Where Are All the Nursing Moms on TV?

Have you ever noticed that while you’re watching TV and your little is nursing, you don’t often come across a woman doing that exact same thing on your screen?

New moms across the land are doing the Netflix and Nurse thing but the characters on their favorite shows are not. If you see a baby eating, chances are it’s from a bottle or they’re chowing down on solids. 

So what gives?

THE RULES

Well for one thing, the FCC has specific guidelines about this. Now, keep in mind, breastfeeding in public is lawful in many states…but there are certain rules about showing boobs on TV. WCPO in Cincinnati recently came under fire for blurring out imagine of women breastfeeding. The station’s explanation on its website makes sense:

WCPO's intent in blurring a portion of the image was not a choice or judgment call made to censor breastfeeding or perpetuate any stigma against breastfeeding. However, a portion of the woman's breast was visible in the image, and, had we shown the woman's breast on air, our station could have faced fines totaling in hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The station staff goes on to mention that the photos of women breastfeeding remain happily displayed on their Facebook page though, because the big bad FCC doesn’t impose fines or sanctions there.

THE PAST

There’s a beautiful moment on an ancient episode of Sesame Street (1977) in which a woman named Buffy is breastfeeding her son Cody. As Big Bird asks what she’s doing, she happily explains that Cody is drinking milk from her breast. It’s rare to see something so positive about nursing on TV these days though.

I caught an episode of Bravo’s Odd Mom Out a year or so ago in which the protagonist Jill toys with the idea of moving to Brooklyn from Manhattan. Eventually she decides the place is too “crunchy” for her, but not before insulting from afar a mom who is nursing on a bench.

That exchange is more expected and accepted.

Ever noticed that when the Real Housewives of You-Name-The-City have a baby, the only time it’s being fed it’s drinking from a bottle? Look closely. You won’t see breastfeeding there. 

THE FUTURE

We are lucky to see some reality stars pumping milk, however. Kourtney Kardashian posted a photo on Instagram featuring her hands-free pump. And that is a triumph!

We also see many #brelfie pictures posted by stars too. Most recently, Kardashian’s sister-in-law Blac Chyna posted a pic on Instagram in which her daughter Dream is nursing.

Let’s hope the FCC wakes up soon and realizes that mamas deserve to see characters doing what they do. 

Now sit back, get some popcorn and breastfeed!

The information contained on this site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant.