Over the course of four decades, ‘Sesame Street’ has changed it’s handling of infant nutrition by choosing to feature bottle feeding babies instead of breastfeeding babies and breastfeeding advocates are not happy about it. One particular advocate, whose goal is to present to young impressionable children the normalcy of breastfeeding, has created an online petition to rally support to get ‘Sesame Street’ to show more breastfeeding mothers on the show. The petitions author points out that she’s not looking to censor bottle feeding, she wants both feeding methods to be presented.
Her petition reads:
“If we normalize breastfeeding in our community, especially with our children, we can help raise a generation of breastfeeders which will support our economy, make for healthier children and lessen the risk of breast cancer for many nursing mamas!”
During the 70s and 80s, Sesame Street featured segments of women breastfeeding their infants. In 1988, one scene shows Maria breastfeeding her infant daughter sitting along side a curious child who asked her several questions about how she was feeding her baby. The child asked if that’s the only way she fed her baby and Maria said no, that sometimes she gives her milk from her breasts and sometimes she feeds her with a bottle. She also tell the girl that she likes breastfeeding the best because it’s more natural.
In the 1990s, a prior segment called “You’re My Baby” was redone and replaced a previously breastfed baby with a bottle-fed one. Advocates are seeking to change this and asking ‘Sesame Street’ to support breastfeeding initiatives.
The care2 ‘Bring breastfeeding back to Sesame Street’ petition currently has over 5,000 signatures, with a goal of 7,500.