Coming not long after the controversial Time magazine cover of mother Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her nearly 4-year-old son new photos are circulating that are once again questioning the boundaries of breastfeeding practices.
The images are of two Air Force soldiers in uniform openly breastfeeding and posted as a part of a breastfeeding awareness campaign launched by the Mom2Mom support group on the Fairchild Air Force Base, in the state of Washington.
On the left is Air National Guard member Terran Echegoyen McCabe, who is shown with her khaki t-shirt hiked up in order to nurse her 10-month-old twin daughters. On the right in these two images is military mom Christina Luna nursing her daughter.
McCabe spoke with Today and 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.”
What is most controversial about the images is that the ladies in question are in uniform. There are a number of written and unwritten rules about how one is supposed to present themselves while in uniform. As a post on Veteran’s United point out these include but certainly aren’t limited to:
-> You should not keep your hands in your pockets, chew gum, hold hands or kiss and hug (except during homecomings and deployments)
-> You should not be eating or talking on a cell phone while walking (these are okay while standing still).
-> Technically, you’re are also expected to always have your right hand free to salute at any moment.
This is all part of a very important military code that teaches discipline and obedience. The breastfeeding photos surely challenge these mores and pushes the issue of how a military mom should carry herself while in uniform to the forefront.
There are no current guidelines in regards to breastfeeding while in uniform.
What is your opinion of these images? Should a mother have the right to breastfeed her children if the need arises whether in uniform or not?