When it comes to breastfeeding in America—from whether you choose to do it to where you choose to do it—there is no shortage of opinions and often heated debate. Just ask any of your mom friends who has spent even a moment in one of the many Listservs or private Facebook groups that touch on the subject. I’m certainly of the mind-set that whatever you decide is best for you, your baby, and your family is the right decision and everyone else doesn’t get a vote. If you’re going the formula route, awesome. And we shouldn’t stigmatize mothers for breastfeeding either—or be freaked out when we see it happening. That’s why images like those of Jessica Alba feeding her new baby Hayes at the office and a recent post on Gap’s Instagram are so important.
Gap’s post shows a mother cuddling her child to her chest in the first image and then breastfeeding him in the second, all while wearing one of its soft-wash cotton T-shirts, natch. It’s a warm, loving, beautiful shot. Though we do wish it was the primary photo so it would show up on their main feed page.
View on Instagram
Perhaps the company is testing the waters, but with over 33,000 likes (significantly higher than other recent photo posts), they seem to have hit on something. Most of the almost 2,000 comments are positive, like: “Guess I know where I need to shop!! Thank you for normalizing breastfeeding!” and “Yes!!!!! More companies need to do the same, for women to know it’s okay and feel comfortable and for men to accept. Make it the norm!” Mothers of color were thrilled to see themselves represented: “Thank you for this @gap!!!! Representing African American women breastfeeding warms my heart! Gap for the win!” And people weren’t just impressed by the image, they’re actually shopping because of it: “Just purchased it! Current nursing mom always looking for great sleep shirts! Thanks for posting!!! No idea how exciting to see someone who looks like me in the ad!”
Let’s hope this means more companies will follow suit.