NOT OFFENSIVE: Photographer Melissa Jean Wilbraham is proud of the photos she takes of mums and their bubs and says we have a long way to go to normalise the natural act of breastfeeding.
NOT OFFENSIVE: Photographer Melissa Jean Wilbraham is proud of the photos she takes of mums and their bubs and says we have a long way to go to normalise the natural act of breastfeeding. Warren Lynam

Instagram admits Coast breastfeeding pics far from offensive

A SUNSHINE Coast photographer has won a fight to be reinstated on social media after being banned for posting photos of breastfeeding and births.

Melissa Jean Wilbraham, Sunshine Coast Private Hospital's official baby photographer, said her "beautiful and heart-warming" images were reported as "offensive" by some Instagram users.

But 4000 people came to her defence and fought to get her account back online.

Her @melissajeanbabies Instagram account was reinstated yesterday after being deactivated, ironically at the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week.

"Mothers are a force to be reckoned with and they certainly proved that to Instagram," the 33-year-old photographer said.

 

Instagram is owned by Facebook and a spokeswoman said it allowed photos of breastfeeding.

It was a "pure mistake" that Melissa Jean's account was removed.

"They review millions of pieces of content daily and as much as we'd like to be free of mistakes, we do make them," the spokeswoman said.

"We have reached out to @melissajeanbabies and apologised for our mistake."

However, the Maroochydore photographer believes Instagram was just trying to minimise the backlash.

Do you find breastfeeding photos offensive?

This poll ended on 31 August 2015.

Current Results

No way, it's a beautiful thing

75%

Yes, no need to photograph breastfeeding

6%

It depends on how the photo is taken

17%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Australian Breastfeeding Association Queensland spokeswoman Naomi Millgate said social media sites should be taking the lead and allowing women to share their photos and stories.

"I hope that we will come to a time where breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding photos will be accepted," she said.

"I think that to move towards this sort of world, society needs to change their thinking about the purpose of the breast.

"People need to understand that the primary purpose of woman's breast is to nourish children as a natural part of procreation cycle, following pregnancy, rather than being seen primarily as a sexual object."

 

Melissa Jean said the purpose of her Instagram account was to honour women and their miraculous bodies.

"By exposing the real beauty of motherhood it is normalising breastfeeding and birth for everyone who follows," she said.

Melissa Jean said every image she posted on her social media accounts and website had the permission of the mothers in the photo.

"If a mum lets me put a photo up of her baby coming out of her vagina, then no one else should have a problem with it," she said.

"This experience has shown me how much awareness is needed to normalise breastfeeding and birth - if it was normalised people wouldn't be complaining about my photos."



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