Facebooks War on Breastfeeding Photos

Sarah - posted on 01/08/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )




This is copied from my friend, Emma's message regarding her deleted facebook account. ALL breastfeeding women should be aware of this-- we need to stand up for our right to breastfeed and for people to realise that breastfeeding is beautiful, normal and natural-- not obscene!!!

Read on:


My name is Emma Kwasnica. I am a 30-year-old Canadian tandem-nursing mother living in Montréal, whose Facebook account has now been entirely disabled over the breastfeeding photos controversy. The official petition group on Facebook is called Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is NOT obscene! . I am reaching out because I think you might be interested in the Facebook fiasco over breastfeeding images, and them being classed as "obscene, sexually explicit and pornographic". Yes, I said breastfeeding. The most loving, selfless act on Earth.

For the record, my entire Facebook account has now been deleted, with no explanation from the administrators of Facebook. While they have not confirmed the reason for disabling my account, I can only suspect it stems from the fact that, in the days leading up to the disabling of my account, I had photos of me breastfeeding my daughters deleted, and was given a "warning" for having had uploaded "obscene" content that renders Facebook "unsafe for children" (please see attached screen shots).

Given the amount of obscene, pornographic, and truly disturbing photos, applications and groups that proliferate across Facebook, I am stunned that this has happened to me. I am an aspiring midwife/Childbirth Educator/ Breastfeeding Counselor; I run a lively discussion group on Facebook called Informed Choice : Birth and Beyond, and have been sharing all of my summarised research, studies, links regarding pregnancy, birth and motherhood with a group of nearly three hundred people, since July 2008. And now, everything that I ever wrote, all my photos, all of my midwifery-related research, has been deleted --right off the face of Facebook. Furthermore, this does not concern me alone, as many (over a hundred ?) other Facebook users had their posts deleted, too, since whole discussion threads were deleted into oblivion, if it was indeed me who began the thread (which, 80% of the time, I had started the threads, since this was my group/me sharing the most recent research relevant to the childbearing/-rearing woman).

Facebook has not responded to my e-mails politely enquiring why my account has been disabled. They remain faceless. Hence the reason why I am now reaching out and going public with my situation. I am desperate to get my words back, and most importantly, the general North American public needs to be made aware of Facebook's disgusting double-standards regarding "decency". I am revolted to report that Facebook allows the likes of a group called "Dead Babies Make Me Laugh", and yet, someone such as myself, who wants nothing but to inspire and help women on their journey to birthing healthy, vibrant babies, has her whole account deleted.

There was also a story done about this on CBC Montreal.. here is the link.....
The news hour broadcast will be available online at CBC's web site for approximately the next 6 hours, here : http://www.cbc.ca/ondemand/newsatsix/mon... (feel free to skip ahead to the Facebook vs. breastfeeding photos segment, which begins at 48:40).

What are your thoughts? Do you nurse in public? Have you received positive and negative responses to your breastfeeding in public ( covered up or not)? Has facebook deleted photos of you or friends breastfeeding?

If you want to join the petition, go to the group: Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is NOT obscene!
You can also join the group: Informed Choice : Birth and Beyond

Thanks for your time mommies!!

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Hope - posted on 11/06/2012




Wow, that's really awful! I've seen waaaay worse on facebook than a pic of a mom breastfeeding. Perhaps they should stroll through a little more often because they'd find some pretty obscene pics. The word obscene doesn't even describe a breastfeeding mom....

Melissa - posted on 03/30/2009




I saw a news special about this on tv. I think most photos of breastfeeding are appropriate and should be left alone. I did see a few on the broadcast which I thought were meant to push the boundaries and inflame people. One showed a woman in a pose that looked like a magazine shot. She was spread out and she was breastfeeding her child with one breast and the other one was also completely exposed--what was the purpose of that exactly if not to show off her body. It looked posed for the camera and not spontaneous at all. I honestly have to say I felt that one was inappropriate while others were perfectly natural looking and not sexual at all. It is really something you would have to see to experience. Not having seen it you cannot know how it felt to me. It is not something I would have personally complained about because when something offends me I don't look at it as I believe in free speech--even if it is offensive-- and minding my own damn business. Most people are not trying to cause a problem in posting these photos so I don't think it is fair to punish everyone because a few people might do something like that. If facebook chooses to have a policy against obscenity they should take it on a case by case basis and deal with individual shots that may push the envelope. Even the supreme court cannot clearly define obscenity other than to say they know it when they see it. As someone mentioned there are tons of photos on here that do not involve breastfeeding that are inappropriate. I hate that the medical community pushes mothers to breastfeed as our duty to our children's health and women are looked down on who don't do it but as a society we treat it like something that needs to go on in a public restroom where no one can see it like it is dirty. Breastfeeding is natural. I plan on doing it for my child. People need to get on the same page. The truth is that a breast is both nourishment for children and also has a role in our sex lives--an aspect which is unfortunately very visible in the media. We need to find a way to reconcile the two while somehow separating these functions. Easier said than done in the minds of some people.

Felecia - posted on 03/29/2009




I am a 21 yr old Breastfeeding MOM to my 4 month old daughter!! This is so sad dont any one remember this was the only way to feed babies in the olden days and still around the world breastfeeding is the only way.. I personally think if you are not even gonna try breastfeeding your not ready to be a mom least try to give your child the best gift you can ever give them... I DO nurse in public what am I to do? Let her go hungry because some one rather see me standing on a bar or pole topless than feeding my beautiful baby girl her food?? I do cover up when it suites me but when the summer comes every one get ready to be uncomfortable cause I am not gonna have my baby sweating than throwing up cause of the heat all because it made them uncomfortable!!!!!!!  THIS MAKES ME SO MAD JUST LIKE PEOPLE GIVING DIRTY LOOKS!! I am sad to say I have gotten alot of dirty looks but hey if they dont like it LOOK AWAY!!!!! LOL I wish your friend the best of luck on her quest to justice.. I prey she gets it.. GOD BLESS

Amanda - posted on 03/29/2009




well i agree it is very wrong for them to delete her and many other accounts and pics. it is a very natural thing and the very best thing u can do for your baby and make me sad that are culture still hasnt fully excepted it yet.i like hayleys point of the cat or dog nursin there babys are fine but not for us so sick. 

while i was prego i went to prenantal classes and they showed us a postcard of a lady in africa breastfeedin a toodler and making basket to sell and she said us what we thought the back of the postcard said to decribe the pic we all mentioned her breastfeedin but on the back it said lady weaving baskets to sell.

its sad how ppl see breastfeedin as unnormal or weird ppl give looks in public like cant u do that somewhere else NO i shouldnt have too and im not goin to either im not goin to sit in a smelly bathroom for ur satafaction and if i were to want to ive never once seen a chair in a bathroom to do so.

 my daughter is 5months now and i do breastfeed her in public at the mall, restaraunts where ever if shes hungry im gonna feed her. i do cover up and never expose myself and my own personial choice is i dont have any pics of mysel breastfeedin on facebook i do have pic of me breastfeedin i just choose not to put them up but i think if u want to u should have the right and beable to do so...just like its complety fine for a man to be shirtless and show off his sixpack be all oily and and actully be takin a sexy tasteless pic is fine are world is a very sad place we have such open minds to everything else like gays, srippers, mutli partners, nude beaches, porn but no not breastfeedin

Amber - posted on 03/29/2009




thats... WRONG! Breastfeeding is not obscene... at least to us moms and ppl who have mature brains. I prefer not to breastfeed in public just b/c its a hassle to cover up and keep covered, but i've done it. I always think that ppl will look and think negatively about it, but i havent had any responses.

Joanna - posted on 03/29/2009





Bridget - posted on 03/29/2009




I have photo's of my daughter and I on facebook, we're breastfeeding quite obviously in them, but I have not had any warnings or items deleted.

Sarah - posted on 01/08/2009




Just wanted to point out again-- this is not me that this happened to, but a friend--- and actually MANY women have had photos deleted by facebook of them nursing-- LOTS!!

Kristi - posted on 01/08/2009




I am disgusted at the thought they erased your profile for feeding your child. Absolutely disgusted. I will join those things you said to ... and keep bugging the admistrators!

Hayley - posted on 01/08/2009




I am really shocked and horrified. I can't get my head around how a picture of a mother feeding her children can be seen as obscene or any other than a natural occurance. Would a picure of a cat nursing a litter of kittens be classed as obscene? No. I don't see any difference between a nursing human and any other animal. I breast-fed my eldest for 8 months (long time in uk!!) and I'm 16 weeks pregnant with my second. I never had a problem having photos taken of me while feeding and I was happy to feed in front of my parents. They didn't bad an eyelid at it. I'm saddened that I will have to vet the pictures of my new baby before posting them. I think a mother nursing her child is a beautiful sight.

I'm sorry that you were treated so terrible. Keep up with the feeding. Your children are more important than other peoples narrow-minded views. xxx

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