A few days ago a mother messaged us stating she had posted a nursing photo on Facebook and several folks had reported it, leaving her feeling discouraged in her nursing journey. Once we saw the photo (and the beautiful latch!) we knew we had to support this mama and let her know she’s not alone. We posted it, and little did we know the way #NursingInSolidarity would take off.
The post reached over 16 MILLION people, with 4.1 million post clicks and over 675,000 likes, comments, and shares. Our social media team did NOT expect a photo of a mother nursing her baby to become so popular. Most of our posts have reach, but typically photos aren’t so popular.
The comments section got pretty heated. Debate over nursing in public, breastfeeding photos’ place on Facebook, comparing breastfeeding to other bodily functions, etc.
“I was out to lunch and some woman whipped out her boob in the middle of a restaurant to breast feed. Its not something people want to see. Theres nothing wrong with breast feeding but nobody wants to see a womans boob out when there trying to eat.”
“This particular photo is NOT about the baby, it’s clearly about the mother needing attention and you are giving her that! She should cover herself up.”
“Taking a crap is a natural thing too for baby and mother..but you don’t need to post pics of it to express how wonderful taking a dump is.”
“Why is it wrong to urinate in public? Everybody urinates? How about modesty.”
Of course, this overwhelming negativity was a lot for our Facebook administrators to take on, especially when we all believe in supporting all mothers. But little by little, positivity came through, both in comments and messages:
“I cannot understand how people can get upset over breastfeeding. Even before becoming a father I thought it was beautiful. After seeing my wife breastfeed our 1st, I truly realized the peacefulness and bonding experience. As I think most dad’s do. Keep up the fight! We support you.”
“I had to look at all the pictures and wish my gf could’ve breast fed.. Our son wouldn’t take tho.. I seen some of the pics of screenshots of reported photos for “graphic violence” and “nudity” whoever will take the time to try and ruin something so natural and beautiful is a worthless and pathetic pile of skin.. Your page is amazing and I will gladly like and share for you to show support.”
“Wow I just can’t believe we’re still arguing about the dos and don’ts of breastfeeding in 2015, smh…”
“I just feel the more often we see woman breastfeeding it’ll become the norm which is great. I say this a a bottle feeding mom, for my own reasons and I have 0 issues with seeing photos such as this.”
Throughout the day the inbox was flooded with responses. As discouraging as the negative had been, we noticed something amazing – several moms, who did not know one another, were sending in photos of themselves nursing as a show of support for our mom in the main post! The messages were powerful and so moving, with this one motivating us to do something more:
“Hello I just saw a breastfeeding photo for support and noticed that it did got past reported. I’d like to show my support. Im a young mum of two girls. My eldest is three yrs now and I didn’t breastfeed at all cause I was seventeen and scared of judgement by others. I tried with my second daughter and stopped by four weeks because others pointed and stared and someone even told me not to do it in public. I didn’t have the confidence to continue. I wish I had continued and had the confidence. Hopefully [sharing this photo] changes atleast one person’s mind about supporting breastfeeding as it’s the healthiest an most natural way to feed a baby. And the babies miss out because of all the judgement when mothers should be feeling comfortable and confident.”
That’s when #NursingInSolidarity was born. We decided to create an album for parents to post their breastfeeding photos to show support for ALL breastfeeding parents. Within 4 hours the post that started with 26 photos was already up to over 180 photos with representation from multiple races, orientations, ages of nurslings, and exclusive pumpers! The messages in our inbox are coming in faster than we can sort through them, with amazing and inspiring comments such as:
“I’ve never shared a breastfeeding pic with anyone. I would love to make “Nursing in Solidarity” my first share”
“I hope all mamas realize they’re not alone”
“I hope this will encourage more mums to breastfeed”
On the photo comments in the album, we’re seeing parents connect with one another in a way we haven’t before. Folks are identifying with the faces in the photos because they, too, are nursing a toddler/NICU baby/3 month old/exclusively pumping. The important message is this – we’re all in this together. You’re never alone when breastfeeding. And together we can normalize breastfeeding!
Join the #NursingInSolidarity campaign today and stand with us to normalize breastfeeding. You can jump in by adding our Twibbon to your Facebook photo or Twitter avatar here. You can also change your Facebook cover photo at the same link. If you’re interested in getting involved with Best for Babes and helping us connect moms and beat the Booby Traps, get started here.