Breastfeeding on Sesame Street? Why yes, breastfeeding mamas used to be part of the children’s classic in the 1970s and 80s, but that faded in the 90s.
Women were often seen nursing and would explain the way they breastfed their babies to the Muppet characters and the kids on the show.
In this video clip, Sonia Manzano, as Maria, explains to one of the characters, “She’s drinking milk from my breast.”
When asked if that’s the only way she can feed Gabriella, Maria shares, “Oh no, sometimes I feed her this way and sometimes I feed her with a bottle … But you know, I like this way the best. It’s natural, it’s good for her and I get a chance to hug her some more.”
And then, apparently, the taboo about baring the breast for nursing pushed its way to the surface and the breastfeeding moms took a backseat to the bottle.
It’s a shame, because Sesame Street could use this as a teaching opportunity, but also an opportunity to show how completely normal and natural it is.
Amazingly, a song that aired on Sesame Street in the 70s, called “You’re My Baby” had a clip of a breastfeeding woman removed when it was updated for the 90s.
An online petition to get breastfeeding back on Sesame Street has been steadily gaining signatures. Here’s the goal of the petition:
“We are not asking Sesame Street to remove bottle feeding. We are asking that both ways of feeding babies be shown as normal. If we normalize breastfeeding in our community, especially with our children, we can help raise a generation of breastfeeders which will support our economy, make for healthier children and lessen the risk of breast cancer for many nursing mamas!”
Did you sign the petition?