I've become a bit of a Facebook junkie in recent months. It's a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and to reconnect with old friends. Like anything else, it can also be abused. Furthermore, when something gets really popular (as Facebook has) it takes on a life of it's own. This morning I read the following story from my local newspaper:
"Facebook nudity policy draws nursing moms' ire"
I'm a married man and all of my kids have been breastfed. I believe that it's the ideal way for a baby to be fed. I know that a lot of you who read this blog (some of you that I worship with on Sundays) are big breast-feeding supporters (Hold on, I just typed "big breast" on my blog for the very first time--I'm sure that I'll get some new visitors with words like that posted here. I should also point out that by "big breast-feeding supporters" I'm using the word "big" to describe overwhelming approval for breast-feeding and not the actual size of the...oh, never mind.).
Facebook allows you to post pictures and they do a good job of policing it from nudity. Lately, they've stepped up the policing to include pictures of breastfeeding (hence the above mentioned article). I've seen my wife nurse our babies and it's a beautiful thing. But I have no need to see other mom's nurse their kids and I'm quite certain that many (if not most) of those mothers don't want me to watch them breastfeed their children. That doesn't mean that a mom cannot nurse in public. The mother does nothing wrong when she feeds her baby anywhere. I just have no plans to stare at it and I wouldn't want anyone staring at my wife when she was breastfeeding (well, any man).
There certainly is a time and a place for breastfeeding online (like the La Leche League) , but it's probably NOT on a mass-appeal site like Facebook. On top of that, Facebook is a private company. They can make their own rules about what they put on thier site.
I found this quote to be the most interesting from the story:
A member for almost four years, Farley has nearly 400 friends on Facebook, a network she'd be hard-pressed to replicate if she moved to a smaller site with more lenient photo policies. She uses Facebook more than e-mail to stay in touch with far-flung high school and college friends. She especially likes to check out pictures of their babies and share photos of hers. But with a 9-month-old, "it's almost hard to get a picture of me not nursing," she said. (emphasis added by me)If you've accumulated 400 friends on Facebook, you have time to snap a few pictures. I've had three nine-month old children in my lifetime. Two of my sisters-in-law have had twins and, thus, two nine-month olds in the house at the same time while nursing. We've all been able to produce many, many, many, many, many pictures of our babies without their mother's breasts exposed. In fact, I can assure you that we do not have ANY pictures of our children with their mother's breasts exposed (not that I know of, anyway). It wasn't hard or "almost hard" at all.