International breastfeeding symbol

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The International breastfeeding symbol

The International breastfeeding symbol was created by Matt Daigle, a graphic artist and father. He created the symbol in response to a contest hosted by Mothering magazine.[1] The winner was chosen in November 2006 out of a total of more than 500 entries.[2] Daigle, who says his wife and son were the inspiration behind the symbol, signed the symbol over to the public domain.

Increasing cultural diversity and personal mobility have created a growing need for universal modes of communication.[3] The International Breastfeeding Symbol was created in the style of the AIGA symbol signs commonly seen in public places. These signs need to be designed carefully because they need to be understood at a glance by most people without written descriptions explaining what they mean.[4]

The International Breastfeeding Symbol was created specifically to address the perceived problem of not having a universally accepted and understood symbol for breastfeeding available in public places. The modern iconography representing infancy usually involves artificial feeding or soothing objects, like a nurser bottle icon or pacifier symbol. [5] Nursing rooms traditionally use a baby bottle symbol to designate what they are instead of a symbol of a mother nursing a child. The International Breastfeeding Symbol may be helpful in shifting the bottle-feeding cultural paradigm toward the biological norm of breastfeeding.[6]

In July 2007, the International Breastfeeding Symbol site, dedicated to the new symbol, was launched. Examples of uses of the symbol include:

  • In 2008, the South Sound Breastfeeding Network of the state of Washington, United States, featured the symbol in a "Breastfeeding Welcome Here" campaign.[7]
  • In 2009, the symbol was to be posted at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Winter Park, Florida, United States, following a complaint by a restaurant customer that the manager of the restaurant had unlawfully asked her to cover her baby's head while breastfeeding.[8]

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