Ladies, we need to normalise breastfeeding, let’s start a breastfeeding revolution.
Enough with taboos, awkwardness and wrapping our babies up in elaborate covers when we don’t want to. We need big changes and we need them now. It’s time to normalise breastfeeding.
It’s 2021. Women are making waves in all sectors of society. And yet, there’s a disconnect between what we know to be good for women and for our babies and the way society treats us.
When a woman takes out her breast to feed her baby in public, she may be met with stares and judgement. When we share amazing images of mothers feeding their babies in our social media community, our posts may be removed. Or, equally as frustratingly, women get criticised for ‘showing off’ their breasts. If we wanted to show our breasts off we’d just flash you, we wouldn’t starve ourselves of wine and coffee and let a small human feed off our bodies until our nipples bleed and crack...
Let’s break it down: breastfeeding is normal and natural. It’s not embarrassing, sexual or improper.
Like many other warrior women eager to normalise breastfeeding, we’ve taken to social media to change people’s perceptions from the governing social body: Instagram. #normalizebreastfeeding has been shared on social media over 1 million times.
This movement began with Vanessa Simmons, a photographer and mother of three. Simmons launched the Normalise Breastfeeding campaign in 2014 to empower mothers through photography and social media. Simmons notes, "My vision is to remove the taboo of public breastfeeding from modern society." And quite right, too.
Why do we need to normalise breastfeeding?
Think back to before you were a mother (the days when coffee was drunk hot and daily showers were a thing 🤣). How often did you see a woman breastfeeding? It’s likely that you probably didn’t think about it too much or see it around you until you became a mum yourself.
This means that breastfeeding is still hidden behind closed doors, resulting in each new mum feeling she needs to do the same. Each new generation that grows up with breastfeeding kept secret will continue to see it as taboo.
If we break the cycle, and share more images and stories around breastfeeding, it becomes part of life - just as it should be.
What this achieves
As well as being a hefty feat for modern women, normalising breastfeeding has a tonne of benefits for mothers and babies. Here are some of them:
- A more open and supportive environment to raise children in
- Supported mums
- Feeding routines that work around parents’ lives, rather than confine them
- A greater awareness of women’s rights
- Lower sexual harassment rates
- More breastfeeding support
- Workplace accommodation of breastfeeding mums.
How you can help to normalise breastfeeding
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel here, we just need to be open about breastfeeding. Talk about your experiences and start a conversation.
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, seek help. The services you need should be available to you via your midwife, GP or the NHS. Insisting on support for your breastfeeding journey helps mothers everywhere, because it makes you one of many who demand support - this is how you revolutionize health services.
If you see breastfeeding content on social media, like it, share it and celebrate it. We need your positive voice.
- “I can choose to feed my child however I like, breast or bottle.”
- “Breastfeeding is not something that needs to happen behind closed doors.”
- “I am a mother feeding my child. It’s as simple as that.”
- “I choose how to dress my body and my baby. I will dress our bodies in a way that suits us.”
Love, Nessa. x