This Photo Of A Mother & Her Newborn Was Removed From Facebook (NSFW)

Photo: Courtesy Of Leonard Mayorga.
Last week, a woman named Francie posted the above photo of herself and her newborn daughter to a closed Facebook group called NYC Birth. It's a rare glimpse into the first moments after a natural home birth — blood, breasts, umbilical cord, and all. It was also apparently too much for some to stomach.

New York Magazine
was the first to report that shortly after Francie posted the photo, she received a text from a friend informing her that the picture had been reported and Francie had been blocked from Facebook. "I felt shocked, as I didn't expect that would happen in a birth group, particularly when I had already posted the same photo there a year ago," Francie told Refinery29. "I laughed about it, but in the last few days, I've come to see its reporting as part of a larger problem in our country that I find really concerning — so many women aren't happy with their birth experiences."

As a consultant who teaches mothers to hand-express their breast milk through her company TheMilkinMama, Francie is well-acquainted with women's anxieties around motherhood. "My suspicion is that someone who isn't comfortable with birth photos either has no exposure to birth or, in the case of a member of a birth group, had a birthing experience that she wasn't satisfied with," she said. "I'd love for us to make change that allows for all women to be happy with the care they receive before, during, and after their baby's birth."

While it's true that the photo shows Francie's breasts, Facebook policy allows for breastfeeding photos and photos of breasts with post-mastectomy scarring. Many don't understand why breasts shown in the context of another natural motherhood experience should be handled so differently, and Francie is with them. "Because of Facebook's stance on breastfeeding and post-mastectomy scarring, I bet they will change their stance on birthing photos," she told us. "A woman becoming a mother is a thing of power. I hope that as birth photos become more common, more women will, in turn, feel more empowered by their births."
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