Childrearing

A Picture Of A Child ‘Play Breastfeeding’ Is Not Porn – But It Doesn’t Belong On Facebook

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A Picture Of A Child  Play Breastfeeding  Is Not Porn   But It Doesn t Belong On Facebook shutterstock 102166486 300x200 jpgWhen I gave birth to my daughter, my adorable little niece was two-and-a-half. My family has always been really close, and I spent plenty of time in those first few months with my niece, who loved seeing her cousin. At some point during those visits, my niece saw me nurse my daughter. Honestly, I wasn’t shy about anything when I was in the privacy of my own home, though I’m pretty sure I covered up for the sake of company. (Most of the time.) Anyways, my curious niece inquired and her mother and I explained the basics of nursing.

A couple days later, I got a phone call from my sister. She was laughing so hard that I could barely understand her. She was kind of losing her breath. Finally, she managed to let me know that her toddler was playing in the toy room, “nursing” her baby doll through her belly button.

I don’t know that we ever got a picture of the process, but the story became a favorite family laugh. My sister or I would retell it every once in a while and how hilarious that moment had been, her daughter happily feeding her hungry baby from the only place she could assume milk came out of. The whole thing was ridiculous, and ridiculously adorable.

Why am I sharing this cute family anecdote? Not just to embarrass my niece when she gets older, though I’m sure she’ll thank me for that. I’m sharing it to show that young girls “playing breastfeeding” is not abnormal. It’s not dirty. It’s nothing but another way that young girls attempt to imitate their mothers.

Unfortunately, not everyone things that this innocuous imaginative play is so innocent. Apparently, Facebook finds it downright pornographic.

Recently, a Seattle mom posted a picture of her two girls playing at the whole breastfeeding thing. The picture, which you can see here, shows a five-year-old girl with her shirt pulled up and a two-year-old basically kissing her boob. The sisters were very obviously attempting to be “mommy and baby,” a game that every set of girls who ever lived played incessantly as children. The mother, Lauren Ferrari, decided to post the picture to Facebook to share with her friends and family.

A short time later, Ferrari received a message from Facebook saying that the picture violated their rules and that she would be blocked from the social networking site for a week.

Now, mothers have been fighting to show pictures of breastfeeding on Facebook for quite a while now with various levels of success. I understand their mission, to show that nursing a child is not “pornographic,” it’s a natural act that should be more widely accepted. Just like I don’t think a normal nursing image is inappropriate, I don’t think that this one should be deemed “semi-porn” either. It’s two children playing at a completely natural act.

All of that being said, with all the ways that I support breastfeeding, that I understand the situation going on, I still don’t think that the picture needed to be on Facebook. I don’t think it needed to be banned, but I thing it crosses an over-share line. As a mom, I realize what was happening in this picture. I understand what the girls were doing. However, I don’t know that everyone who hadn’t seen something similar would understand or find such an image appropriate.

I’m not saying that this mom was providing dangerous material that could lead a predator to her girls. I don’t believe in that type of victim-blaming. But I do believe that this one of those incidents, which we at Mommyish know all too well, when a mom simply didn’t think about what she was sharing and who she was sharing it with. She didn’t consider all of her “friends” and how they might feel seeing that picture pop up in their feed.

I am not saying this is a bad picture. It’s not gross. It’s definitely not pornographic. I’m just saying that it’s probably not a picture that you needed to post to Facebook.

(Photo: bokan/Shutterstock)

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