Childrearing

STFU Parents: Breastfeeding Etiquette Tips For Facebook In Honor Of World Breastfeeding Week

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World Breastfeeding Week pops off today, and while I am a big supporter of breastfeeding (as much as I am a supporter of the right for women to choose what they do with their bodies), I’m not the biggest supporter of women (and men!) oversharing about breastfeeding on social media. The convergence of these two things occasionally leaves a bad taste in my mouth, because as much as I condone the discussion and promotion of breastfeeding, I don’t necessarily want to know the intimate details of the breastfeeding relationships my friends have with their children. That’s not to say that I find breastfeeding repellent in some way; I honestly don’t. But it irks me that some women’s version of advocacy and awareness results in an onslaught of information and photos that could have remained private. After all, part of what makes bonding so special is that it’s experienced between a mother and child, not a mother, child, and 500 of her friends, neighbors, and relatives.

What irks me even more is knowing that many of the women who choose to disclose such details consider anyone who’s weirded out by them to be anti-breastfeeding. Why does everything have to be so binary? Can’t some of us be pro-breastfeeding and anti-breastfeeding TMI? According to the groups and “proud mamas” on Facebook, the answer to that is no. You’re either all in or you’re a traitor. Well, this year I want to stand up and say YES to breastfeeding advocacy and World Breastfeeding Week awareness, but NO to posting certain details on social media. (Also, NO to the examples previously discussed in a similar column from last year, and here are my thoughts on Facebook’s removal of photos that are noncompliant with the network’s policies.)

Let’s take a look at five status updates you may want to avoid posting this week, even if you are a pro-breastfeeding supporter:

1. Pumping and Driving

There are debates over whether or not it’s safe (or legal, depending on where you live) to express milk while driving, but there’s no debating (in my mind, at least) that the details should be kept offline. Sure, we all tend to multi-task while driving, and it is possible to pump hands-free, but it’s nothing to brag about or even joke about on Facebook. Unless you want people to think you’re Kim Zolciak from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

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