The Boob LIfe: New ad showing women breastfeeding has been banned by Facebook, rated M by ad reviewers

Picture: Supplied/Tommee Tippee
Picture: Supplied/Tommee Tippee 

Breasts, nipples, breast milk. They're all natural parts of breastfeeding a baby.

But, even in 2021, showing these is enough to warrant an 'adult content' rating, at least when it comes to advertising on Facebook.

Infant feeding brand Tommee Tippee have today released their latest advertising campaign, The Boob Life. 

The original, uncensored version is a one minute clip showing different women - including one woman who has had a double mastectomy, breastfeeding, express pumping, feeding while expressing, hand expressing and bottle feeding their babies.

It features leaky boobs, deflated post-feeding breasts, and babies latching and is aimed as a nipples-and-all celebration of the many ways women choose to feed.

 But the ad has had to overcome hurdles from Facebook - who rejected both the original and a second edited version, as well as receiving an MA15+ rating from Australian ad review platform ClearAds, citing nudity. That rating was reduced to M on Friday.

Marketing manager for the brand Vanessa Gonzalez said the ad was designed to remove the stigma around breastfeeding by normalising it. 

She said their research had shown 93 per cent of mums felt that the challenges of feeding babies - both emotional, physical and mental, were under-acknowledged. 

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"We saw through our insights that a lot of mums felt shamed about breastfeeding, so we wanted to do something to bring attention to it," she said.

Ms Gonzalez said the ad showed skin and nudity, but only in a feeding context that should not warrant the same 'adult content' rating as sexualised imagery.

"It's a shame in 2021 that we're still seeing such language around this, it reinforces outdated notions. We should be embracing, but instead it's being treated as something to hide."

Picture: Supplied/Tommee Tippee

Picture: Supplied/Tommee Tippee

While the company is still working with Facebook to try to have a newly revised edit approved, they have today launched the unedited version on their website.. 

Midwife Cath (Cath Curtin), who has worked with women on pregnancy and post-partum issues for 45 years, said it was a powerful way for everyone - not just women, to see breastfeeding depicted. 

"I suppose breasts have become sexual and people look at women unfortunately in that way with breasts. Breastfeeding is natural and not sexual, it's normal and healthy, so it's about teaching women and young women and men and young men that breasts are there to feed our young and keep them alive." 

She also added the demands of feeding were often not fully realised until women were going through this and highlighting these was a positive step. 

"For all women, myself included, when you're pregnant you think about the birth, that's all that's in your mind, then when you get through that and you're a new parent it's very daunting," she said.

"I was an expert and in that situation even I felt a bit like 'oh my goodness'. "

Source: Tommee Tippee

Source: Supplied/Tommee Tippee

She said more representations, especially ones showing the more difficult aspects were needed to normalise the struggles so women felt less isolated if they encountered difficulties.

"There's a lot more to see, cracked nipples, crying mum and baby, that you're sore post-natal... it's a vulnerable time. And depression and anxiety, all of this goes with breastfeeding. So to capture what's in the video is fantastic, but there's a lot more behind that too." ​