Nursing photos cause unusual fury

A photo of two military moms breastfeeding their babies has stirred up a breastfeeding controversy like no other. Is breastfeeding in military uniform bad form, or is a big deal being made out of an amazingly sweet picture for nothing?

A photo of two happy mothers nursing their children can sometimes be reason enough to create controversy, but if the moms are in military uniform then it creates a whole new level of response. In what is a local campaign run by a military mom to promote breastfeeding awareness (Mom2Mom of Fairchild Air Force Base), the photo has suddenly been launched into the national eye. Is it appropriate to nurse your baby while wearing a military uniform?

The campaign

Started by Crystal Scott, mother of three and a military wife, Mom2Mom created a series of photos to create breastfeeding support and awareness. The photos are touching, beautiful and amazing, but the photo of two moms nursing their little ones while wearing their military uniforms has struck a nerve. Public displays of affection are not allowed while wearing military uniforms (neither are talking on a cell phone while walking nor carrrying an umbrella that’s not black, among other things), but breastfeeding isn’t addressed specifically.

"I'm proud to be wearing a uniform while breastfeeding"

The photo features Terran Echegoyen-McCabe, a member of the Air National Guard, nursing her 10-month-old twins, and Christina Luna, nursing her daughter. Echegoyen-McCabe has been surprised by the swift and negative response to the photos. She said, “I'm proud to be wearing a uniform while breastfeeding. I'm proud of the photo and I hope it encourages other women to know they can breastfeed whether they're active duty, guard or civilian."

Not cool

Many people have felt that this photo is inappropriate on many levels. A user commenting on Yahoo!’s article stated, “The issue at hand is that they are doing it in uniform and in public! Those not in the military do not know or understand. These women were wrong in taking this picture for others to see.”

Another user, Todd, agreed. “Being former military, I find this disrespectful to the uniform they wear — however, that is my opinion,” he shared. And Cricket, mom of four and a staunch supporter of breastfeeding, could tell where the outrage may stem from. “I can still see how it would be an issue," she shared. "I'm all for breastfeeding but when you sign those papers to enlist, you become government property. You have just given them the right to tell you what to do or not to do, any and everything. Including wether [sic] or not to breastfeed in uniform."

Get over it

Others felt the outrage was misplaced and in some instances, silly. “I question the morality of letting a child go hungry because of what you're wearing,” stated Melissa from Texas. “Neither a silk blouse nor a uniform define what you do as a mother. Can a father not parent his young while in uniform?”

Barbara, mom of four kids, was of the same mindset. “Oh, so now the sacrilegious issue of the day is wearing a military uniform while breastfeeding your baby,” she shared. “I guess the bodily function police forgot to have a problem with guys who whip out their penises to urinate on the battlefield.” Lisa, mother of one, concurred. “It gets very tiresome having to weed through nonsense like this to get to actual news,” she explained. “When are people going to get over breasts being used to feed children and focus on real issues?”

Good intentions

Regardless of what public opinion is, the photo represents two moms working for our country and feeding their children naturally. They are happy, relaxed and content, and their little ones are well-loved and nourished. It remains to be seen if the military will create a new rule on breastfeeding in uniform, but it can be hoped that breastfeeding awareness has been raised by the picture gaining attention in the public eye.

Tell us

Do you think this photo crosses the line? Or is it a good thing to see military moms nursing?

Image credit: Brynja Sigurdardottir Photography (Facebook | Website)

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Comments

Comments on "Is breastfeeding in a military uniform taboo?"

Renee September 19, 2012 | 8:26 PM

I STAND BY YOU LADIES 100%!! DONT LET THESE OTHER PEOPLE GET YOU DOWN!! gUESS THEY DONT KNOW WHATS BEST!!

Lael July 22, 2012 | 8:21 PM

Breastfeading is natural. American's have hangups about breasts in public. If you've got a problem with a woman breastfeeding in your line of sight, look away. No one is forcing you to watch and no one wants to hear your rude comments.

Lilly June 15, 2012 | 1:28 PM

Everyone talks about breastfeeding in public being "NATURAL". All bodily functions are natural including human excrement. Natural does NOT equate to publicly acceptable. Really, get a room or turn in your uniform.

Nina June 06, 2012 | 12:48 PM

I was just doing this the other day in uniform. I have a 2,3 yr olds and a 6 week old. The sitter had taken them to the park when I met up with them off duty. Baby was hungry, my boobs were full, I whipped out my boob to feed him. BUT I was covered so you couldn't see my stuff even in uniform. I don't see an issue for us women to not breastfeed in uniform as long as we're covered. If my babys hungry Im not about to tell him "sorry honey I know your newborn ut i cant feed you bxuz im in uniform". Thats the wrong answer.

LaieSun June 04, 2012 | 5:31 PM

I think this has to do more with modesty. I have no problem with mothers breast feeding in public. Most are modest in that they put a cover over their shoulders. There is no reason to expose your breast having your kid sucking at your nipple.I think if you are exposing your breasts while breast feeding you are wanting people to LOOK--

Dru June 04, 2012 | 12:07 PM

Why should breastfeeding women be reduced to hiding in a bathroom or a corner, shunned like they are doing something dirty, perverted or unnatural? The big problem is that people confuse nudity with uality and if you do then you are the one with the deep seeded issue and should seek help. Also if you do not like why the hell are you looking at them doing it maybe some sick twisted ual deviant thoughts going on as you stare, that's what you don't like...

Britney June 04, 2012 | 5:28 AM

I'm a veteran of the US Air Force and I find it completely disrespectful for theses Airmen to take this picture. I also have a baby boy who I breast feed for the first year and did it in public but as I have ALWAYS seen others in public do, wear a cover up! It would be fine if these women did the same! It's a complete joke on whoever commented that men can pull out their penis and pee in a war zone because guess what that's why women are not allowed on the front line, we are a threat to the men and a huge distraction. Plus you can't have children or be pregnant in a war zone! I would know, in Iraq we set home with multiple women pregnant and facing trouble because they weren't allowed to have in a war zone. The military owns the people under contract, it's what you volunteer for and that includes covering up when you breast feed.

TIOMACHY June 02, 2012 | 4:50 AM

GET OVER IT. BREASTFEEDING IS THE MOST NATURAL AND HEALTHIEST MANNER IN WHICH TO NOURISH YOUR BABY! I DO NOT GIVE A RAT'S A$$ IF MOM IS IN UNIFORM. LET HER FEED HER CHILD....OR CHILDREN! YOU WANT WOMEN IN THE MILITARY? ACCEPT THAT THEY ARE VERY DIFFERENT CREATURES FROM MEN, AND THAT HAVE THE POWER TO FIGHT LIKE ANY MAN, AND NOURISH THEIR YOUNG. THEY HAVE A SUPER POWER, AND THAT IS THEY MAKE MILK SUITABLE FOR MAINTAINING LIFE! GET OVER THIS BULL$**T

Mary June 01, 2012 | 10:28 PM

My comment is that it doesn't matter if they wear a uniform or not the point is breast feeding is fine but do it in privacy ,either in bathroom or corner of restaurant not do the world to see I don't need to look at womens breast with there child sucking on them if they need to do that do it in privatev in today's world nothing is sacred . After a year of age there is no reason to start on bottles not having a three year old suck on your breasts it's crazy it's like don't teach them to go to the bathroom let them just go in there pants till 10 being there is o limit for nything today anything goes today if he stars do it on the ll the magazines it's fine . I shake my head every day what's next waking down th street going to the bathroom outside no shame no class sure breast feeding is ok but in private please ........

Amy June 01, 2012 | 6:30 AM

Breastfeeding in a uniform should not be a big deal at all. As a new mom, I've had to breastfeed in public a few times. Though I don't think it matters what the mom is wearing (a uniform or otherwise), I do think the ladies should have covered up a little more. I'm fine with breastfeeding in public and seeing others breastfeed, as long as there is a blanket or something covering you up.

Chelsea May 31, 2012 | 1:53 PM

The photo is beautiful, the mothers look so happy. It's sad that this has become an issue. Thanks ladies for serving our country and nursing your babies, too.

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