Photo of Military Moms Breastfeeding in Uniform Sparks Controversy

A photograph of two mothers who are members of the military breastfeeding while wearing their uniforms is sparking controversy as it circulates across the Internet.  The photos are part of a breastfeeding awareness campaign called Mom2Mom of Fairchild Air Force Base.  Yahoo! News has more:

The photo is part of a local breastfeeding awareness campaign by Mom2Mom of Fairchild Air Force Base, a support group launched in January by Crystal Scott, a military spouse and mother of three. Among the intimate close-ups of smiling young mothers cuddling their adorable babies, the images of the two airmen stand out.

“People are comparing breastfeeding in uniform to urinating and defecating in uniform. They’re comparing it to the woman who posed in “Playboy” in uniform [in 2007]” Scott told Yahoo! Shine in an interview. “We never expected it to be like this.”

“I’m an X-ray tech and I breastfeed in my uniform all the time,” Scott says. “Granted they’re scrubs. But people do it all the time in their uniforms. If you have a hungry baby, why would you take the time to change completely?”

Image: Military moms, via Mom2Mom

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  1. by nld

    On June 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    There is more power in loving humans,(moms/dads/caregivers)raising children then in ANY power going to war. One power is always positive,the other can be negative! IF we dont teach/love/empower our children who is going to do it?I raised five

  2. by Megan

    On June 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I am still breastfeeding my almost two year old…best thing I could do for him and I wont stop until he says so. Why would a women change her clothes to feed a baby? No controversy here! Why to go Mommas!!!!

  3. by Jessica

    On June 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Oh please. If people want to get up in arms about what is done in uniform – then do a google image search for “sexy women in uniform” and you will come up with a lot more distasteful/disgraceful images than breastfeeding uniform. Go after THOSE women, not the women who are feeding their children.

  4. by Reanna

    On June 1, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Its ridiculous that people are talking crazu crap about these women. Who cares where or how or when or even what their wearing…the fact of the matter is that they are breastfeeding their baby. So what their in uniform. I do it whereever whenever. Its what you are suppose to do, how about we all start frowning upon mothers who formula feed only and jip their babies on breastmilk that is so beneficial for them. Maybe if people stop talking crap about mothers who breastfeed those moms who didnt/dont would. People make me sick.

  5. by Monica

    On June 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    You are held to a higher standard when you are in military uniform. You are not supposed to kiss, hold hands, put your hands in your pockets, walk while talking on your cell phone, walk while smoking a cigarette, or walk while eating or drinking. I believe breast feeding falls in that category. As a soldier, sailor, airmen or marine, you have the option to be discharged with no consequences at 6 months pregnant or later. If you are not willing to commit to the fact that you can’t breastfeed in public, you have the option to be discharged.

  6. by Liz

    On June 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    How unreal that this is controversial! Come on people!! Breastfeeding is what breasts are for, kudos to these Mamas! Thank you for your service, and it’s a damn shame that you have to be brave in order to feed your sweet baby/babies in the view of others.

  7. by Trista

    On June 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Monica, I do not see why these women need to lose their jobs as a result of their commitment to breastfeeding their children. The members of our armed forces already sacrifice so much. Do they really need to give up more to make other people more comfortable?

  8. by Kristi

    On June 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    When your in uniform you have an image to uphold, my husband is a Commissionaire which is made up of military and police, and they cant drink anything eat or smoke in public. These women couldnt fly jets while pregnant and you get called off to afghanistan with no warning. So they should still be on mat leave and not working while still breast feeding. Also makes it harder for women to be accepted in the military

  9. by Kristin

    On June 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Awesome for them! As a woman in the military and a first time mom, I think this is great. Yes, we are held to different standard and yes we do have standards, however, there are currently ZERO policies, regulations that say a women can’t breast feed in uniform. So two things…get over it, we are moms too and deserve to give our best to our babies and these good ol boys are just going to have to learn how to accept it!!!

  10. by Monica

    On June 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    @Trista, as a war veteran and mother, I still personally find this unprofessional and inappropriate. I happily breastfed my son privately.

  11. by Anonymous

    On June 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Why are people constantly trying to control the actions of others, let people do what they want, our president just endorsed gay marriage, as unnatural an act as you can get in my opinion, and yet people are worried about these moms doing the most natural of all things, what they were designed to do!

  12. by mb

    On June 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Tell me what soldier does not kiss or hokd hands in uniform. I kissed my hubs and he kissed back before he left for deployment, ntc, tdy…
    PROUD ARMY WIFE

    continue breastfeeding!!

  13. by julie

    On June 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I love how Monica says people in uniform are held to a “higher standard” as though breastfeeding doesn’t meet those standards. Such ignorance.

  14. by Veronica

    On June 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion but we are woman (mothers) and breast feeding is part of being a mother if you choose. I was a police officer for 13 years until I was recently forced to retire due to a back injury. After my daughter was born I pumped every night while working graveyard on patrol. I am a workaholic and went to work just two months after giving birth because I missed it. I didn’t want to be selfish so I pumped and breast feed as long as I could. I wanted to provide that extra nutrition needed for my daughter. I was never out in Public because I had to take my uniform, police duty belt off, and upper half of uniform. We are career woman of today. We make a sacrifice for the better mint of our families and it becomes a problem because????

  15. by Zatanah

    On June 2, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Can we Pleeeeeeease stop with the exposed breast feeding campaigns already. Everyone KNOWS women have them and there used for feeding the little ones so it’s not ground breaking news. There’s nothing wrong with being proud about it, but it doesn’t need to splattered in peoples face to make a point.

  16. by Mona

    On June 2, 2012 at 3:26 am

    So what they’re essentially saying is that it’s morally acceptable to risk your life and kill your enemies for your country, but nursing your own baby in uniform is morally suspect?! I don’t get the controversy. If anything, this puts a human face on the women risking their lives so you don’t have to! Hats off to you, ladies!

  17. by Irma

    On June 2, 2012 at 6:34 am

    like and love this picture….way to go to this ladies!

  18. by Ahna

    On June 2, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Ley me start with I am currently breastfeeding baby #5, and each child has been breastfeeding till the age of two.. I’m 100% for breastfeeding., the lady holding one child is covered and I find no offense in her photo, but the other lady who posed for a photo with her breasts showing is innapropriate, she made it an issue by taking the picture in uniform and showing breast. That is not going to help the stigma we face with breastfeeding in public, it will only make it worse. If I’m at a restaurant and my baby must eat I will nurse at a table, but with class, with nothing exposed and with discretion. Out of respect to someone near that takes offense, and common courtesy is that if I use discretion nobody would ever say something to me. Nor have they, and with five children that’s 10yrs of breastfeeding… This picture is innapropriate, and lacking class.. Nursing in uniform should be acceptable, but posing for a picture is not.. Now had she laid a burp cloth down the center of her breast I would have said more power to you, but I find this photo with being in uniform offensive.

  19. by cathy

    On June 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I”m so sick of all this controversey about something thatbreak is so natural relley people give me break. and sorry to all those women and men that are so selfish and onley think about breast as a sexual part of womens bodies but they were ment for the perpose of feeding are children excuse us for taking the time to nurture and love are children sorry we dont take five minutes to prop a bottle and go about are buisness all of you that critisize us get a life .

  20. by virginia

    On June 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Once people stop viewing breast as a product of sex and understand that they were designed to feed our children then this stuff wont even happen. Your a moron if u have a oroblem with a woman nursing in any attire.

  21. by anon

    On June 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Monica is crazy.

  22. by Olivia

    On June 4, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I think this is an amazing gift to be able to give your child. It does not matter what you are wearing when your child is hungry they are hungry. I was not able to breast feed my daughter as she was in the NICU and by the time she was released I was no longer producing milk I wish I could have been able to experience this bond.

  23. by Iphie

    On June 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    This is just ridiculous. Please if your baby is hungry breastfeed him/her. So a child has to starve just to please some senseless humans. I breastfeed my child anywhere, everywhere. I don’t care what people say or what they think so long as my child is getting her nutrition, I’m fine. I’ve been ridiculed before because of this. But that hasn’t stopped me either. Breastfeeding is so much better than whatever they are putting in the formula. If you can do it please do as much as you can and as long as you can and anywhere if need be. You will reap the good harvest when your pediatrician sees you less often. I was breastfed till 1 year and my mom barely took me to the hospital even till now. I can count how many times I have been to a clinic. Your child is getting more than nutrition. She is getting protection too, but that only happens if the mother is healthy and eating well.

  24. by MilitaryMommy

    On June 5, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Ugh! No one has an issue with military moms nursing! The issue is them openly exposed, nursing in uniform, in public, POSING for a flippin picture for a non-military sanctioned breastfeeding awareness campaign!!! They violated the UCMJ! We are not allowed to eat, smoke, chew gum, drink, hold hands, kiss (yes, leaving for deployment is an exception), and talk on cell phones while in uniform. (To make matters even more offensive, they’re not wearing covers while outdoors!) People in the military aren’t allowed the same “freedoms” as civilians. We KNOWINGLY give up some of those rights when enlisting to protect the freedoms you all enjoy!!! There are codes of conduct that we are expected to be followed! No one would have a problem with a military mom nursing in uniform if she at least TRIED to be modest & mindful & respectful of the codes of conduct & rules for behavior while in uniform! (At least no one did in the year that I breastfed!) We fought for YEARS to be respected in the military the same way the men are, so is it fair, maybe not, but reality is we are built differently and if we want to go overseas and fight side beside them, they must think of us as equals, not mommies. That’s not saying there is anything wrong with us military mommies, but in theater, you squad needs to know you have their back & if they’re thinking of you as the nurturing mommy, not the solider they’ve been training side by side with, it is a safety issue. Oh, and the whole breast are for food not sexual objects argument is total bs! They are both! Pretty sure Adam sinned for a beautiful Eve, not for a hairy dude!  Women back in the 1600s didn’t wear corsets because they were comfortable! I’d be willing to bet, that at some time in their lives, at least 95% of American women have used their breasts to increase their sex appeal, so denying that makes them hypocrites!  And I am SOOO sick of hearing about how moms that use formula are somehow less of a mom then those of us that bf! Unless you know why a woman ended up using formula, you have no right to judge! 

  25. by Dianne

    On June 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Urinating and defacating is also natural but no one is posing for photos in uniform doing those things. I am mother to a happy and healthy 1 year old boy. I could not breast feed my son and I’m tired of having this rubbed in my face. Of course breast feeding is best but some people are unable for medical reasons. Quit making them feel like bad mothers because of it. As far as the issue of breast feeding in uniform is concerned, I find it disgraceful that these women would pose for a photo while breast feeding period! This is a private thing. There is no shame in doing it in public IF YOU COVER UP. Just because you don’t find anything wrong with it, have respect for those that it makes uncomfortable and cover up. Not everyone wants to see your breasts!

  26. by Elise

    On June 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    It’s amazing to me that all over magazine covers, commercials & TV that cleavage and breasts are exposed but with a nipple in a child’s mouth it becomes offensive. One person said they didn’t mind as long as the mom was covered. You see more breast in a bra commercial that airs on public channels then the mom feeding the 2& yet there’s offense for that? This world is backwards & receding daily! We approve sexual immorality & sell products by using scantily clad women but God forbid you see a breast used in the way it was designed to be. We need more people to continue to do what needs to be done & as terrible as family situations have become we should want & support more mothers care for the children of our future. Get it together America! We allow teen girls to walk around the mall in bra tops but breastfeeding should be done in private? Silly

  27. by PMac

    On June 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I breastfed all of my 3 babies. My mother in law told me that I didn’t need to feed my son that nasty stuff. I think that everyone has an opinion of breastfeeding and it’s the most natural thing in the world. I think that it’s the right of every woman, regardless of career, to be able to breastfeed their baby, if that is what they choose. I would never feed in public without a blanket covering me, so I can understand the controversy, but this was used for a poster campaign for breastfeeding. And they probably need the support group, just look at all the controversy. Even women in the military, have a right to breastfeed, even in uniform.

  28. by PMac

    On June 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I breastfed all of my 3 babies. My mother in law told me that I didn’t need to feed my son that nasty stuff. I think that everyone has an opinion of breastfeeding and it’s the most natural thing in the world. I think that it’s the right of every woman, regardless of career, to be able to breastfeed their baby, if that is what they choose. I would never feed in public without a blanket covering me, so I can understand the controversy, but this was used for a poster campaign for breastfeeding. And they probably need the support group, just look at all the comments. Even women in the military, have a right to breastfeed, even in uniform.

  29. by John West

    On June 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Women have been breastfeeding since the dawn of man. It’s perfectly natural, and I don’t see what all the fuss is about. For you sick people out there who are trying to equate breastfeeding with some kind of erotic porn, get a life. There’s nothing shocking about breastfeeding, even in public, to normal people. If you are shocked at breastfeeding, then seek counsiling, but leave the mothers alone!

  30. by CB

    On June 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    These young women should each receive discipline entered into an Unfavorable Information File (UIF) for disorderly conduct prejudicial to good order and disciple. To voluntarily expose yourself, in uniform, disgraces it publicly and absolutely must not be allowed. Make the point some other way.

    By the way, breastfeed in private. Have some decorum. Seriously. The argument that it’s natural is a nonsequitur. Any number of bodily functions are natural, but better left to private environs.

    For what it’s worth, I wish everyone would put on a few more clothes.

  31. [...] on “attachment parenting,” which promotes, among other things, breast-feeding beyond infancy. Parent magazine recently profiled two military mothers breastfeeding in public while in uniform.  For some, this [...]

  32. by Gypsy Chaos

    On June 18, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Ahna stated “Now had she laid a burp cloth down the center of her breast I would have said more power to you, but I find this photo with being in uniform offensive.”
    … Really? Seeing LESS breast than displayed by many celebrities on red carpets is offensive? And a burb cloth would make all the difference in the world??
    … The woman on the left is nursing TWO babies. As a mother of twins, I promise you that it is nearly impossible to keep a blanket over two – two grasping hands easily toss it aside. It’s hard enough holding and nursing two at the same time! Dealing with hot babies squirming under a blanket is more distracting – and attention-drawing – than no blanket.

    MilitaryMommy states “We are not allowed to eat, smoke, chew gum, drink, hold hands, kiss (yes, leaving for deployment is an exception), and talk on cell phones while in uniform. (To make matters even more offensive, they’re not wearing covers while outdoors!)”
    …. I have GREAT difficulty believing your statement since I have observed Navy seamen and officers doing every one of the things you say are prohibited.***
    …. As for your concern about their lack of covers {‘hats’ to those unfamiliar with military lingo} while outdoors: it is highly likely that they are inside, sitting in front of a painted backdrop.

    ***I’ve eaten with military members. They drank too. I’ve seen plenty smoking on ships’ flight decks in port or underway, or in designated areas on bases. Cell phones? Used frequently. I’ve seen hand-holding and kissing while on a dependents’ cruise. I can’t say that I’ve seen anyone chewing gum; it’s not something I would notice.

  33. by mare

    On June 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Anyone affiliated with the military knows better to feed child in uniform, thats not what military is about. I just hope for thoses always going off post etc. to walmart out to eat uniform would eventually have something said too, because truth is you are supposed to only be working in uniform, but then again strange the lady ahead all of this was in the military, she knew better, she just did not want to follow the rules, even most spouses know what can and cannot be done, and she was a Military member before this, just show there are rules, and yes some civilians may not understand, but its different in military uniform bdu,abu etc. then it would be at a civilian job, there is the UCMJ and so many other codes of conduct she should of researched online, also sounds like she knew better or at least should have.

  34. by mare

    On June 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    and of course a lot OF people do not follow conduct, but i guess it just depends if they are caught, but when I see someone doing something in uniform or a wife etc.. then i just think I m not its worth the getting in trouble for anyone, and hope there are good role models in the US military so not all end up not following conduct etc. which by then im sure some would be caught. I can understand baby needs to eat, but shoot my hubby doesnt go play with me or kids unless hes out of uniform and yeah I have seen a lot of kissing in uniform and crazy things, but yeah some break rules some do not doesnt mean that people do not get caught.

  35. [...] “People are comparing breastfeeding in uniform to urinating and defecating in uniform. They’re c… [...]

  36. by Mundo

    On July 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I think these women are a disgrace to the uniform! I have been in the military for 12 years and had 3 kids and breastfed each one. Theres a diffeence though…i did it in privacy! These women disgrace their unit, the uniform, and the military. They wanna be walking around with their breasts out, then do it in civilian clothes. Not in military uniform! All those of you who are posting “good for you” without being in the military just dont have a clue about professionalism and what is expected out of us that are in uniform! They deserve any punishment they get!

  37. by ARMY MOM

    On July 9, 2012 at 4:27 am

    PEOPLE KEEP SAYING “WALKING AROUND” FIRST OFF THEY ARE SITTING DOWN, AND IT IS PROPER TO SIT DOWN IN PUBLIC TO EAT…
    THEY HAVE TO WEAR THEIR UNIFORMS, AND THEY HAVE TO FEED THEIR BABY, SO SOME OF YOU SERIOUSLY NEED TO USE YOUR PASSION FOR GOOD.
    WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HOME OF THE “FREE” AND LAND OF THE “BRAVE” SO BE FREE MOMMAS AND FEED THOSE BABIES, WHO MAY GROW UP TO BE AMAZING SOLDIERS.. LET THEM EAT. THEY ARE NOT WALKING AROUND INSIDE WITH THEIR HATS ON.. NOT SMOKING, FOR HUMANITIES SAKE, FEED THE BABIES AND DO IT PROUD IN UNIFORM LADIES.. UNTIL THERE IS AN ACTUAL LAW, THEY ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL. AND YOU GALS ARE PUNISHING THEM WITH YOUR WORDS FOR “OPINIONS” NOT “FACTS” GET IT STRAIGHT AND GET IT RIGHT, LOOK IN THE MIRROR BEFORE YOU START JUDGING, FOR ONLY ONE CAN FULLY JUDGE US, AND THAT IS OUR MAKER.. GOD~~ WHO, BY THE WAY, MADE SURE WE HAD MILK ON HAND TO FEED OUR BABIES.. WOW I KNOW 6 AMERICANS WHO DIED IN THE LAST 2 DAYS IN AFGHANISTAN, AND THIS IS AN ISSUE???? I GUESS SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST UNHAPPY AND WANT TO MAKE OTHERS SEE THEIR IMMATURITY..

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