Well-known Tommee Tippee has released an ad that is designed to empower women as they feed their babies has been censored due to 'adult content' in Australia, and had to be revised in order to be accepted on Facebook.

We are forever talking about normalizing breastfeeding but it seems like no matter how many steps forward we take, there'll be several that take us back.

Case in point?

Popular baby-feeding brand Tommee Tippee has created an advertisement that is designed to help mothers feel supported in the mental, emotional and physical challenges that come with feeding your baby. The ad came after 93% of polled mothers said that there was tremendous guilt in how to best feed baby, particularly if breastfeeding was not the route that a mother chose.

The ad has a diverse cast of mothers who had a variety of feeding situations displayed--from a mother tandem-feeding her newborns to another mother with a prosthetic arm and another mother who'd had a mastectomy.

Australia's ad review platform initially gave the ad an MA15+ rating for nudity, but then lowered it to an M. Still, Facebook refused to show the ad, and refused to show a shorter, no-nipple shown version because of the rating, calling it 'adult content.' A Tommee Tippee spokeswoman said that Facebook told them that ads could not include any sexual or sexually suggestive words or images and had to avoid nudity, people in explicit positions or sexually provocative activities. No nudity in any form is allowed."

And there continues the problem...that breastfeeding and 'sexually suggestive' are in the same argument is ridiculous.

Vanessa Gonzalez is a Marketing Manager with Tommee Tippee. She said that reactions like Facebook's that focused on breasts and feeding as 'adult content' were worrisome and a clear indicator of how we (in Australia) treat moms. The censorship only reinforces the very outdated attitudes about feeding and that's part of the reason the survey found so many moms felt shame in however they fed their babies.

Gonzalez said that censoring the ad sends the message that there's shame or something 'wrong' when it comes to feeding one's baby, and that can affect how a woman feels about her body and motherhood.

The original ad in its entirety is still being shown, and is available in its uncut version on their website.
Currently, only a 15-second ad that is product-focused has been approved for use on social media.

Australia feeding advocates clearly have some concerns as well. Cath Curtin, also known as Midwife Cath, said the ad showed that becoming a mother is different for everyone and that breasts come in all different shapes and sizes. The realistic view of women and their baby-feeding experiences is refreshing and should be celebrated.

Olympian Sally Pearson said she wished ads like this existed for her when she was a new mom, as they'd reduce apprehension and share that no mom's journey is the same.

Image: Tommee Tippee