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Sunday 26 February 2017

US Army mums pose for photo - while breastfeeding their babies

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ten female members of the US Army breastfeeding their babies Photograph: Tara Ruby/Facebook
Ten female members of the US Army breastfeeding their babies Photograph: Tara Ruby/Facebook

A photograph of 10 female members of the US Army has gone viral in a bid to support photographers Tara Ruby's call to normalise public breastfeeding.

The photograph has been shared more than 10,000 times and has received huge support on Facebook and Instagram.

Photographer Tara Ruby can relate to the women in the photograph - she was a serving of the US Army and was on active duty as a young mother between 1997 and 2001.

"I would nurse anywhere I could find a spot. There wasn't a dedicated office. Many nights I worked through the night, and I would have to find an empty office to pump," she told BBC Trending.

Tara took the image of the women after an army post - Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas - created a nursing room for use by mothers on active duty.

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

While most of the posts to the photograph have been positive, some have challenged the suitability of a woman breastfeeding while in uniform.

One woman wrote: "Since putting on the uniform is a direct reflection of our country and it is worn with professionalism, I (an active duty sailor serving the world's greatest navy) consider this extremely unprofessional."

However, Tara is hoping that her photograph will show that being a soldier while breastfeeding is something that should be considered not incompatible.

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