The tandem breastfeeding photo that got a mum's Facebook account shut down

The photo that started it all.
The photo that started it all.  Photo: Facebook/Rebecca Wanosik

A mother of six claims that Facebook disabled her account because she posted a photograph of herself tandem breastfeeding a stranger's baby along with her own.

Rebecca Wanosik, 30, from the US, shared the photo to help normalise breastfeeding in different circumstances. In her post, she explained that when a friend had messaged her asking if she would be prepared to breastfeed another woman's baby she didn't hesitate.

"Was there ever a question? The baby's mother was having surgery and the baby is exclusively breastfed and refused a bottle," she wrote.

"When the baby arrived you could tell she was hungry and exhausted and just needed some milk. I did what I hope any person would do for my child in a time of despair. I fed a stranger's baby."

Wanosik, who is a passionate lactivist, said she was surprised some people thought feeding a strangers baby was weird or unnatural.

"They are boobs, they are meant to feed babies. Also, in case anyone forgot, they are mine, so I'm fairly certain I choose what happens with them.

"Regardless, I took an amazing photo tandem nursing these two babies together and it shows that hungry babies don't care, they just need to be fed," she concluded.

The post attracted thousands of comments and shares, but without warning, Wanosik's Facebook account was then disabled. Some people who were unhappy with the post had reported Wanosik's account as fraudulent, and in order to get it back she had to prove her identity.

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Now back online after a short hiatus Wanosik says that she doesn't understand why her post caused such controversy.

"If you don't like it, don't look," she wrote. "If you're incapable of seeing this at face value for what it is, don't look.

"And to clear up any misconceptions here are some FPC (Frequently Publicised Concerns).

"I had permission from the other child's mother to post the photos. The other mother and I have a mutual friend who knew enough about me to know I could safely feed her baby. 

"I did what any compassionate woman should have done. Period."

Speaking to Babble, Wanosik says that given the opportunity she would do it all again.

"I would absolutely feed anyone's hungry baby again," she said.

"When babies are hungry and their mothers aren't there to feed them, I would hope any mother would do her service and support her village."

A Facebook spokesperson told Essential Baby that breastfeeding photos are definitely allowed on Facebook. 

"We agree that breastfeeding is natural and we know that it's important for mothers to be able to share their experiences with others on Facebook," the spokesperson explained.

 "This account was disabled in error but has now been restored. Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we occasionally do make a mistake, as has happened here. We apologise for this and for any inconvenience caused."