Two University of North Texas students have launched a series of breastfeeding ads that ended up going viral with their powerful message.
Communication design students Kris Haro and Johnathan Wenske created the "When Nurture Calls" campaign that aims to protect a mother's right to breastfeed in public and to spread awareness to help pass H.B. 1706, a bill in the Texas Legislature to protect breastfeeding mothers from harassment and discrimination in public.
The advertisements feature three mothers, each of whom is nursing a young child in a dirty bathroom stall. "Table for two," reads the headline on one of the ads. The others read "Private dining" and "Bon appétit." All three ads end with a question: "Would you eat here?"
"By law, breastfeeding mothers are not protected from harassment and refusal of service in public, often forcing them to feed in secluded spaces such as public bathrooms," the body copy reads. It encourages people to take action and voice their support because "a baby should never be nurtured where nature calls."
When 21-year-old Monica Young found out about the campaign, she jumped at the opportunity to participate in a cause she is so passionate about. She appears in one of the ads.
"It means a lot to be one of three poster women speaking out for this cause," Young says. "I never even knew this problem existed a year and a half ago, and now I'm making it my goal to be sure people, especially those who aren't parents, see it and get used to it."
Young wants people to recognize that nursing in public is the same thing as feeding a child in public—and that's the "only way it should be seen." She believes that when people say "there's a time and place" for breastfeeding, it should mean "anywhere at any time baby says so."
Haro and Wenske have also launched "Breast Friends," an app that allows mothers to search nearby for restaurants and other public places that support breastfeeding. In addition, "Breast Friends" offers tips for nursing in public and allows mothers to leave feedback about each location.
Wenske and Haro say their goal is to encourage people to open their minds, as well as to get supporters of breastfeeding rights to speak up.
"The topic of public breastfeeding isn't the most common of conversations, which is why not much change is going on both in a legal platform and even just society's perspective in general," Haro says. "Without conversation, there is no change."