Movement or Attention Seeking: Where is the Line?

Photo courtesy of @USAToday on Twitter

Photo courtesy of @USAToday on Twitter

Let me begin by saying that I fully support any woman that breastfeeds their child. I believe that breastfeeding is beautiful and natural, however, I also acknowledge that it is challenging and requires support.  I do believe that women in the US are shamed for behavior that should be viewed as a normal part of the parenting process, not just breastfeeding. I also believe that there is no reason you should not be able to or feel confident or comfortable enough to breastfeed your child in public.

That being said, what I do not understand is the new urge to post pictures or videos breastfeeding your child in order to ‘promote’ breastfeeding. I may have many critics when I say this, but I just do not understand how that is pushing for change.  At what point does it cross from supporting a movement to attention seeking? I would challenge that the answer to that is when you have a staged, scripted, or professional video or photo. At that point you are not simply feeding your child – you are now intentionally putting yourself out there with the express purpose to draw attention and opinion about your behavior.

It also seems that mother’s a using breastfeeding as a way to ‘one up’ each other. There is a braggadocios tone to some of the posts that seem to say ‘look how much better of a mother I am, I continue to breastfeed my 3yr old’ and it just insights the mommy wars.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo.com

Photo courtesy of Yahoo.com

Social media has given rise to this behavior and has given mothers a larger platform to share their beliefs and support a cause. Search #Breastfeeding or #Breastfeeding in public you are directed to a page full of both positive and negative posts about breastfeeding. You are given the information about breastfeeding support groups and lactation professionals. However, you are also led to a page full of woman promoting their breastfeeding habits and why their behavior is better than that of other moms.

While I believe that there is a lot of good that the networking of breastfeeding mothers, on social media, can do for women to lend support and share the importance of breastfeeding, there is also a negative side. Social media has a tendency to attract those that are attention seeking and looking to shame other moms – which causes much more harm than the positive side could ever do!

As a society we need to realize that whatever choice a woman makes is the best decision for her, we need to respect that choice, and we do not need to force our choices on others; whether that be trying to convince them to do the same or to seek validation for the they made.

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This entry was posted in Activism, Social Media and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Movement or Attention Seeking: Where is the Line?

  1. sydhavely says:

    wow, Liz. I had no idea.

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