It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an … inflatable breast?
Citygoers in London were in for a bit of a shock this week after Elvie, the makers of a hands-free breast pump, placed five large, inflatable breasts on top of buildings around the city. The company put them up in an effort to normalize breastfeeding.
“Today we’ve launched #FreeTheFeed to help fight the stigma around breastfeeding and pumping in public,” Elvie announced on their Instagram page on Sunday. “#FreetheFeed is an invitation to everyone to stand with all those women that have felt shamed or confined when breastfeeding or pumping. We want to empower mothers to feel safe and comfortable to feed how and where they choose to.”
Tania Boler, the CEO and founder of Elvie, said that the company put them up on Sunday to coincide with Mother’s Day in the U.K.
“To celebrate Mother’s Day, Elvie has placed five giant, inflatable balloons around the London skyline to highlight how important it is that women should feel proud about their bodies and proud about breastfeeding in public,” she said in a video.
Boler hopes to encourage more women to nurse in the hopes of reversing the low breastfeeding statistics in the country.
“The UK has one of the worst rates when it comes to breastfeeding,” she says. “Less than one in three mums are breastfeeding at six months and less than one in 12 at 12 months. It’s very much about personal choice. A lot of women might not choose to breastfeed, but for those who want to, they need to be given the freedom and they have the right to breastfeed wherever they want.”
“It’s all about women coming together, owning our bodies and being the women we want to be,” she added.
The company asked women to share their favorite photos and stories about breastfeeding and pumping, and though the breasts came down on Thursday, the hashtag is still active all over social media.
“We hope you keep the conversations going in your groups and friendship circles as we promise to do throughout the rest of the year!” Elvie said on Instagram. “It’s not over! Let’s #FreeTheFeed!”
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