Are breastfeeding mothers getting their own emoji?

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Breastfeeding moms may finally get some emoji representation

It looks like breastfeeding mothers may be getting their own emoji. According to ABC News, the breastfeeding emoji was one of the most requested characters of 2016, with many social media users asking the Unicode Consortium to include it in its roster of emojis.

It was nurse Rachel Lee, however, who sent in the formal proposal to Unicode’s technical committee to include a breastfeeding emoji.

“The lack of a breastfeeding emoji represents a gap in the Unicode Standard”

breastfeeding emoji

Photo: Unicode

“I propose adding an emoji for breastfeeding as a complement to the existing baby bottle emoji, and to complete the set of family emojis,” Lee wrote in her proposal.

“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.”

Breastfeeding remains the most common method of feeding babies, which is why its absence in emoji form is questionable. A breastfeeding emoji will not only help normalize breastfeeding, but as Lee told The Huffington Post, it will also serve as “a little badge of honor on social media [that can] be used for quick communication with friends and family or even just as a sign that society supports [breastfeeding mothers] for their hard work.”

On the next page: why the baby bottle emoji just doesn’t cut it.

“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”

There does exist a baby bottle emoji, but as Lee points out, a baby bottle and a breastfeeding emoji aren’t interchangeable.

“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,” she wrote. “Both are forms of transport which achieve many of the same goals, but are clearly not interchangeable, and give a different message than intended.”

breastfeeding emoji

Photo: Pexels

If the breastfeeding emoji gets approved, it will probably come in different skin tone variations, Mashable reports. Unicode is also deliberating over other proposed emojis, like a mermaid, a coconut, meditating, and a climber.

The approved characters will be released mid-2017, as part of the Unicode 10.0 update. We can’t wait until we can finally use them next year!

READ: Brazilian Vogue features breastfeeding model on latest cover

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