Why Gap Is Being Praised For Its Honest New Breastfeeding Advert

Despite it being a natural part of life and the year being 2018, there's still stigma attached to breastfeeding. Mothers are asked to "cover up" when breastfeeding in public places, leading many to feel judged, ashamed and embarrassed by the need to feed their children. All of which explains why Gap's latest ad campaign has gone down a treat on social media.
The clothing giant posted the ad on Instagram this weekend to promote its new Love By GapBody luxe apparel line, and it's a breath of fresh air compared to how breastfeeding is often portrayed and talked about in the media.
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In the first of the two campaign images, Nigerian model Adaora Akubilo Cobb is seen cuddling her 20-month-old son, Arinze, and the second photo shows her breastfeeding him, a tender moment that has been warmly received by the 40k people (and counting) who have liked the image on Insta so far.
However, far from the moment being carefully planned, it actually happened by accident as the toddler needed feeding mid-shoot. “I let [the team] know,” Akubilo Cobb told the Chicago Tribune, “They’re like, ‘Oh, my God, of course it’s OK, go ahead.’ And they said, ‘You can do it right here.’” Then the photographer asked if she could take some shots, an experience Akubilo Cobb described as affirming and empowering.
The campaign has made waves on the internet, with women in particular praising the brand for helping to shed the stigma attached to breastfeeding (using the hashtag #NormalizeBreastfeeding), for highlighting diversity and for selling practical-yet-comfy clothing to boot.
Akubilo Cobb posted the campaign image on her own Instagram page, followed by a longer post on Tuesday about her experience of breastfeeding. She believes it wouldn't have been so easy for her to breastfeed at work in any other industry.

Thank-you @byalisonbowen for featuring my son and I in your @chicagotribune article (click in bio link to read) to offer insight into an important issue. I had the desire and determination to breastfeed for as long as possible but the reality is if I weren’t in the industry that I’m in, I believe that fulfilling this goal would’ve been challenging or near impossible. For instance, I had the unique opportunity to work with my son for @gap so I didn’t have to worry about expressing. When I needed to nurse him photographer @cassblackbird went with the flow capturing the beautiful moment, which made me feel empowered and loved. Friends of mine who are working moms and other working moms in various industries find that they have to fall short of their goals because they don’t have a private area to pump in order to maintain their milk supply. Not only that they aren’t given adequate number of breaks in order to pump. These mothers who need to work and nurse need all the support and love they can get. When my son was born the hospital staff provided me with information about my rights as a mom in the workplace. Please learn about the workplace laws in your state and pass the information along to your friends, your sisters, co-workers, bosses, and moms who you love as a show of support. (Click on About on my Facebook page @adaoraakubilo to learn about the law for nursing moms in Connecticut where I’m from). #normalizebreastfeeding #freedomtoexpress #knowyourworkplacerights #lovebygapbody #gap #love

A post shared by Adaora Akubilo Cobb (@adaoraakubilo) on

"I had the unique opportunity to work with my son for Gap so I didn’t have to worry about expressing. When I needed to nurse him photographer Cass Bird went with the flow capturing the beautiful moment, which made me feel empowered and loved."
Meanwhile, she continued, her friends who are working mothers in other industries "have to fall short of their goals because they don’t have a private area to pump in order to maintain their milk supply. Not only that they aren’t given adequate number of breaks in order to pump. These mothers who need to work and nurse need all the support and love they can get."
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Akubilo Cobb urged women to educated themselves about their rights as women in the workplace, followed by the #NormalizeBreastfeeding hashtag.
In a statement, Gap said their aim with the campaign was "to encourage and empower all women to be the woman they want to be as a friend, partner, wife, mother and voice in today’s society". Seems to be working.
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