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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breastfeeding in uniform – why is this considered offensive?

Have a look at this photo - do you find it offensive?

It seems that some do.

Crystal Scott, founder of the American breastfeeding support group called ‘Mom2Mom’, and a military spouse, was behind the photo as part of a campaign to help support National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in the US.

In the photo, two Air National Guard members are nursing their babies in uniform, and it has garnered lots of attention globally.

"A lot of people are saying it's a disgrace to the uniform," she told the US Today show. "They're comparing it to urinating and defecating [while in uniform]. It's extremely upsetting. Defecating in public is illegal. Breastfeeding is not."

Terran Echegoyen-McCabe is the mother breastfeeding her 10 month old twin daughters in the photo, along with fellow breastfeeding mum Christina Luna, and she says she was surprised by the negative reaction to the photo. 

"There isn't a policy saying we can or cannot breastfeed in uniform," she has said. "I think it's something that every military mom who is breastfeeding has done... I think we do need to be able to breastfeed in uniform and be protected."

While there is no policy about breastfeeding while in uniform, an Air Force spokesperson, Captain Rose Richeson told Today that that "airmen should be mindful of their dress and appearance and present a professional image at all times while in uniform."

Okay, fair call… but is this photo as controversial as it has been made out?

As a former twin breastfeeding mother – yes, sometimes at the same time – I find this image beautiful, natural, and it brings back memories of such lovely, bonding times with my little babies.

What do you think?

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