It seems every week now there is some major controversial news item and photo over breastfeeding in public. The latest stemmed from a photograph of two Air Force servicewomen, Tarran Eshegoyen-McCabe and Christina Luna, breastfeeding their babies in uniform. The photo of Echegoyen-McCabe was a bit more revealing as she was nursing twins simultaneously and showing some skin in the process. People have called this act “a disgrace” and there have been all sorts of negative comments over these two working women feeding their children while on a break.
In defense, Echegoyen-McCabe told MSNBC, “ There isn’t a policy saying we can or cannot breast-feed in uniform. I think it’s something that every military mom who is breast-feeding has done.”
As an owner of maternity and nursing clothing store and a mom who has nursed 3 children, I find it amazing that this photo is such a big deal. It seems there are still many people who find breastfeeding unsettling to observe and unnatural on some level. These moms were not trying to start a revolution, they were simply feeding their babies on break from work the way they always do. The photos are extremely natural and happy depictions of moms “doing it all” and juggling hats and responsibilities the way anyone who is a mom can relate to.
Maybe what’s unsettling to some people is the knowledge that some women in uniform are also moms to babies and young children. Or, maybe it’s the fact that many moms breastfeed their babies beyond infancy as is recommended by the World Health Organization. (WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary food up to two years of age or beyond).
Personally I find this photo uplifting as it shows two moms with serious military combat jobs who take time out of their busy training schedule to nurse their children and enjoy doing so.