Breastfeeding may have a long way to go in society before it's completely normalized, but the best breastfeeding moments of 2016 give everyone hope. And hey, 2016 was seriously lacking in hope, am I right?
According to U.S. News and World Report, only half of all infants breastfed at birth are still breastfeeding at 6 months old. At 12 months old, fewer than one-third are nursing. And the reason behind breastfeeding moms quitting? A lack of support. Whether they are having a difficult time at work, meeting resistance from family or friends, or simply dealing with society's position on public breastfeeding, many moms do not feel comfortable or supported in their breastfeeding journey.
It's tough to understand unless you're in it, but that's why breastfeeding moments in society are so important. Even small moments, like a restaurant letting moms know that their establishment is a safe place to breastfeed, can make all the difference. Moms feel supported when they see these things happen, they feel motivated to continue breastfeeding, and they become inspired by other moms' stories about nursing, whether it's in public, or while she's trying to finish school.
So it's time to normalize it. These are the 13 best breastfeeding moments of 2016 and are bound to make you give a fist pump. (Or maybe a boob pump with your actual pump.) Let them inspire you and remind you that 2016 wasn't a total dumpster fire.
1. The UN Arguing That Breastfeeding Is A Human Right
Finally, right? The Independent reported that the UN believes that breastfeeding is a human right and should be protected and promoted for the benefit of both moms and babies. This is a huge step forward, especially with a billion-dollar industry interested in formula and pushing it towards new moms.
2. The Mom Who Breastfed Her Oldest During Labor
Want proof that parents are total superheros? One breastfeeding moment of 2016 will be all you need. According to People, the photo of a mom breastfeeding her 2-year-old while she was in labor went viral and for good reason. Not only does it naturalize breastfeeding, but it shows just how strong moms are and how they'll do anything for their babies, no matter what. It's pretty incredible to see such a normal act in such a chaotic time and gives lots of breastfeeding moms the hope and support they need.
3. The Tree Of Life Filters
You know what's great about social media? It can help build major support systems, especially for breastfeeding. According to Today, the "tree of life" breastfeeding pictures that are sweeping your Instagram feeds are helping to raise awareness of the power in breastfeeding and build a support system for moms. Created with a special app, the photo shows just how important breastfeeding is and the connection between mom and baby. Seriously, it's beautiful and I hope this is still a thing when I have my next baby.
4. The Mom Pumping While Running A Marathon
Um, holy bad*ss, right? According to Today, one mom took her running up a notch when she pumped during a marathon and actually finished the race 40 minutes quicker than she expected to. If that doesn't prove that women are the strongest people on Earth, I don't know what does.
5. Target Employees & Shoppers Coming To A Breastfeeding Mom's Aid
OK, so the fact that a woman was verbally assaulted in a Target for breastfeeding her baby is terrible. But seeing all of the members of the Target staff, along with other shoppers, come to her defense is pretty incredible. Today reported that when a woman was yelled at by a man (he called her a wh*re and told her she was "f*cking disgusting"), she had the support of Target employees and by-standers who came to her aid and put the creep in his place. High five for breastfeeding support.
6. The Tube Passengers That Defended A Breastfeeding Mother
According to The Huffington Post, a breastfeeding experiment found that most by-standers believed a woman had the right to breastfeed in public. Two actors, portraying a nursing mom and a man irate with her public breastfeeding, staged an interaction on the tube that had other passengers coming to the nursing mom's rescue, including one male passenger who actually moved to sit in between the two actors.
7. The Breastfeeding Barbie Doll
Barbie dolls have come a long way in order to be inclusive for all fans, but that doesn't stop for nursing moms. According to People, a mom created a breastfeeding Barbie doll in order to help support other moms and make them feel comfortable with breastfeeding in public. The doll embraces the normality of breastfeeding and treats it like it's no big deal. (Because it totally isn't.)
8. The Breastfeeding Emoji
Finally, right? Now when someone texts you and asks what's taking so long, you can just send them the breastfeeding emoji that's being released, according to The Huffington Post. The emoji could help normalize breastfeeding even further, especially since up until now, the only infant feeding emoji has been a bottle. Power to the boobs.
9. Mom Breastfeeding In Her College Cap & Gown
Breastfeeding and pumping is hard enough when you aren't a student, so I can't imagine how tough it is juggling final exams with a newborn at home. The Huffington Post shared the story of a mom of three who needed to breastfeed her baby while she was in her graduation cap and gown. If that doesn't motivate you on your breastfeeding journey, what will?
10. The Mom Breastfeeding Twins While Working
Seriously, there are few things more motivating than the picture that went viral of a mom breastfeeding her twins while working. According to Fox News, the mom, Hein Koh decided to share the photo, taken by her husband, James Horowitz, in hopes that parents and society would continue to build each other up and encourage each other instead of passing judgement for their parenting or work choices.
11. Vogue Brazil Puts Breastfeeding Mom On Cover
Three cheers for Vogue Brazil. According to The Huffington Post, the September issue of Vogue Brazil featured a model breastfeeding her 2-month-old son in a gorgeous photo. Not only does it portray breastfeeding in a beautiful way, but it also normalizes it, making this issue a must-have for 2016.
12. The High School Student Encouraging Restaurants To Support Breastfeeding Moms
Want to hear something that will get you pumped for breastfeeding and make you feel good about the future generation? According to ABC News, one high school senior in Georgia decided to encourage local restaurants and businesses to put signs in their windows that read "breastfeeding welcome here" in an effort to give moms more support and for them to share that their business is safe.
13. Icelandic Lawmaker Breastfed Her Baby While Giving A Speech
And the most bad*ss breastfeeding moment of 2016? An Icelandic lawmaker breastfeeding her baby while giving a parliamentary speech. According to The Washington Post, Unnur Bra Konradsdottir breastfed her 6-year-old while sitting in parliament. I mean, what better way to represent breastfeeding in 2016, right? Best of all — no one in parliament cared. I'm moving to Iceland.