She was tandem breastfeeding and wet nursing, and Facebook deactivated her account
After some serious backlash and years of censoring random photos, Facebook made a very clear, vocal statement in support of breastfeeding mothers by announcing they would no longer censor images of breastfeeding. This apparently does not extend to women wet-nursing, because the social media platform censored an image of a woman breastfeeding this week. The difference between this image and others? She was tandem breastfeeding and one of the children was not hers.
She was wet-nursing.
Breastfeeding Mama Talk is a supportive community that posts pictures and stories of women in various stages of their breastfeeding journeys. They posted Rebecca Wanosik’s photo and story this week.
This is so amazing! Normalizing Wet-nursing! I give BOTH mamas kudos.
“So last Friday night while I was carving and…
“So last Friday night while I was carving and building a cake, I received a random text from one of my friends asking if I could feed a stranger’s baby, ” the post begins. “Was there ever a question? The baby’s mother was having surgery and the baby is exclusively breastfed and refused a bottle.”
Yes, there are babies who refuse bottles when they are exclusively breastfed, and this is a huge and scary moment for mothers who may find themselves in a position where they cannot breastfeed their children. In this instance, a wet nurse is a godsend.
“This is the 12th baby I have nursed, and I am a mother to six,” Rebecca told Scary Mommy.
“When the baby arrived you could tell she was hungry and exhausted and just needed some milk. I did what I hope any person would do for my child in a time of despair,” Rebecca explains. “I fed a strangers baby. I was so surprised by just how many people thought it was weird, or unnatural. They are boobs, they are meant to feed babies. Also, in case anyone forgot, they are mine, so I’m fairly certain I choose what happens with them. Regardless, I took an amazing photo tandem nursing these two babies together and it shows that hungry babies don’t care, they just need to be fed.”
Soon after this was posted, Rebecca’s husband posted a comment saying his wife’s account had been deactivated by Facebook.
Rebecca was sent a message that her account was flagged as fake and she needed to “confirm her identity,” so she sent her license. For some reason, the license wasn’t enough. “Facebook said I was not who I claimed to be,” Rebecca tells Scary Mommy. “They needed to ‘confirm my identity’ which resulted in me sending them copies of my drivers license, my military ID, a page of my OB records that has my name/date of birth etc, my Sam’s Club Membership, my marriage license and my cosmetology license to prove that I am actually Rebecca Wanosik. My page was inactive for about 18 hours total.”
Well, this is frustrating, considering Facebook made a big deal about not censoring breastfeeding photos anymore. The way this situation panned out, it seems like there is still some censoring, it’s just being handled differently now.
“My assumption, and I’m no expert, is that this is just another form of harassment on breastfeeding women via Facebook users who cannot simply just report a photo anymore,” Rebecca says. “I’m certain it was reported, but it didn’t violate any ‘community standards’ thus explaining why it was left on my page after I was reinstated.”
Wet nursing is breastfeeding. It doesn’t matter that many people find it to be taboo in our culture, if someone is comfortable doing it, and a mother needs help — more power to them both.