A Breastfeeding Emoji Is Currently Under Review

breastfeeding emoji

Joshua Jones

Isn’t it kind of frustrating when you’re texting and you’re talking to your friends about your day, and you can’t use an emoji to describe the fact that you’re breastfeeding? Well, now you may be able to, thanks to nurse Rachel Lee.

In a proposal to the company that oversees the creation of emojis, Unicode, Lee designed a breastfeeding character to complement the existing baby bottle. She came up the idea at her job as a nurse at University College of London Hospital, since neonatal nurses are often help new moms breastfeed. She told The Huffington Post:

“The lack of a breastfeeding emoji represents a gap in the Unicode Standard given the prevalence of breastfeeding in cultures around the world, and throughout history,” she argued in her proposal. 

I just don’t think we are exposed to it enough in society and sometimes we forget how important it is developmentally in all areas to mothers and their babies.”

Having a baby bottle emoji, but no breastfeeding baby, can seem a bit biased–as if breastfeeding isn’t a form of feeding your child. Did you know the breastfeeding baby is actually one of the top 30 most-requested characters of the past year? Well, it is. And it’s about time people got what they wanted. Lee put it perfectly herself in her proposal:

“Using a Baby Bottle emoji as a substitute for a breastfeeding emoji would be like using a car emoji as a substitute for a bike. Both are forms of transport which achieve many of the same goals, but are clearly not interchangeable, and give a different message than intended.”

As of now, Unicode will consider the breastfeeding emoji at a company meeting in November, where new characters including almond, coconut, climber, mermaid, person meditating, and pie will be reviewed. If accepted, it would hit phones the summer of 2017.


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Joanna Valente

Joanna Valente is the Editorial Assistant at Kveller. She is the author of Sirs & Madams The Gods Are Dead, and Marys of the Sea (forthcoming), and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. You can follow her @joannasaid on Twitter, @joannacvalente on Instagram, or email her at joanna@kveller.com.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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