A mother feeding her baby is normal right? Wrong, says society. So #FreeTheFeed campaign in London took it upon themselves to normalise breastfeeding by placing giant inflatable breasts, openly in the city’s skyline.

Some Takeaways:

  • Why should the sight of a mother breastfeeding her child labelled as ‘disgusting?’ It’s a normal process and definitely not a big deal.
  • According to research done by Elvie, a tech firm specilising in products for London, 45% of UK mothers say that everyday they are prevented from breastfeeding in public or pumping openly due to common perceptions of nudity in public.
  • ‘The #FreetheFeed campaign is an invitation to everyone to stand with all those women that have felt shamed or confined when breastfeeding or pumping.”

Let’s talk about ‘breastfeeding’! For most women, both urban or rural counterparts, it’s still a taboo, but, why so? Why the sight of a mother breastfeeding her child is labelled as ‘disgusting’? It’s a normal process and definitely not a big deal.

With the same attitude in mind, to eradicate the stigma around breastfeeding and create acceptance for the most natural form of baby care, recently, the London skyline was dotted with giant inflatable breasts, openly. Four locations in the capital city witnessed different sizes, shapes, and colours of inflatable breasts on buildings on Sunday morning, to coincide with Mother’s Day (since UK celebrates Mother’s Day on March 31).

The idea was conceived as part of the #FreeTheFeed campaign to empower women to feel safe and comfortable breastfeeding.

The idea was conceived as part of the #FreeTheFeed campaign to empower women to feel safe and comfortable breastfeeding. Last month, another similar campaign was launched in Amsterdam normalising breasts.

According to a research by Elvie, a tech firm specializing in products for London, “45% of UK mothers say that everyday they are prevented from breastfeeding in public or pumping openly due to common perceptions of nudity in public. And, no, the situation is not very different during office hours or meetings” quoted Business Insider Australia.

Tania Boler, CEO of Elvie said, “The #FreetheFeed campaign is an invitation to everyone to stand with all those women that have felt shamed or confined when breastfeeding or pumping.”

“We know the giant breasts will raise a few eyebrows, but we want to make sure no one overlooks the way that this stigma has been used to repress women.”

A survey from earlier this year found one in three breastfeeding moms have been forced to use the toilet at work to pump milk.

Netizens supported the campaign for all the right reasons:

READ: Pune Mother Asked To Get Off Train Because Open “Breastfeeding Is Disturbing”

Here are some notable breastfeeding campaigns in the world that are worthy of mention:

Freedom to nurse

A Kolkata resident Abhilasha Arup Das Adhikari made a complaint on one city mall’s Facebook page about its lack of facilities for breastfeeding women and that encouragement was enough to launch ‘freedom to nurse’ campaign last year. The mall referred breastfeeding as a “home chore” and it made national and international headlines. The incident triggered the countrywide campaign for #freedomtonurse by members of the online platform Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers.

When Women in Military breastfed their babies

Remember the time when the photo of active duty soldier mothers breastfeeding their babies gone viral on Twitter? It was back in 2015 when Tara Ruby, an air force officer, took the liberty to share a powerful image of lactating mothers’ breastfeeding their babies. Ecstatic by the news that a nursing room was being opened in the headquarters of Fort Bliss, the Army post in EL Paso, Texas she couldn’t help share the moment. Beautiful photographs of uniformed soldiers breastfeeding their children, an awe-filled private moment captured in a frame embellished the walls.

Photo Credit: edition.cnn.com

“I thought it would be nice to offer some photographs as an additional show of support,” Ruby had said to CNN. “Breastfeeding their baby doesn’t make them less of a soldier. I believe it makes them a better one. Juggling the tasks and expectations of a soldier, plus providing for their own in the best way they possibly can, makes (these) ladies even stronger for it,” she concluded.

And, the time when a mum pumped breast milk while running a marathon

Back in 2016, Anna Young from Utah pumped milk while running a marathon so she could feed her baby at the finish line. Then the mother of a five month old participated in a marathon in Salt Lake City, and when mid-marathon she needed to pump breast milk for her daughter, she did not hesitate. “I thought it would be a good way to start exercising again and share something I love with my daughter,” Young had said to CNN.

Anna Young
Anna Young Pumped Milk While on a marathon

Kudos to these mothers!

Feature Image Credit: Tom Nicholson/PA

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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