Photos Of Uniformed Mothers Breastfeeding Causes Controversy - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Photos Of Uniformed Mothers Breastfeeding Causes Controversy

SPOKANE, Wash. – A picture of two Fairchild Air Force Base mothers breastfeeding in uniform has gone viral. The photo was on the NBC's Today Show and has been featured on blogs and websites around the nation. The picture was taken on the base. Crystal Scott runs the Mom2Mom Breastfeeding Support Group on Fairchild Air Force Base, and she said that it was very surprising how many people have seen this picture. "It's complete shock and awe. The photographer posted it on her website, and this one just blew up, and we were like wow. This was not our mission whatsoever. This was just supposed to be a community thing," Scott said.

The picture was supposed to be used on a poster to support World Breastfeeding Week in August. But, the photographer put the photo up on her website a couple weeks ago, and the photo went viral. In order to have the poster on the base, Scott said they have to go through an approval process. The group was not able to approve this poster yet because they did not have enough time. She said the picture was used to bring awareness to the issue of breastfeeding. Scott said, "I do want other women to know that it is normal and that you can be a successful breast feeder even though you are serving the country."

However, the military said that using that picture to promote their opinions is something they don't approve of. Captain Keith Kosik told KHQ, "Our issues has not, and has never been, about breast feeding. Our issue is that the uniform was used by an outside entity to further their cause, and that is against the regulations."

But Trysta Chavez, who is the assistant coordinator of Mom2Mom said that that was not the point. "It wasn't a military photo. What we were trying to convey was working moms can [breastfeed] anywhere. It doesn't matter if you work in the medical field, it doesn't matter in you are in the military, it doesn't matter if you are a stay-at-home mom. You should be able to breastfeed your child anywhere, and that's really the message we are trying to convey. Is that, hey if you work at the hospital, you should be able to breastfeed in your scrubs. So really, it was not intended to go as far as it had to be a military issue, it was just promoting [breastfeeding] in your work attire…This is not to cause a controversy, this is to support breast feeding moms and to cause awareness that there are groups out there to support them." Chavez said.

 As for the two mothers in the picture, the military told KHQ that they are not in any trouble yet. "That's a chain of command issue. That's for their supervisors to decide. My sense is this is an opportunity for education. This is a teachable moment, that's the sense that I have." Kosik said.

 

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