The unfortunate reality of being a new mum is that breastfeeding is still considered something that should be hidden away. A new ad, for infant feeding brand Tommee Tippee, is on a mission to normalise and celebrate it.
While some progress has been made with regards to normalising women’s bodily functions, like our periods, the truth is there is still a long way to go.
Research conducted by infant feeding brand Tommee Tippee showed 93 percent of mums said the emotional, mental, and physical challenges of breastfeeding go underacknowledged in society.
In response, the brand filmed an ad titled The Boob Life as a raw, honest portrayal of breastfeeding with a diverse cast of real mums and a variety of feeding experiences.
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Ironically, but perhaps expectedly, Australia’s ad review platform slapped an MA15+ rating on it for nudity (which was later downgraded to M) and Facebook won’t approve the version that depicts nipples.
“One of the universal truths of becoming a mother is that breastfeeding is different for every mum, and breasts come in all different shapes and sizes,” Midwife Cath, one of Australia’s leading industry experts, tells Body+Soul.
She believes it’s important to normalise breastfeeding, first and foremost, because it’s natural and completely, well, normal. Midwife Cath wants to go a step further than just normalising breasts though.
“When you’re breastfeeding a baby, you’re giving it life — it’s called ‘liquid gold’ for a reason,” she says.
“We have to celebrate breasts and support women on their journey to and through motherhood as much as we can. It’s about women being kind to women, that’s very important.”
Advertisers have to get on board with this movement, but normalising breasts, especially for men, should begin much earlier in life.
“When parenting, and especially when parenting boys, it’s important that we normalise the female body and reinforce that it’s not something to be made fun of,” she says.
“I’ve been a midwife for over 40 years and I’m surprised that we’re still questioning breasts and nipples… Change happens through seeing videos like The Boob Life. But there are so many more confronting situations while a woman is breastfeeding like sore, cracked and bleeding nipples, mastitis, pain, crying, emotion, depression… sometimes all in one feed.”
She adds: “There’s a lot that women go through that isn’t spoken about which is why women need a lot of support through the whole process of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting.”
Watch the ad below (yes, nipples and all).