Saturday 10 December 2016

Soldiers in uniform pose for stunning photo to 'normalise breastfeeding'

Sasha Brady

Published 14/09/2015 | 14:50

The image was posted on Facebook by photographer and former servicewoman Tara Ruby
The image was posted on Facebook by photographer and former servicewoman Tara Ruby

Ten female soldiers posed in uniform breastfeeding their babies to show "how far" the US Army has come.

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The touching snap has gone viral after being posted on Facebook by photographer and former servicewoman Tara Ruby.

When Ruby served in the army between 1997 and 2001 support for breastfeeding mums "wasn't even an option or consideration."

So when Ruby, who is now a photographer, heard that Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, was opening a nursing room at its headquarters, she wanted to contribute in some way.

Read more: Strength in numbers: Tips for newbie mums at mothers and babies groups

Parnering with the Fort Bliss P3T program, a mothers' support group,  Ruby posted a request on Facebook to find nursing mothers willing to be photographed for the portrait.

Ten women answered her call and showed up for shoot, held Thursday, September 10, at the Army post. All of them came in full uniform, with their babies in tow.

Ruby said: "To my knowledge a group photo to show support of active duty military mommies nursing their little one's has never been done."Today, I believe we made history. It's nice to see support for this here at Fort Bliss.

Read more: BBC radio DJ Alex Dyke suspended over breastfeeding remarks

"We have come so far. Breastfeeding their babies doesn't make them less of a soldier, I believe it makes them a better one."

Ruby said she first posted the photograph Thursday night, but it was removed from her page, presumably by Facebook, as it "breached nudity policies."

However, the photograph keeps getting re-posted and has been shared over 10,000 with the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding.

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