Posts Tagged ‘ breastfeeding education ’

Yes, You Can Now Post #Brelfies on Instagram

Friday, April 17th, 2015

breastfeedingWelcome to the #brelfie party, Instagram! After months of disabling accounts with breastfeeding photos, the popular photo- and video-sharing site has officially changed its tune about seeing you nurse your baby.

According to its recently clarified guidelines, pics of women actively nursing are totally fine, as are images of post-mastectomy scarring and nudes in paintings and sculptures. (The X-rated stuff — photos showing sex, genitals, or close-ups of the full monty — is still off limits.) Instagram is the latest major social media player to give breastfeeding shots the green light. Last month, Facebook famously refined its image policy so nursing moms can “always”post their pictures without fretting over bans or censorship.

Related: Celebrity Breastfeeding Photos and #Selfies

Did Instagram head honchos have a light bulb moment and realize that breastfeeding is anything but offensive? Well, maybe, but my guess is that these new guidelines were prompted more by controversy than common sense: For months now, fed-up Instagram users have taken to blogs, Twitter, and, ironically, Facebook to criticize the site’s uneven handling of nursing photos and raise awareness about its “discriminatory” practice of shutting #brelfie-loving moms out of their accounts. At the same time, they’ve continued to post breastfeeding photos despite potential repercussions from the site or other users.

And though this move is a clear-cut win for the #normalizebreastfeeding movement, it’s also painfully overdue. Any level-headed person can tell you that a woman breastfeeding is hardly pornographic, but until recently, that’s exactly the message social media giants Facebook and Instagram were sending with their short-sighted policies. Hopefully this is but the latest step to help drive home the fact that nursing is natural and normal — #nofilter needed.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up.Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding

Image of nursing mom courtesy of Shutterstock

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Facebook Is (Finally!) Okay With Your Breastfeeding Photos

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

breastfeeding momAttention, moms who #brelfie: You can finally upload those sweet nursing shots on Facebook without fear of red flags or outright bans. On Monday, the social media giant cleared up the confusion surrounding its rules and regulations surrounding posts. Though you still can’t share a picture of your full monty — or even your nipples for that matter (sorry, Rumer Willis) — Mark Zuckerberg & Co. now promise to always green light photos of women actively breastfeeding, reports The New York Times.

This is an about-face from the company’s previous stance, which at best was uneven and wishy-washy. Over the past few years, we’ve heard story after story about Facebook censors yanking down photos of nursing moms while leaving other, more explicit ones untouched. Of course, it’s worth noting that the people who are paid to suss out the banned stuff are hardly combing through the site looking for exposed breasts. Their job is to investigate content flagged by users (i.e. our friends, or friends-of-friends), a methodical process the company says it has no plans to automate.

Still, Facebook’s inconsistency over what can stay and what must come down has rankled more than a few mamas who were simply trying to share tender moments with their nearest and dearest. And hey, I get it: Pulling a picture of a nursing mom in action reinforces the idea that breastfeeding should be done behind closed doors, or at the very least, under a cover. It smacks of the same discomfort some people feel when a woman lifts up her shirt to feed a baby in public because — gasp! — there’s a breast out, and it’s being used for something other than sexual gratification. But, on the plus side, it’s also helped fuel the #normalizebreastfeeding movement and inspired fed-up moms to try to break the Internet with their #brelfies.

Regardless of where you stand on the breast vs. bottle debate, there’s no denying that nursing is anything but lewd or obscene. That Facebook is finally formally sanctioning breastfeeding photos is a clear step in the right direction. Long overdue, of course, but hopefully a sign of more progress to come.

Tell us: Now that Facebook has given #brelfies the OK, will you post one?

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding

Image of nursing mom courtesy of Shutterstock

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Yet Another Mom’s “Controversial” Breastfeeding Photo

Monday, February 16th, 2015

In a time when conversations about public breastfeeding and loving a woman’s natural, self are happening everywhere—one would think the world would be more accepting and appreciative of the images. But this is still not the case and Jade Beall, a photographer and mother, realizes this all too often.

Beall is the founder of “A Beautiful Body Project,” a photo project that aims to display “truthful images of women” that are not airbrushed or Photoshopped, especially women who breastfeed. Her project was inspired by a nude breastfeeding self-portrait she took, and the physical and emotional changes she experienced after the birth of her son.

Recently, Beall posted a photo of seven naked moms (all with diverse bodies) breastfeeding their babies on her Facebook page (see below). Within hours, the photo received almost 9,000 likes and 3,000 comments—but with all the positive feedback came the negative. Facebook users, mostly men, left comments requesting that the image be taken down.

Jade Beall Photography - Breastfeeding Women

Finally, someone reported the image because one of the women’s nipples had not been blurred out, and Facebook removed the photo from their site. This wasn’t the first time one of her photos was removed, but Beall had made sure to blur out nipples and private areas. Unfortunately, Beall had missed one nipple, but she quickly replaced the old image with a newly edited (nipple-free) version.

Facebook does allow photos of breastfeeding these days (as opposed to a few years ago), but the site still has a strict policy on how photos display nudity. Although blurring out a nipple may fulfill Facebook’s guidelines for now, Beall and so many other moms will still continue to advocate for the display of a woman’s most natural self when breastfeeding.

“I love seeing a room full of diverse bodies feeding their babies, the very bodies that made and gave life to the babies!” she told The Huffington Post.  ”When we see a woman with the untypical body type feeling empowered and vulnerable to pose for an artist, it’s like somehow I break the rules of what is acceptable for how much skin a woman ‘should’ show. And to show her allowing her breasts to be used in a completely un-sexualized manner, that really rocks the boat.”

We want to hear your thoughts: Do you think this photograph pushs the limits? Or do you think society should get with the program and appreciate photographs like Beall’s?

Plus: See gorgeous celebrity breastfeeding photos!

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding

Photo of diverse women breastfeeding featured with permission of Jade Beall Photography

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Why Are Black Moms Breastfeeding Less Than White Moms?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

mom-with-newbornBreastfeeding may be on the rise in the United States, but black moms continue to lag behind when it comes to nursing.

The stats are a real eye-opener: 79 percent of white babies born in 2010 were breastfed from birth, compared with 62 percent of black babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By six months, 52 percent of white babies were still nursing, compared with 36 percent of black babies, reports the BBC.

Though several reasons for the discrepancy have been offered up, including access to jobs that offer maternity leave and a private place to pump, the CDC may have uncovered a new one: hospitals.

As reported in the Huffington Post, the CDC examined 2,643 hospitals across the country and found that ones in zip codes with more than 12.2 percent black residents were dropping the ball when it came to breastfeeding education and support. In some cases, the disparity is particularly striking. Compared to hospitals in zip codes with fewer black residents, these facilities were less likely to help new moms breastfeed within an hour of baby’s birth (46 percent compared with 59.9 percent). They were also more lax on limiting infants’ meals to breast milk (13.1 percent compared with 25.8 percent), and were less prone to letting infants spend the majority of their hospital stay in the same room as mom, which helps promote breastfeeding (27.7 compared with 39.4 percent).

And make no mistake — those early days with baby are a perfect time for moms to learn best practices when it comes to nursing. “Hospital practices during that childbirth period have a major impact on whether a mother is able to start and continue breastfeeding,” said Jennifer Lind, the lead researcher on the CDC study. “So it’s very important that hospitals support mothers in their breastfeeding decisions and follow the recommended policies that have been proven to support breastfeeding.”

Still, experts point out, a supportive hospital environment can only go so far. Breastfeeding moms need continued support from their community after they’ve been discharged and especially if they return to work — two areas some say are lacking. (Kimberly Seals Allers, who organized Black Breastfeeding Week this week, told the Huffington Post that people wondered whether her baby was getting enough food from exclusive breastfeeding, and some told her that nursing “is for poor people.”).

Which makes high-profile events like Black Breastfeeding Week all the more important. For its part, the CDC and the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality are conducting a three-year project focused on raising breastfeeding rates at 89 hospitals in low-income areas. And it’s money well spent. After all, every mother should be given all the facts and all the support she needs before deciding whether to breastfeed.

Tell us: What kind of breastfeeding education did you receive after delivering your baby?

Wondering what’s next for your baby? Visit our Baby Milestone Tracker to see what big changes are coming up. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch
How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch
How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch

Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock

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