The Short of It
A photo of a mom breastfeeding on Santa's lap has gone viral—and stirred up a major controversy online.
Canadian mother Rebecca Dunbar was simply meeting her baby's need for food during a visit to see Santa, but the resulting photo of her breastfeeding the infant is sparking a heated debate on the Internet.
"Honestly, we were just in line and my little guy, who has the patience of nothing, decided he was hungry in about two seconds. He would have just screamed the entire time so I started nursing him. And we were next in line," Dunbar told Global News. "We joked about it but then thought, 'Why not?' So we asked the photographer, and he was comfortable with it because he has two children and they both nurse."
And when they asked Santa?
"It's been 40 years and never had a question like that, but why not," he told Dunbar.
Dunbar subsequently posted the cheeky breastfeeding photo to Facebook, unintentionally unleashing a firestorm.
"With my friends it's been very positive. But I've seen a lot of negative comments on social media, which is disappointing for [me] to see," she said, adding some commenters have even gone so far as to call her natural act trashy!
One commenter wrote, "She could have either found a quiet spot... or she could have pumped breast milk first and put it in a bottle in case her baby got hungry. Instead, she decided to act like an exhibitionist."
Despite the negativity, Dunbar isn't sorry she took the photo, nor is she sorry she shared it, claiming she would absolutely do it over a million times.
"I think breastfeeding should be made more acceptable in all ways. It shouldn't deserve a comment one way or another because it shouldn't be seen as abnormal," the mom-of-three says.
I think Dunbar was absolutely looking for attention, but don't we all when we post things online? I say good for her! Breastfeeding is normal and natural, and although this photo was taken and shared with the intent, conscious or subconscious, of stirring the pot a bit, anything that advances the cause of normalizing breastfeeding is a good thing in my book.