Why is breastfeeding upside down offensive?
Yesterday our lovely Pip Lincolne wrote about a friend’s Facebook posting that caused a breastfeeding controversy (how did those two words ever find each other?). Here’s a little of what Pip wrote:
This image caused a furor on said friend’s Facebook page. For posting the image of the nude head-standy lady breastfeeding, my friend was called a Nazi, a pedophile, a hippy, a communist and a coward. The image was reported and Facebook removed it quick smart. Hmm. Not cool. My friend is lovely. These comments are crazy-mean. Facebook, WTF?
We support women breastfeeding in a fashion they are are most comfortable. Or not if they can’t. And whether you use a breastfeeding scarf, or you do a headstand, breastfeeding is a mother’s choice.
justb. was surprised (not really) about the backlash Lexi experienced after posting the photo on her FB page and so asked her to share her story with you all in the hope of understanding why the image below is deemed offensive.
Edit : A commenter has led us to this amazing yoga mumma! Scroll down to read her comment : or visit her here!
How I Became the Poster Child for Communist-Hippy-Feminist-Nazi-Lactivists
By Lexi Kentmann, Potty Mouth Mama
I never intended to court controversy over “that” image.
To begin with – it’s not even my image to court controversy over. I found it when I was kicking about on the interwebs.
I just loved it. I loved the lushness of it – and the woman with the knock-out body, practicing yoga, a headstand no less, and breastfeeding. It was a juxtaposition I just had to love. It was endearing, funny – and it captured those special – and intimate moments you share with your children that no one else is usually privy to. It kind of felt like a privilege that the photo had been shared at all.
And of course, being the mad blogger, mad Facebooker, mad Tweeter; I uploaded it to my blog’s Facebook page.
When I gave birth to my first child, over six years ago, I struggled to breastfeed. The hospital was useless, and unhelpful – beyond grabbing my baby’s head and thrusting it to my breast, they weren’t forthcoming with help. It was a stressful time, and I vividly remember being discharged – still unable to attach properly, and that moment walking in my front door holding this newborn.
I had an epiphany.
I had to ensure this wee babe survived. It was up to me and it was terrifying.
I muddled along with nipple shields, which are great, but which I hated, and grew incredibly tired and stressed. I got mastitis. I felt that grey cloud descend on me.
And then I had my second epiphany.
If no one is going to be forthcoming with help – such as the hospital, I have to seek it out myself. By this time it had been suggested that I supplement feed with formula. I didn’t really want to, and experienced those first pangs of mother’s guilt.
Breastfeeding made sense to me. It was the ultimate in fast-food for a baby. And I hate sterilising stuff – so it was a no-brainer for me.
So I sought out a lactation consultant.
The lactation consultant was amazing. And patient. And gentle. And she listened to me. Not once did she forcefully shove my baby’s head at great speed onto my breast. Finally it all began to click. I weaned off the nipple shields. Feeding improved dramatically. The grey cloud got blown away.
Like many, I assumed that breastfeeding would be a natural progression – I thought to myself: apparently some people have trouble with breastfeeding, but no, not me, it will be a snap. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Which brings me back to the photo. That wonderful image of a woman doing what all women do – multi-tasking. And while I thought constructing a sandwich one-handed, talking to my mum with the phone tucked under my chin, and breastfeeding my baby simultaneously was some kind of feat Circus Oz would want to tap, this woman is quietly doing what she does. Breastfeeding and yoga-ing in her backyard stark naked.
For posting it I got name-called like you wouldn’t believe and someone threatened to report me to the AFP. Between you and me – I think they have bigger cases to crack than rapping me over the knuckles for loving a photo of a naked lady upside down breastfeeding.
I am a passionate advocate for breastfeeding. I don’t believe it should be hidden away, in a separate room, in the public toilets or under a cloth (because I can’t wrangle a cloth while I’m trying to breastfeed – it gets too complicated – props to those who can manage it – I just can’t). Whether you choose to, can or can’t breast feed, it’s a natural, everyday, sometimes mundane, sometimes beautiful part of life.