Beyonce scored big points with nursing moms and breastfeeding advocates last week when she was spotted breastfeeding her 7-week-old daughter, Blue Ivy — in public!
What's the big deal, you say? Women breastfeed all of the time, right? Why should Beyonce get such attention?
Unfortunately, even though women are continuously told by pediatricians and health experts that "breast is best," they are still many times shunned and humiliated when trying the breastfeed their children in public.
Just last month, "lactivists" — or lactation advocates — organized a "nurse-in" at Facebook offices around the world to protest the social media site's policy of flagging or disabling accounts of moms who had uploaded breastfeeding pictures. Breastfeeding does not equal pornography, and the fact that some people would lump the two categories together just goes to show you how far we still have to go in removing the stigma that many breastfeeding moms face when trying to feed their babies in public.
In December, nurse-ins were organized at 250 Target stores around the country to protest the treatment of a Houston mom who was repeatedly asked to move when she was discreetly nursing her son in a corner area of the women's department. According to the mom, when she called Target's HQ to complain about her treatment, she was told, "just because it’s a woman’s legal right to nurse a baby in public doesn’t mean she should walk around the store flaunting it.”
Sure, you and I know that breastfeeding in public is no big deal — it's how a woman feeds her child. But the fact that a mega-star like Beyonce was seen breastfeeding in public goes a long way to removing the breastfeeding stigma that others may still see.