It’s 2:00 AM.
You were awakened yet again, for a moonlit nursing session with your newborn. You rub your tired eyes and think of a few friends, who are likely awake, breastfeeding their children too.
Soon, they may only be an emoji away.
On November 10th, Unicode approved a breastfeeding emoji, one of the top 30 requested emojis for 2016 (see the full list here).
A proposal was created for the emoji by nurse, Rebecca Jones, stating that “the lack of a breastfeeding emoji represents a gap in the Unicode Standard given the prevalence of breastfeeding in cultures around the world, and throughout history.” She draws attention to the fact that, currently, the baby bottle is the only option available (which apparently ranks within the top 50% of emojis used), yet breastfeeding is encouraged and quite prevalent around the world.
Her goal is to connect breastfeeding parents with one another and create a “badge of honor” on social media for anyone who is breastfeeding.
I personally think this is wonderful.
I get it. It is just an emoji. So much is happening in the world!
……But emojis are so much fun!
I am already imagining how I might have used the new emoji. Perhaps to let my husband know why the bedtime routine was taking so long (yup, still nursing). I could have quickly let my co-workers know that I was away pumping. It could have served as a fun exchange between my friends and I to stay connected while we breastfed our little ones daily.
It is likely that this emoji will leave us craving more as parents too. We might just need an emoji for tantrums, spit up, potty training mishaps, babywearing while cooking dinner, and spilled (or leaked) breastmilk. Simple images for solidarity along our parenting journey. And all this time I only wanted an emoji for an avocado!
As for the proposed breastfeeding image?
The proposed image depicts an infant being fed via cradle hold and is anticipated to be available in a variety of skin tones. I still find it a bit lacking and perhaps this will be up for review. The parent is headless and the design seems to display trepidation about exposing the full breast. Heck, any breast for that matter!
All in all, even without any changes, it gets the job done.
The emoji is not anticipated to be available before late 2017.
In case you were wondering, here are a few of the other approved emojis:
A merperson, a zombie, a flying saucer, a giraffe, a sandwich, broccoli, a gender-inclusive child, and a woman wearing a hijab.
Photo Credit: Image by Joshua Jones via Emojipedia