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Photos of breastfeeding US servicewomen spark military row

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Sarah Graham
WVoN co-editor

Photographs of two US servicewomen breastfeeding their babies while dressed in military uniform have sparked a row after the images went viral.

The women, Terran Echegoyen-McCabe and Christina Luna, were criticised by the Washington National Guard for photographs they posted on Facebook to promote World Breastfeeding Week in August.

The pictures,which show the two women breastfeeding in camouflage uniforms, were taken by a military spouse at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington State. They were posted on the Facebook group of Mom2Mom as part of their breastfeeding support campaign.

The images quickly went viral, sparking much debate about Americans’ attitudes towards breastfeeding in public.

Comments on the Facebook page ranged from “breastfeeding is not a public spectator sport” to “What a beautiful image! … I think it’s utterly inspiring to see women dedicated to their careers and their babies!”

Facebook itself has previously been criticised for removing photos of breastfeeding women, describing them as “obscene content.”

Military officials said the servicewomen had breached the rules by using the uniform to promote a non-military cause, insisting that breastfeeding was not the issue.

The women are unlikely to face disciplinary action, and Washington National Guard spokesman Keith Kosik said there is no regulation against breastfeeding in uniform.

The founders of the Mom2Mom Facebook page, Trysta Chavez and Crystal Scott, said: “The military photographs were NEVER meant to exploit, promote or to use the uniform to help our group. These were for our local community to raise awareness for World Breastfeeding Week.”

“It’s sad that this is such an issue. It’s a taboo really,” Ms Chavez added.

  1. vicki wharton says:

    Seems women’s breasts have been hijacked into being exclusively sexual, hence the anti breast feeding stance that is put forward by a military that officially recommends and orders its female soldiers to breastfeed their children! Women and children are being buffeted about in men’s confusion (and a good number of women’s) and wish to enforce that breasts are exclusively sexual rather than their child’s best option for early feeding.

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