Breastfeeding emoji is the brainchild of staff nurse

Nurse lobbied for an emoji that would break down stigma of breastfeeding in public.

Nurse lobbied for an emoji that would break down stigma of breastfeeding in public

Rachel Lee wants mothers to be able to use breastfeeding emojis. Picture: BBC

A neonatal nurse has successfully lobbied for the creation of a breastfeeding emoji to help tackle the stigma of women feeding their babies in public.

Breastfeeding not represented

Rachel Lee wrote to the Unicode Consortium – the body responsible for regulating smartphone and social media emojis – after noticing there were few representing babies, and none depicting breastfeeding.

Emojis, or emoticons, are images that symbolise popular words, sayings or actions and are widely used in digital messaging.

Release of new emojis

The consortium agreed to include an image of a breastfeeding mother among the imminent release of 56 new emojis for smartphones and tablet computers.

Breastfeeding emoji
The breastfeeding emoji as it appears across different platforms

At present, the only emoji depicting infant feeding is a baby's bottle.

Ms Lee, a staff nurse and medical equipment trainer at University College Hospital in London, told the BBC: 'There are a lot of people who still have negative things to say about breastfeeding in public and think that women should be doing that behind closed doors, that it's meant to be a private thing. By putting it out there in society, more people will talk about it.'

'A fun thing to do'

She said she hoped the breastfeeding emoji would help show that breastfeeding is not something that should be hidden from view.

‘Emojis are fun, it’s a fun thing to do.’

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