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The International Breastfeeding Symbol » Facebook

Archive for the 'Facebook' Category


Facebook Headquarters Nurse-In, Menlo Park, CA, February 6, 2012. Be there.

February 3rd, 2012 by MamaBear

The world of breastfeeding has been negatively affected by the actions of none other than Facebook.  Facebook has been deleting breastfeeding photos with the justification that they are “obscene” or “sexually explicit.”  Oh, sure, the pictures must first get reported by an individual Facebook user, but after a process which involves “skin-detecting” technology, the pictures actually get reviewed by a human being, a Facebook employee.  It is this person who makes the final judgment call of whether or not to delete the photo, suspend the offending user’s account and/or delete the account altogether.  Since the deletions continue, it makes Facebook the responsible party, complicit in the bullying of breastfeeding moms.

Recently deleted by Facebook

Even though there is a recent buzz surrounding Facebook’s actions, this behavior on behalf of Facebook has been reportedly going on for years.  A Facebook page created by Kelli Roman and other fed-up breastfeeding mothers that used to have over 250,000 supporters was recently archived by Facebook, most of its members lost in the ether, despite being an active group.  The page was called “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not obscene!” In 2008, another woman named Heather Farley helped to organize the first Facebook nurse-in in response to deletions of breastfeeding pictures on her account.

Now, another nurse-in at Facebook headquarters all over the world has been scheduled for February 6, 2012.  Emma Kwasnica, one of the most vocal and influential lactivists in the world and creator of the worldwide milksharing network HM4HB, has been a victim of Facebook’s bullying tactics several times, having had her account suspended on numerous occasions.  After having worldwide media coverage for her suspensions, Facebook has apologized for the deletions and has said repeatedly that they were “in error.”  However, Facebook continues to delete breastfeeding pictures and suspend/delete other users’ accounts, which she and her supporters actively protest against.  There is a page on Facebook to support her and her efforts in getting Facebook’s behavior rectified called “FB! Stop Harassing Emma Kwasnica over her breastfeeding pics.“  Despite its name, the end goal is to get Facebook to stop harassing ALL breastfeeding women, not just Kwasnica.

Deleted by Facebook

Curiously, the vast majority of these deletions run contrary to Facebook’s OWN policy, which states:  “Does Facebook allow photos of mothers breastfeeding?
Yes. We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, and we’re very glad to know that it is important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook. The vast majority of these photos are compliant with our policies, and we will not take action on them.”

Facebook's breastfeeding policy

Recently deleted:

Recently deleted by Facebook

It’s becoming clearer and clearer, given Facebook’s history with breastfeeding photos, that either they are lying, or the employees are not all on the same page regarding what is acceptable on their own network.  This would be understandable over the course of maybe a few months, but YEARS?

If you live in California, please support the nurse-in there at Facebook Headquarters:

Menlo Park, CA (formerly listed as ‘Palo Alto’)

http://www.facebook.com/events/347380358607200/

1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA

Tremendous thanks to Jodine Chase, another victim of Facebook’s bullying tactics and event organizer/media coordinator for the protests against Facebook, who has kept meticulous track of the situation on her blog, Jodine’s World.  Thank you, Jodine!

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World Milksharing Week — Sara’s Story, Recipient

September 24th, 2011 by MamaBear

By:  Sara Harris Mullen

Milk sharing is the most self-less act a mother can do. Milk sharing is the donation and sharing of breast milk between mothers who have, and mothers who do not. The following is my story.

Anabelle was born at 41 weeks, and she was absolutely perfect in every way. I had always known that I would breastfeed my children, because my mother breastfed me and my sister.  It’s what was just natural to me. I thought for sure that after my fertility battle, that it would be smooth sailing from then on after I got pregnant. Boy was I in for another shock!!

Annabelle

I’m a firm believer that God chooses certain people to be set forth on certain paths and this was my path. At just over a week old, Anabelle was hospitalized for failure to thrive, she had lost over 10% of her birth weight, dropping to under 5lbs. I worked with lactation consultants and pumped every two hours around the clock. We found out that my body was not producing the normal amount of milk that a mother should at one week postpartum. I was producing an ounce every two hours and was struggling to give Anabelle just a two ounce feeding every two and a half hours. During that five day stay, I also developed mastitis, that is a special pain that I hope to never endure again!

Anabelle started on formula, and I was determined to continue to work on my milk supply. I cried every time I fed Anabelle formula, she didn’t like it, she became fussy, gassy and constipated. I called my Doula crying asking what could I do, why wasn’t pumping and herbs working!! She told me about another option and my heart jumped and I had thought that things would be easier if it were the old days and other women would actually nurse my baby, or if I could have a wet nurse. Dani told me about milksharing and I said yes, I’ll do it, I can’t watch my baby be so unhappy anymore.

She showed up at my door within two hours with 40 ounces of milk from our first donor. I was utterly amazed and eternally grateful. At that time, I didn’t know that this would be a permanent part of our lives. I continued pumping, taking supplements and was even prescribed medication. I was prescribed Reglan, which has a terrible (but rare) side effect of extreme anxiety and depression. I had an anxiety attack one day at work and had to leave. I discontinued the medication and gave up hope of producing enough of my own milk to feed my child. I had immense guilt, what kind of mother can’t provide the most natural thing for her child. I felt that I had failed my baby and that I was not a good mother.

A few months later, I tried another medication, Domperidone. It was too late in the game for this medication to work for me, but I finally had peace of mind knowing that in 9 months time, I had truly tried everything to produce my own milk and feed my child.

In the last ten months, we have been touched by the most amazing generous women I have ever come into contact with. Women who have fed my child when I couldn’t do it myself. Women who love children so much pumped their milk to feed my baby. I am forever indebted to these women for the gift they have given me and my daughter.

I ask that you now pass my story on so that others may know about milk sharing. It’s a long hard road wondering where your next donation of milk will come from and the farther the word spreads about milk sharing, maybe the road traveled by us moms who use donor milk won’t have to be so rough in the future.

Sara, David, & Anabelle Mullen

World Milksharing Week: http://www.worldmilksharingweek.org/

Share your breastmilk/request breastmilk:  Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB)

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World Milksharing Week 2011

September 17th, 2011 by MamaBear

World Milksharing Week, what’s that?  It’s a week to celebrate milksharing, a week to affirm that human milk is the biological norm for babies.  This year sparks the first-ever World Milksharing Week, created by the incredible Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network administrators.

frozen breastmilk

Mark your calendars, ’cause it’s coming fast.  In just seven days, World Milksharing Week (September 24-30) starts!  All over the world, several celebrations have already been planned.  You can join one or create your own.  Check out WMW’s Facebook page and “like” it to show solidarity.  How will you celebrate?

world milksharing week Pictures, Images and Photos

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“Momination” retracted by “Mominee”

September 12th, 2011 by MamaBear

Remember my last post?  In it, I talked about Emma Kwasnica, how awesome she is, how she was “mominated” for an award by babble.com.  Turns out babble.com has lots of formula ads.  So, the money that Emma would have won, had she won, would have been, in part, funded by formula “blood money.”  When Emma found out about this, she decided to take a stand and retract her “momination,” even though she was in the top ten and a solid contender for the win.  So the links to her babble.com “momination” in my previous post don’t work anymore.

Ph.D. in Parenting wrote an excellent piece about this.  Go read it.  Jodine Chase, the fabulous woman who “mominated” Emma Kwasnica in the first place, also wrote about it from her perspective.  The consensus all around is that Emma’s actions solidify why it is we love her:  she lives her principles.  We salute you, Emma Kwasnica!   Keep being awesome.

Emma Kwasnica

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Mominations: Emma Kwasnica

August 26th, 2011 by MamaBear

Emma Kwasnica

Hello, world!  It’s been a while since my last blog post, but that’s because I do most of my interaction via Facebook.  Today, though, I felt it necessary to blog because there is a very special lady who I want to write about.  This lady is Emma Kwasnica.  I know, I know, I’ve talked about her before.  But she’s worth talking about again.  Let me tell you why.

Emma Kwasnica is making the world a better place.  Each and every day, she helps families around the world get breastmilk for their babies.  She does it all for FREE.  She does it out of the goodness of her heart, her sincere love of babies, mothers, families… humanity.  She created the wildly successful Human Milk 4 Human Babies GLOBAL network to help connect needy families with families that can spare the breastmilk.  She enables and inspires community-building, healthier families, more informed birth choices, and yes, even world peace.  How many people do you know who do that?  She is the Earth-Mother-rock star you’ve never heard of (well, maybe you have ;)), the Mother Theresa of the mommy world.  Remarkably, she’s also really very humble about it.

Emma Kwasnica has rightfully been “mominated” for a babble.com prize.   Please, if you haven’t already, vote for her.  I guarantee you she will do good things if she wins, because she will do good things even if she doesn’t win.  Whatever she does will benefit humankind as a whole.  Even if she decides to spend all the prize money on herself, she would still deserve it.  But she won’t, because she’s Emma, and she basically dedicates her life to helping others.

To vote, please click on this babble.com link.  Then click on “like” where it says “click ‘like’ to vote for me” to vote for Emma.  It’s very simple.  You need to be logged into your Facebook account in order to do so.  Please do it and please share the link with all your friends so that they can vote for her, too.

If you are reading this, Emma, please know I fervently hope you win.  You are beautiful inside and out, and an inspiration to (surely) thousands of women around the world.  Thank you for all you do!

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Nurse-in in Georgia. Be There.

May 18th, 2011 by MamaBear

A city just outside the metro Atlanta area called Forest Park has recently made it illegal for children over 2 to nurse in public.  You heard that correctly.  Illegal.  As in, can be fined for it.  Or possibly even put in jail.  For nursing.  A toddler.

There is no shame — or at least, there shouldn’t be any shame — in breastfeeding a baby or a toddler in public.  This is what a toddler nursing looks like:

 

New Zealand PSA

  And this:

Lesotho toddler

And this:

Jesus nursing

It should be obvious to everyone that a law like this one is hostile not only to those who breastfeed a toddler of 2+ years, but to every breastfeeding dyad.  Why?  Well, if a mother is breastfeeding a baby of any age (even younger than 2) in a place where a law like this is in effect, this means that legally, she can be harassed for breastfeeding her baby.  She may not be fined or jailed for breastfeeding a baby that is under 2, but she could be questioned, pestered, bullied, and shamed into early weaning because of it.  A law like this could make it a cinch to drive the already floundering breastfeeding rates in the United States all the way to the floor.  It needs to be NIPped in the bud. (Pun totally intended.)

A breastfeeding-supportive father, This Daddy, called John Parker, City Manager of Forest Park, GA, and one of the creators of this asinine law.  Here’s This Daddy’s entry about the phone call, which reveals a lot about John Parker’s priorities.

There will be a nurse-in to peacefully protest this harmful law.  KellyMom on Facebook has all the details.  If you live in Georgia or in the surrounding area, please try to make it there, Monday, May 23rd at 10:00 A.M. Here’s the address:

745 Forest Pkwy, Forest Park, GA 30297

If you can’t attend the nurse-in physically, at least write Forest Park and tell them you think this law is harmful for babies and their mothers, and why.  Use this contact form.  If you prefer to use your email or snail mail a letter, or if you’d like to call or fax John Parker’s office, here is the information necessary to do so:

Office of the City Manager
745 Forest Parkway
Forest Park, Ga. 30297
Phone: 404-366-4720
Fax: 404-608-2343 

John Parker, City Manager
Email address - jparker@forestparkga.org

Angela Redding, Management Analyst
Email address - aredding@forestparkga.org

Jan Young, Executive Assistant
Email address - jyoung@forestparkga.org

Last but not least, there is a petition you can sign called “Repeal restrictions on breastfeeding” to help with this cause.  Please do.

Comment on my Facebook page, please:

Breastfeeding Symbol Facebook Page

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Shipping with UPS could cost you a lot more than money

May 11th, 2011 by MamaBear

I was shocked recently when I read about a terrible shipping fiasco with UPS.  A shipment from a breastmilk donor was sent out via UPS and paid for by the recipient, but the recipient never received it.  Furthermore, all UPS told the recipient was that the package was “damaged in transit” and “discarded.”

If you have Facebook, you can see for yourself the thread here on the Washington HM4HB page.  The donor shipped over FIVE HUNDRED OUNCES of breastmilk from Washington State to Virginia.   All 500 oz were “lost” by UPS.  That’s almost exactly four gallons of human milk.

Picture four of these (containing breastmilk, not cows’ milk):

One gallon of milk

Fifteen liters (15 L).  I’m writing the different conversions to help you wrap your head around just how much milk was discarded by the shipping company like so much trash.  These five hundred ounces of milk represent HOURS of this donor’s, this woman’s, life.  Hours of effort, love, and care that she painstakingly packaged to gift to a baby and mama in need living across the country.  She donated the milk in good faith and probably never imagined UPS would treat her efforts with such disregard.  Now, because of UPS’s unbelievable irresponsibility, a donor’s efforts have been literally dumped who knows where and a recipient family has been left without human milk.

I wonder how UPS will handle this.  Will they recompense the donor for her milk?  Will they recompense the recipient at least for the money she paid to have her package shipped?  I cannot imagine the agony both mothers must be experiencing right now.  I don’t understand why UPS discarded the package instead of at least showing it to the recipient.  Why did they keep it?  What do they have to hide?

I am sharing this story so that UPS will wake up, and so that if they choose not to respect these two families and milksharing efforts, the milksharing world will take notice and recommend that UPS not be used for any shipping (not just shipping that involves breastmilk).  What do you think?  Please comment on my Facebook page.

International Breastfeeding Symbol FB Page

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Human Milk 4 Human Babies

March 15th, 2011 by MamaBear

In January 2010, Emma Kwasnica, of Montréal, started using Facebook to help
families who needed breastmilk for their babies by connecting them with other
families with breastmilk to spare.  Emma was making connections all over the world, and she soon found that managing several different requests all over the world, and their corresponding donations, was becoming overwhelming.  She decided to organize her efforts by country for those countries outside Canada and the U.S., and by province/state for Canada and the U.S., respectively.  She found a kindred spirit in Shell Walker, an Arizona midwife who was doing something similar on a more local level.  Shell had created her page in July of 2010 for a close, tight-knit community in Phoenix, AZ.  Shell had named her local network “Eats on Feets.”  They decided to join forces in October 2010 and call the worldwide network Emma created “Eats on Feets GLOBAL.”

All went well for a few months, with “milky matches” (as the milksharing connections are known) being made worldwide.  The media attention was amazing, and “Eats on Feets GLOBAL” was becoming a household name in breastfeeding advocacy circles.  Human milk that would have otherwise gone to waste was getting to human babies that needed it.  “Eats on Feets GLOBAL” was working.

Then, toward the end of February 2011, something happened.  There was an uncompromising change of opinion in how the network should be managed. Shell filed an application to trademark the name “Eats on Feets,” and started dictating “terms of use” for the volunteer administrators of the pages that weren’t in keeping with the spirit of the network. The growing pains became too much, and the name of Emma’s original vision of a worldwide, milksharing network was changed to protect the network from becoming something different from its original intention.  The new name is Human Milk 4 Human Babies.  Its pages on Facebook are run by the same hardworking administrators that ran the “Eats on Feets GLOBAL” pages.  There are new pages being added every day, in fact, so the network is still growing to accommodate needs in different regions.

Please visit the Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB) website to find your local page.  If you have breastmilk to spare or if you have a baby in need, please “Like” your region’s page and make an offer or a request.  It is YOU that make this network possible. If you do not find your region’s HM4HB page, consider starting your own HM4HB page on Facebook.  Contact Emma Kwasnica for details.

If you know someone who could benefit from this network and would like to participate in HM4HB (as a donor or recipient), but that person does not have a Facebook account, please post on their behalf.

Human Milk 4 Human Babies is called “Lactancia Solidaria” in Spanish.  You can find Lactancia Solidaria on Facebook for Puerto Rico, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela.

Because of the recent disaster in Japan, I am sharing the link for the HM4HB Japan page.  If you are in Japan, and can, please help.

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Facebook Page and new “like” button

February 16th, 2011 by MamaBear

Hello everyone.  If you’re logged onto Facebook, you can “like” this page by clicking the “like” button to the right underneath where it says “about.”  You can also friend Mama Bear (me!) by searching for “MamaBear Lactating.”  I will try to do a better job of updating the Facebook page than this blog, as it is much easier to keep up with.  I hope to see you there!

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Milk Sharing Made Better — Eats on Feets

February 16th, 2011 by MamaBear

I have not posted anything on this blog for a very long time.  I don’t even want to think about how long.  However, what I am posting today cannot wait.  It’s too important.  There is a new way to share breast milk with those in need, in addition to MilkShare, and it’s also directly mother-to-mother.  It’s called Eats on Feets (http://www.eatsonfeets.org/), and it’s fabulous!  There is no charge for this service, and since it’s connected through Facebook, it’s almost immediate for both potential donors and their recipients.  Please, if you have extra human milk to give, check out Eats on Feets.  There is one for every state (sometimes more than one for each state), and it’s available in several countries as well!  I cannot say enough good things about Eats on Feets!  It is seriously making the world a better place.

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