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The International Breastfeeding Symbol

Lactivism (a portmanteau of "lactation" and "activism") is the advocacy of breastfeeding.[1] Supporters, referred to as "lactivists", seek to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding over formula-feeding and to ensure that nursing mothers are not discriminated against.[1][2]

One form that lactivism can take is the staging of a "nurse-in" (a play on "sit-in"), which involves women gathering in public to nurse their children, usually to protest incidents in which a nursing mother was asked to cover up or leave a location because she was nursing.[3][4][5]

Often during nurse-ins, nursing mothers will sometimes wear clothing with the International Breastfeeding Symbol on it, to show their solidarity.[6]

Another form of lactivism is acting as support for mothers that wish to nurse. Lactivists provide information and share resources on successful nursing.

Many lactivists choose to breastfeed their child over bottle feeding. These mothers prefer this method mainly due to the fact that it is the natural route. Mothers choose to feed their child in a way that was meant to be, rather than from a package. Bottle feeding is costlier than breastfeeding. With bottle feeding, there are a multitude of items you have to buy in order to feed your child. Breastfeeding reduces those costs immensely by eliminating some of the necessities that are needed for bottle feeding. The extra money saved from breastfeeding can be used for other useful items for the child. Mother’s feed their child in a close, private, and personal way. Bottle feeding is not as private and personal. Breastfeeding is mainly between the mother and her child. Bonding occurs immensely between a mother and her child when breastfeeding. The first year of a child’s life is a crucial time to gain their trust and build your relationship. Breastfeeding helps with the child’s immune system better than bottle feeding does. Basically, through breastfeeding, the child is receiving the mother’s immunity to the world, along with important antibodies. Multiple health organizations recommend breastfeeding over bottle feeding as a better choice for babies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) (Breastfeeding Vs Bottle Feeding).

Sources: “Breastfeeding Vs Bottle Feeding.” Nemours. 1995-2016. The Nemours Foundation. Web. 8 July 2016. < >

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Harmon, Amy. (June 7, 2005). "'Lactivists' Taking Their Cause, and Their Babies, to the Streets." The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  2. ^ Gordon, Andrew. (September 24, 2007). "The politics of breastfeeding." Toronto Star. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  3. ^ "Breast-feeding mothers stage nurse-in. (November 16, 2006). MSNBC News. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  4. ^ "'Nurse-In' Protest To Take Place In Chatsworth." (September 8, 2007). CBS News. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  5. ^ "National 'nurse-in' set to protest treatment of mom." (November 20, 2006). USA Today. Retrieve September 27, 2007.
  6. ^ "The International Breastfeeding Symbol. (n.d.). Mothering. Retrieved September 27, 2007.

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