World Breastfeeding Week is a time in which breastfeeding advocates whip out practical advice about the health and bonding benefits of breastfeeding. Fundamentally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m a fan of free food, especially if it’s good for you, and I’m usually a fan of physical bonding, as long as total strangers aren’t involved. However, some people take the “breast is best” philosophy to extremes, judging mothers who don’t breastfeed (as though they put their babies in “harm’s way” by choosing formula) and bragging incessantly about what good breastfeeders they are on social media sites. While I appreciate the awareness aspect of World Breastfeeding Week, that awareness is occasionally spoiled by the sheer amount of breastfeeding coverage that flows through the average newsfeed just about any week of the year.
I’m not suggesting that people keep their thoughts about breastfeeding to themselves except during World Breastfeeding Week; I’m saying that World Breastfeeding Week is almost redundant when celebrated on a site like Facebook. It’d be like having World Running Week to promote exercise when the majority of Facebook users’ friends already have their exercise apps connected to social media. I don’t need my buddy to tell me that running is a great way to combat heart disease during a specific week of the year if he’s already posting how many miles he runs on a near-daily basis. As much as I’m a proponent of World Breastfeeding Week, I tend to use it as an opportunity to remind parents of a few social media etiquette tips they can use year-round. Not everyone needs a lesson in breastfeeding awareness, particularly during the other 51 weeks of the year. Here are some helpful pointers to latch onto:
1. We Get It: Some People Drink Breast Milk
I know that breast milk isn’t that different from cow’s milk and blah blah blah. There will always be people out there who talk about putting breast milk in coffee or in homemade ice cream, and that’s all fine and dandy until it becomes a point of conversation on Facebook. The same way no one wants to know about a friend getting “cleaned out” on a juice cleanse, no one wants to know about the sweet taste of a friend’s “mother’s milk.” Well, except for other mothers. You can start a private group for that.