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New Breastfeeding Emoji Could Help Normalize Nursing

The Stork Bag - New Breastfeeding Emoji Could Help Normalize Nursing - woman breastfeeding

 (This article originally appeared on Scary Mommy.)

On Thursday, the internet powers-that-be, specifically Unicode, “the computing industry standard for encoding,” are gifting us with 56 new emojis for 2017. These include a zombie, a bowl of cereal, an elf, a bearded dude, a woman with a hijab, men and women in lotus positions, gender non-binary adults and children, and — may the heavens open and lactation consultants rejoice — an emoji of a woman breastfeeding.

Sisters in boobage, we have an emoji.

I don’t have to tell you this is a big deal. Unicode approved a baby bottle emoji in 2010, and since then, that bottle’s been the only way to use emojis to express infant feeding. And this has been a big deal, for several reasons: According to the proposal for the breastfeeding emoji, the baby bottle ranks in the top 50% of emojis used. It’s also important when U.S. breastfeeding rates are only 49.4% at six months, and 40.7% exclusive breastfeeding at three months — meaning 59% of mothers are supplementing by three months (this can include formula or food). So more than 50% of mamas do need that bottle emoji by then. Nobody is taking issue with that, I promise.

The CDC’s goals for 2020 have 60.6% of mothers nursing at six months, and 46.2% nursing exclusively at three months. The only way we’ll accomplish that is to make breastfeeding more accessible, and one of the key ways to make it more accessible is to make it more acceptable, more normal, more woven into the fabric of society.

Cue our new emoji.

The breastfeeding emoji was submitted for just that reason by Rachel Lee, a registered nurse at University College of London Hospital. She argued that it would fill a gap “given the prevalence of breastfeeding in cultures around the world, and throughout history.” She cites the frequency of breastfeeding, especially at birth (nearly 80% in the United States), and argues that other apps and sticker packs include breastfeeding moms. Apparently a breastfeeding emoji was one of the top 30 emoji requests, and inspired a petition, in addition to many tweets asking for it.

To read the entire article, please visit the link below:

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Tips For The Nursing Mama

The Stork Bag - Tips For The Nursing Mama

Before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after pregnancy I always thought

I would be a breastfeeding mom. By breastfeeding mom, I meant a nursing
mom. It always appealed to me and was something I had my mind set on
doing even before day one. I can honestly say going into pregnancy and
motherhood I had unrealistic expectations as to what it took to be a
nursing mother. Shortly after delivering we had tons of issues with
nursing, overactive let down, shallow latch, etc. I quickly was no
longer apart of the “nursing mom” group but became a part of the “pumping
mom” group. It was a long sixteen-month journey and something I was
completely unprepared for. Here are some tips I wish I had known before
endeavoring on my pumping journey:
• Don’t stress, it is very overwhelming knowing your actual output and
stressing will always make it worse
• Stay hydrated! This is very important and keep away from pop and
caffeine. One cup of coffee won’t kill you
• Supplementing doesn’t make you a bad mom, any amount of breast milk is
• Find a comfortable hands free pumping bra (it will change your life)
• Coconut oil is your best friend! Lather your nipples up, before,
during and after pumping to save them from cracking
• Watch out for teas that enhance milk production. Fenugreek and goats
rue can cause bloating, cramping and gas in little ones (don’t dump the
milk if you notice this happen, save it for milk baths)
• Don’t get lazy, pump every three hours the first three months this is
critical time in developing your supply, yes even at night. You will be
• Mastitis will be your biggest enemy, if you get it don’t freak out,
you can continue your pumping journey, I did

Lastly, one of the best tips that I can give to a pumping mom is be
proud of yourself. Pumping is not fun, it never will be fun and yes, your
pump will be screaming random things at you during your 3am pumping
sessions (donut run, donut run, donut run) but it’ll all be worth it. I
promise. Best of luck to you at whatever phase of your journey you are