Social media helping women feel better about public breastfeeding
It's world breastfeeding week this week and even though I’ve never breastfed a kid myself, it is still an important topic to me...one close to my *ahem*...heart.
In another life (at least that’s what it feels like), I worked as a registered nurse with infants and children. In this role, I saw and taught many new mothers how to breastfeed. It makes me so happy when a new mother develops that unwavering, unbreakable bond between herself and her child. The attachment really starts upon birth, but breastfeeding is definitely a close second.
There are so many benefits to breastfeeding. (I should know because I’m a serial repeater of the term ‘breast is best.’) I also understand that breastfeeding is not at all easy, can sometimes be painful, and that not all women will be able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons.
I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the benefits of breastfeeding here but I just want to say that exclusive breastfeeding gives newborns the perfect amount of nutrition needed for growth and brain development--and It’s free!
I’ll drink to that!
This is why I think now is the perfect time to rehash the #brelfie craze that hit social media earlier this year, where women across the globe shared pictures of themselves breastfeeding their children. It all started with the infamous #brelfie selfie with Gisele Bundchen.
The craze was then picked up really quickly by other celebrities such as Gwen Stefani,
Miranda Kerr, Pink, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie...the list goes on. The movement went viral on social media with Instagram and facebook changing their policies on posting breastfeeding pictures.
Women used this movement as an opportunity to speak out about breastfeeding in public, which is often stigmatized as inappropriate.This is a step in the right direction to empower women.
Increasing public awareness and changing cultural norms isn’t easy. In this case, it starts with increasing public knowledge and support of breastfeeding so barriers are broken down and mothers everywhere can confidently nourish their children.
Our society needs to view and accept breastfeeding the same way it does bottle-feeding. Women should not have to be reluctant to naturally feed their children in any context.
IF you’re passionate about women’s rights go to TAKE ACTION NOW and send a tweet to Iceland and Uruguay to get them to user their domestic success in empowering women and lead the way internationally.