Photo of breastfeeding military moms draws controversy

Photo: Brynja Sigurdardottir via Facebook

A controversy is brewing over a picture of breastfeeding mothers. But these mothers are breastfeeding their children while in their military uniforms.

A photo started as part of a support group's outreach program for nursing mothers in the military. Now it has become the focus of an ongoing debate about breastfeeding in public--especially in uniform.

The photograph shows two women in military uniforms nursing their three babies. One is more exposed as she breastfeeds her ten-month-old twin girls.

At issue is whether these two women should be nursing in public wearing their airmen battle uniforms.

The photograph was taken at a Washington State Air Force base as part of a series done for Mom2mom, an Air Force support group.

On its Facebook page the photo evokes strong opinions. Some are negative, calling it a disgrace to the uniform and that breastfeeding is an off duty assignment in civilian clothes--not in uniform.

But breastfeeding advocates in D.C. see it differently.

While there are some policies about what servicemen and women can do in uniform, the matter of breastfeeding has not been addressed.

One of the women pictured in the photo says, "I'm proud to be wearing a uniform while breastfeeding. I hope (the photo) encourages other women to know they can, whether they're active duty, guard or civilian."