Few women are prepared to reveal their breasts in public, but two of New Zealand’s top baby-products entrepreneurs have made themselves the focal point of a campaign to de-stigmatise breastfeeding to coincide with World Breastfeeding Week, August 1st – 7th.
Louisa Currie and Heidi Riley both posed with their infants for a revealing viral email and poster that has been sent to thousands of women around New Zealand and the world, to encourage breastfeeding after their own survey revealed that 69% or women are embarrassed to breastfeed in public.
“We wanted to de-stigmatise the issue,” says Louisa. “We all know that ‘Breast is Best’ but were shocked at how many women were too embarrassed to breastfeed in public – so we just wanted to put a message out to all mums that it is ok – just go ahead and feed your baby!”
The survey results were gathered through a questionnaire sent to their 3,300 customers of their online retail brand Bellybeyond.co.nz.
Louisa and Heidi both admitted though that the concept of being seen breastfeeding by thousands was a little challenging for them. “We aren’t extroverted at all and knowing that this photo would go everywhere did make us feel a bit shy,” laughs Heidi, “but we believe that the more images people see of breastfeeding and the more mums who actually do it, the less of an issue it is going to be.”