Campaigning Cambridge mums aim to end breastfeeding bias
Mothers from Cambridge have taken part in a bold campaign in a bid to normalise breastfeeding in public.
The #FeedOn campaign is being led by the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) with photographers from RÅN studio.
The campaign includes more than 40 mothers across the UK breastfeeding freely at landmark spots, as well as a documentary highlighting the mothers’ experiences.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the ABM, organisers wanted to showcase breastfeeding mothers on a wider scale. Six mothers from Cambridge and from different backgrounds have been photographed breastfeeding at a number of well-known public locations, including the Mathematical Bridge, Midsummer Common, King’s Parade, Market Square, Scudamore’s and in a car park in Beehive shopping centre.
Mother-of-two Bee Sharp, 33, who lives in Cambridge and runs Bee’s Baby Massage, is one the mums to take part in the campaign. Her sons are aged five and 18 months old.
She said: “The campaign is very important to me as with my first baby I wasn’t able to breastfeed, then with my second I’m still feeding him now and he’s 18 months. I think that you spend a long time learning to breastfeed and learning about your baby and your body, getting to a point where you feel confident and then at about six months everyone says ‘Oh, you’re still breastfeeding’ and ‘do you think they’re getting enough from you?’. I think actually that’s more of an issue I’ve had.
“There’s so many pressures on mothers and things like social media don’t help.”
Bee pointed to toy babies, which come with bottles, and books, which usually feature babies with bottles. It was only in 2017 that a woman breastfeeding a child emoji was introduced.
She added: “I’m very supportive of breastfeeding, but I’m equally supportive of bottle feeding. It’s all about empowering the mum to make the right decision for her baby and her having informed choices, and feeling fully supported in everything that they do.”
The campaign, which coincided with National Breastfeeding Week, aims to normalise breastfeeding in public by using widespread visual means, and to combat the negative connotations often surrounding breastfeeding in popular culture.