Sundays and Skylar… #breastfeedingmom #healthybabies #happybabies #happymommy #Loveherdown #mymini

A photo posted by Yandy Smith-Harris (@yandysmith) on

Hashtag activism is a great thing. We’ve seen how the power of social media can #BringBackOurGirls and demonstrate #BlackLivesMatter. You can even have a #SlutWalk if you please. And while new moms have tried to jump on this internet train in order to normalize breastfeeding, something about this movement seems to have gone awry.

If I’m not mistaken, the reason women started IGing themselves nursing their newborns is because of the heated debate about breastfeeding in public. Many women have been told to cover up and even kicked out of establishments for simply trying to feed their child whose hunger doesn’t exactly work around their brunch schedule. And that’s simply because society says it’s okay to have your breasts out in public so long as an infant isn’t getting nutrients from them. It’s a problem and it’s why women began fighting back online, uploading images of them breastfeeding in the hopes that if you see this image online enough, one day people would see a mother on the street nursing her baby while shopping at a fresh market and not bat an eye in disgust.

Unfortunately, good intentions don’t always have the best execution. Instead of seeing images of women candidly nursing their children in the midst of handling all of the other tasks required of a mother, what we now have is Glamour Shots Breasts.0 We see staged photos of women — or even the more narcissistic selfies –who have put on a full face of makeup and chosen the perfect outfit to act as though breastfeeding and looking like a model is all in a day’s work. That, ladies, is not normal and goes against the original intent of the movement.

The reason moms want breastfeeding to be normalized is because of the idea that while trying to take care of one’s self and a hungry, screaming baby, not to mention an entire household, there aren’t always convenient times or locations to take care of that very necessary motherly duty. It’s in those moments that moms are asking strangers and passersby to pardon the ta-tas while they handle their business. That I get. However when I see women on Instagram looking like they have all the time in the world to breastfeed like a queen, I get the impression these pictures are really about attention and not gaining acceptance. And that I can’t support.

Clutchettes, what do you think about breastfeeding selfies? Do they really help normalize breastfeeding?

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  • John Henry

    The selfies cause conversation, like this big conversation here. Yaw’ll debate it out, but I think the conversations good. It brings awareness, and Awareness is good. I would hope that more mothers will consider breast feeding their children, without shame.

  • Ang

    “I breastfeed her without a cover all the time and have never been called in it”
    So you are basically proving the point that women aren’t shamed for breastfeeding, even when they do it publically. This article and the comments are not shaming women for breastfeeding publically. There is just a difference of opinion on whether everything needs to be posted online, especially when the pictures are clearly staged to make the woman look like she’s doing a photoshoot.

    • blackgirllonghair

      Please forget I said anything. Good bye.

  • binks

    I think it is a beautiful picture of mother and baby but I don’t really see how this furthers the cause but then again breastfeeding is normal and natural to me. I don’t think just taking pictures alone is furthering the cause but you need to have actual conversation and reaching mothers who might not opt to breastfeed. Furthermore, I think people need to take into account why many mothers don’t breastfeed to maybe get to the root of the picture. Sure, I think these pictures destigmatize it for some so it may be helpful. But on the other hand, this picture could be a bit problematic because the perception here is only the glamorous side of breastfeeding and many mothers would tell you something different so I think they need to be a balance and discussion.

  • Googleygirl

    I really don’t get all the drama though. Seems to me that the drama was created and then it started a “movement”. I breastfed 3 children any and everywhere we went. I did cover up but not because someone told me I had to but because I felt that it was the respectful thing to do for myself and everyone around. But I’m not surprised that this had become popular under the guise of being “proud” and “unafraid”. I bet I could hashtag #jumpingaroundinpublic, IG and FB it and it will take off. It doesn’t take much now a-days for a hashtag to explode.

  • Rosetta Stone

    No its attention seeking. Go feed your baby and stop doing everything for “likes.” You aren’t bringin awareness to anyone. Everyone knows what breastfeeding is. If u dont, hospitals have lactation consultants when you give birth. They also teach you how to breastfeed in the hospital. So knock it off with the awareness crap.