Thanks to Rachel Lee, a Registered Nurse from the University College of London Hospital, moms will soon be able to share an emoji depicting a woman breastfeeding her baby. In a very convincing proposal, Rachel urged the creator of the emoji keyboard, Unicode, to add a breastfeeding emoji to their collection.
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"There is no emoji which represents the concept of breastfeeding either literally or figuratively." Lee writes in her proposal. "The closest emoji - Baby Bottle - is ineffective as a replacement, due to the global push for breastfeeding where possible." Lee argues that the baby bottle emoji is in the top 50% of emoji's used, and since even women breastfeed than bottle feed, the breastfeeding emoji will likely garner even more support.
Working with Joshua Jones, Lee submitted her idea for the design, which included a headless mom in a purple blouse holding a baby in the most popular breastfeeding position, the cradle hold.
Lee is not alone in her quest to create a breastfeeding emoji, as it was one of the top 30 requests in 2016.
While the breastfeeding emoji will be a welcomed addition for many, some women question if it goes far enough. In an article written for the Huffington Post, Jay McCarthy discusses the lack of breast shown in the emoji. "Most disturbing of all though, is the fact that the breastfeeding mother has no breasts." McCarthy writes. "Was this a deliberate attempt to defeminize the design, so that no-one could possibly be offended by the sight of cartoon cleavage? After all, breastfeeding women are often told to cover up, not to do it in public."
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According to the Straits Times, the breastfeeding emoji was approved in March and is now available on Twitter and will soon be available on Facebook. Google has confirmed the new emoji will be available later this year and Apple is also likely to include the update with the next version of its iOS.
Let's face it moms: it will be highly convenient to send a breastfeeding emoji when someone asks you what you are doing! Any time technology can be used to normalize breastfeeding, we'll take it!
Photo Credit: Image by Joshua Jones via Emojipedia