25 Historical Images That Normalize Breastfeeding

Proof that the “as-long-as-you-cover-up” mentality hasn’t been around for very long. See more of my story here: “Boobs.

1. A Mother Feeding Her Baby at a Chattanooga Bus Stop - 1943

Look at her…doesn’t she know to “cover up” if she’s going to be doing something so shameful in public?

2. A Mother Feeding Her Baby at the Beach - 1930s

Um…excuse me, lady, the beach is NO place to flaunt your boobs.

3. Depression-era Breastfeeding

She’s just trying to be sexy so she can get her farm back.

4. French Mothers in a Paris Doctors Office Waiting Room - 1946

The French…they’re always trying to out-naked everyone else.

5. Breastfeeding in Church - 1871

She isn’t even “covered up!” Just look at all of those people condemning her for being so indecent! Oh…wait…no, they’re just passing the sacrament.

6. Mother and Baby - c.1900

She looks so embarrassed.

7. Breastfeeding on Sesame Street - 1977

Big Bird! For crying out loud…don’t you know CHILDREN watch this show?

8. Leonardo Da Vinci Painting of Mary and Jesus

There are literally hundreds of paintings like this.

9. Breastfeeding at an Outdoor Meeting

Look at all those men…they’re having a hard time controlling themselves.

10. Japanese Art Depicting Breastfeeding - 1700s

Depravity in Japan that reaches back at least three centuries.

11. “Hi Mom!” Vintage Postcard

Postcard. As in, floating through the mail system without an envelope. Scandalous.

12. Children’s Book Depicting Breastfeeding and Bottle Feeding

Both are normal, both are ok, both are appropriate for children’s literature…or at least they were.

13. Nursing Outside

Nursing Right outside in the middle of nature. I’m pretty sure that baby could have controlled her hunger long enough to make it into a bathroom stall or a back bedroom or something. All moms have to say is, “Shh…calm down, sweetie. You can eat when we find somewhere private to go. It makes people uncomfortable when you eat - it’s much easier for you to just be patient.” Babies are reasonable beings - they quiet right down. You should try it. Let me know how it works for you.

14. Breastfeeding in the 1950s

Breastfeeding during a time when Western mothers were being discouraged from breastfeeding. This woman has rebel written all over her porcelain face, doesn’t she?

15. 1920s

I bet she was a flapper, too.

16. Victorian Era Mother and Baby

Couldn’t she have thought of a more family-friendly way to have herself portrayed in this painting?

17. Front Porch - 1898

Just look at this mom. She is not nearly concerned enough about what I think about her feeding her baby.

18. Gabriel Joseph de Froment, Baron de Castille, Princess Hermine Aline Dorothée de Rohan and Family - 19th Century

Seriously - you people are royals. Doesn’t your royal baby know how to sit for a portrait without having to eat?

19. 1891

She’s just begging for attention. Oh…and feeding her hungry baby.

20. Wyspiański - Breastfeeding Painting - 1905

Artists are just outrageous with their depictions of mothers feeding their children. In front of other children, no less. What if these little girls grow up learning that breasts are for more than just being pretty

21. Part of the Family

The little boy on the right looks scandalized, but considering his dad, his brothers, and his sisters all look nonchalant, I’m betting the baby just passed gas or something.

22. WPA Breastfeeding Advocacy Poster - 1930s

NURSE THE BABY! Aaaaand…even the government was in on the lewdness.

23. AND WHAT ABOUT…

Oh, no wait…this one’s fine. She’s using her breasts so that people will think she’s “hot.” See image #2.

24. But this…

Well, that’s just indecent, people.

25. So Now You Know…

Discretion is everything, girls.

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