebook, I found an image that looked like many women I know. Many women just like me. Educated, hard-working, trying to do-it-all Mothers. Two women breastfeeding their babies while trying to get ready for a photo shoot for a magazine. I was intrigued by the casual matter-of-fact tone to this campaign and decided to share it with an audience of facebook viewers that were not my "friends."
I posted this picture on WTNHs wall on 2/10/12, I was suprised when at one week's time, there are more than 70 comments, 135 shares and 320 likes. Some commented on whether or not the breast was showing. Some commented on the ages of the babies. Most comments were support of a woman's right to breastfeed in public.
According to Louisa Currie (with her then 19 month old son Zac on the right), "The image that's been used came about because we were having some shots done for a magazine article on Mums in Business (or Mumpreneurs as we call ourselves) and both our boys wanted to have a feed. Originally the shot was only ever going to be for our private albums, but on compiling the survey results we just felt compelled to do something to reassure other Mums that it really is ok to feed your baby, whenever they need to be fed!" http://bellybeyond.blogspot.co.nz/2010/08/extended-breastfeeding-shot-makes-it.html
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, "Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting" and "It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired. AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS, Work Group on Breastfeeding Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk (1997)
So you may say, but that's in New Zealand, a country known to be breastfeeding friendly. But here in Connecticut, USA, we just recently celebrated the fourth Connecticut hospital to receive the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
That seems like a good start on a road to becoming a breastfeeding friendly state. We even have laws to protect woman from being harrassed while breastfeeding in public. But is protecting a woman from harrassment for public breastfeeding the same as APPLAUDING her for breastfeeding in public?