We are calling on health care professionals, associations and organizations to write open letters to Facebook to ask them to walk their talk and stop the harassment, bullying, and intimidation of breastfeeding mothers through the deletion of breastfeeding photos and the disabling and suspension of accounts. These open letters will be displayed here and routinely delivered to Facebook. More info: http://bit.ly/jan19advisory
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Ruth Piatak, BA, MS, IBCLC La Leche League Leader WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Tulsa, Oklahoma
Open Letter to Facebook Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM
I finally overcame my fear of social media in the past year, and have enjoyed being on Facebook for several months. It has been a great blessing to keep in touch with colleagues, with old friends in places where I have lived before, and with my adult children and nieces and nephews who think of it as the NORMAL way to communicate in this era. Facebook is also a great way to keep current on the concerns of the demographic I serve as a lactation professional -- childbearing women, who may spend many hours a week nurturing their children at the breast while communicating electronically using the free hand that doesn't have to hold a bottle.
Breastfeeding, like other kinds of healthy eating, is a SOCIAL activity and is properly found where people are networking socially. It is important for the Facebook generation to understand through their NORMAL communication channels that breastfeeding is the NORMAL way to feed infants.
Facebook has an important role in ensuring that visual portrayals of children being nurtured at the breast are allowed to be part of NORMAL social exchange. I am confident that Facebook and its employees can devise a way to screen images that does not censor normal infant feeding. The U. S. Surgeon General chose Breastfeeding Support as her Call to Action last year -- emblematic of the influence of social support on the activity that is the foundation of each new person's health. Lack of breastfeeding causes great losses to Americans' health and the U. S. economy. I urge Facebook to be part of the solution.