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Facebook Deletes -- and then Reinstates -- Breastfeeding Support Group


Updated 1/5/11 2:07 pm: Hooray! The Leaky B@@b is back up as of approximately 1:30 pm EST.

Updated 1/5/11 9:27 a.m.: Facebook has once again deleted The Leaky B@@b – as well as the Bring Back the Leaky Boob group that had formed in response to its deletion! TLB Support is still on Facebook, and Bring Back the Leaky Boob – again has also been formed, and already has close to 1,400 members. What do you think: is Facebook anti-breastfeeding?

It’s been a hectic start to the year for mom-of-5 Jessica Martin-Weber, founder and editor of the breastfeeding support group The Leaky B@@b. The group, which offers a space on Facebook for around 5,000 breastfeeding moms to ask questions and offer advice and support, was deleted over the weekend. Facebook claimed that it had violated their Terms of Service, insinuating that breastfeeding photos posted on the group’s page were obscene.

In response to the deletion, breastfeeding supporters, both former members of the group and others, jumped into action, creating two pages on Facebook, Bring Back the Leaky Boob and TLB Support, which together gained more than 10,000 fans. Martin-Weber released a statement urging Facebook not only to restore the group’s page, but to stop considering breastfeeding and any other material and photos related to breast health, obscene. Shortly thereafter, Facebook reinstated the group’s page. Sadly, in the interim, several of the group’s members had personal photos or pages deleted by Facebook, also vaguely claiming that they were in violation of the company’s Terms of Service.

Groups like the Leaky B@@b are important on Facebook, said Martin-Weber, because they offer support for nursing moms around the clock, wherever they are. If a woman feels uncomfortable calling her pediatrician or a lactation consultant with every little question, or is suffering with bloody nipples and a screaming baby at 3 am, The Leaky B@@b offers a supportive place for her to turn. Perhaps most importantly, Martin-Weber works hard to ensure that The Leaky B@@b remain supportive for everyone, including those who choose to stop breastfeeding early on and those who supplement with formula, as well as those who nurse for several years.

We caused a stir ourselves when we featured a photo of a mom nursing on the cover in Babytalk back in 2006. We're sorry to see things haven't changed too much since then.

Moms, have you or any of your friends ever had any breastfeeding photos deleted by Facebook? Do you consider photos of nursing to be obscene?