We started with a bottle emoji many, many updates ago, and on June 30 of this year, the breastfeeding emoji finally arrived to even the playing field. We all know that fed is best at this point, but sometimes we want to express ourselves — or share the thing that many new moms find themselves doing most throughout the day, via text using more than just our words. Yes, now you can shoot your husband a breastfeeding emoji text if you’re currently operating one-handed and just can’t chat on the phone. I’m sure he’ll get the picture.
The buzz to get this emoji added to unicode began in 2016 when Rachel Lee, a registered nurse, noticed that one didn’t exist and made an official request to have it added.
Why is this emoji so awesome? It takes us one step closer to completely normalizing breastfeeding. The emoji features a mom breastfeeding in cradle hold, which Lee had outlined in her proposal as “the most popular method of holding a baby when breastfeeding.” Being a mom who’s done both types of feeding, I’m pretty stoked to have this added, and if you ask any mom, they’ll have something to say about it too.
“There was already a baby bottle emoji, so it was about time to add a breastfeeding emoji to the lineup. It’s a great step toward the goal of normalizing breastfeeding, but everyone should keep in mind #FedIsBest — all parents need to be educated about their options and confident in their decisions, because formula vs. pumped vs. straight from the breast shouldn’t come with a side of guilt or judgment! A nourished, happy, and healthy baby (and parents) are the most important!” — Heather, 35, of US Japan Fam
“Me + Oedipus are pleased with the addition.” — Bryce, 33, of The Luxury Spot
“I stopped about 7 months ago, but I would’ve totally used it — especially when I got a text message from someone and wanted a short way to say, “hi, i saw this, i will try to remember to respond but also there’s a baby tied to my boobs 24/7 and that makes everything else more challenging so BRB but I’m not ignoring you.” — Julie, 31 of JulMarie
“I’m breastfeeding! And I’m thrilled with the addition. Now if only they would add a redhead emoji, we’d be all set with the emojis.” — Megan, 30, of TfDiaries
“This would have been so helpful to have in my most-used emoji category when I was still nursing. I feel like — especially for the first six months of my son’s life — it could have been my sole reply to most text messages I received. Husband: ‘What are you doing?’ Me: [Breastfeeding Emoji]” — Emily, 35, of Festive AF
“I guess it’s good, but it’s also just an emoji. I really hope that the presence of the emoji creates systemic change to support women who choose (or don’t!) choose to breastfeed in the form of paid maternity leave, free lactation education and support beyond online forums, plenty of private lactation space in workplaces and the understanding that the needs of a new mom are complex. It’s all too easy for us to pat ourselves on the back for this progress — and yes, if a bottle emoji exists so should a breastfeeding one — but there’s still so much work to be done to truly support breastfeeding and new moms in general.” — Anna, 33
“I think it’s great. Emojis are all the rage right now, and this helps normalize breastfeeding. We have a taco emoji, so it was about time we got a breastfeeding one.” — Gemarla, 35, from The Mommy Elf
“I love the new addition and think it’s important to have. I think the breastfeeding emoji is just another way to show that breastfeeding is becoming more acceptable in our society, which is great.” — Natalie, 27
Now that we have our breastfeeding emoji, what’s next? Mastitis emoji? Leaky boobs emoji? Baby puke on shoulder emoji? The options are endless.