Almost all breastfeeding moms have snapped a pic of themselves nursing their babes at one point or another. After all, when your little mush is staring up at you with that milk-drunk smile, how could you not want to capture it? And while lots of us feel downright accomplished once we get the hang of breastfeeding — especially if we faced challenges at the beginning — some photographic evidence can make us feel even more badass.
The “brelfie” trend (of snapping selfies while breastfeeding) isn’t exactly new. Moms have been doing this pretty much since smartphones began to rule our lives. But they’re making headlines now for one amazing reason: The U.N. is jumping on the “brelfie” bandwagon. According to Reuters, Fadela Chaib, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization, chimed in on the “brelfie” phenomenon at a U.N. briefing in Geneva this past Friday, saying “It’s absolutely to be encouraged.”
“Everything that can be done, should be done,” said Christophe Boulierac, a UNICEF spokesman. And so, Bouilierac is encouraging moms to share their pics for World Breastfeeding Week, which kicked off Monday, explaining that the more people talk openly about breastfeeding, the more opportunities we have to educate each other about the benefits of it, and improve the lives of babies and children worldwide.
“This is a golden opportunity,” Boulierac says about the sharing of “brelfies,” and the movement to normalize breastfeeding.
Obviously, whether or not you decide to post your own breastfeeding photos is a very personal choice, and no mother should think she “must” do so for any reason. But Chaib, Boulierac, and other breastfeeding advocates make a very good point: If breastfeeding is seen as something that you must keep behind closed doors, how are mothers ever going to feel like breastfeeding — particularly in public — is as normal and conducive to everyday living as bottle-feeding?
Let’s face it: We’ve come a long way in terms of normalizing breastfeeding, but we still have a long way to go. Breastfeeding moms are harassed for breastfeeding in public almost daily (I’ve even endured it myself), which makes other new moms feel anxious about the possibility of that happening to them. Some end up feeling tied to their homes or their breast-pumps; others switch to formula.
But what if breastfeeding was as normal as walking, talking, or breathing? Because let’s be honest — if you saw a photo of a mom feeding her baby with a bottle, would you even flinch? Therein lies the main point of sharing “brelfies” — to flood our social media feeds with images of breastfeeding to the point that we don’t even notice them anymore; so that breastfeeding our babies becomes as uncontroversial as pushing them in a stroller, bundling them up in a blanket, and rocking them in our arms.
Again, not all moms should be expected to do it, but let’s hear it for the moms who share their “brelfies” online in an effort to #NormalizeBreastfeeding and spread the word that it’s beautiful, natural, and super-healthy for babies and moms.
— Katelyn Halgrimson (@katelyn19amber) August 1, 2016
— Charlie Ross (@charlgrace) July 28, 2016
Let’s see your best #brelfie! Tweet at us @BabbleEditors, and yours could be featured right here.