First, our iOS 10 keyboards were graced with single-parent families. Now, in another family-friendly gesture, a breastfeeding emoji is in the works. Think of the utility! A friend texts "wyd?" and now you can reply seamlessly with one swift tap-and-send. Sure, the milk bottle and baby emojis were a classic combo, but when time is precious, brevity is everything.
Designed by registered nurse Rachel Lee, the emoji features a (headless) momma in a purple blouse feeding her baby in a cradle hold. The baby, swaddled in a powder blue blanket, has a very wispy tuft of hair floating from its head. Emojipedia notes that the symbol would likely be available in a variety of skin tones, as many of the other people-emojis are already. Lee insists that the breastfeeding emoji will be used at all times of day, seeing as babies need to be fed, y'know, whenever they please. "This emoji is likely to be used in context for a message such as 'Up at 3am with baby [breastfeeding emoji]," Lee writes.
Lee's breastfeeding emoji proposal was super thorough, citing the various other emoticon services that provide similar symbols, emphasizing how breastfeeding benefits sustainable development, and estimating the emoji's expected frequency of use, replete with analytics. Lee even addressed potential "factors for exclusion" in her proposal, though she ultimately ruled that the emoji would promote more inclusion than exclusion. She really got down to brass tacks, noting: "Three million mothers participate in the activity of breastfeeding in the United States at any given time." Conversely, other emoji-represented activities, like hockey, only have around "67,230 women participating annually in the United States." To sum it up:
"Breastfeeding has existed since the beginning of humanity, and will continue longer than current technology, mobile phones, or emoji for that matter!"
We can't say we disagree with her, but it's not our choice to make. The emoji will be under review at a Unicode Consortium meeting (aka the ultimate authority on emojis) in the second week of November. It will be evaluated alongside potential new additions such as an almond, a coconut, a mermaid, and a person meditating. Seeing as the breastfeeding emoji was a top request in 2016, we're pretty certain it has a fair shot at making the cut.
Her extensive research and thought-out design might get Lee the emoji of her dreams. Though the release date of the new emojis isn't scheduled until mid-2017, the unwavering support that she's gathered from moms online suggests that she's made a totally valid case.