Facebook’s Breastfeeding War


Over a billion people use Facebook in the world, for free. Before it went public, private investors made up the shareholders. These are the people who invested in the company at its early stages, funded it, and allowed it to become what it is now.
The year before it went public, a war was being waged. Mother’s who wanted to display their accomplishment and pride of breastfeeding were under attack. It began as more and more profile pictures were flagged as pornographic and taken down. Then escalated to the point where some mother’s had their accounts locked for days.
Because one of the founding shareholders primary investment is an Infant Formula Company.

This may not appear to be a substantial amount, however when you review the shareholder list for Facebook it is a substantial influence.

Hutchison China MediTech Ltd announced on May 26, 2011 that it will enter the Chinese infant-formula milk powder market through cooperation with Hain Celestial Group Inc, a leading US natural and organic products company.

“By launching Earth’s Best and Zhi Ling Tong co-branded organic infant formula in China, the companies are targeting the country’s premium market” … China “sees 15 million newborn infants every year, thus the market potential of baby milk powder is huge”.

“In the next five years, the company will strive to gain 2 percent market share, which equals some $123 million.”


  • A fast mention that Interpublic Group which is another Facebook Shareholder of less than 0.5% (an estimated $110 million value) is the parent company of Draftfcb, and Lowe + Partners.

Draftfcb client list includes Nestle and Pfizer. Both companies are known for infant formula.

Lowe + Partners also lists Nestle as a client.


While Facebook is free to its users, it comes with a price. Social networking is controlled by those who can afford to control it.
One thing the formula companies will never be able to market, and never understand, is the bond that breastfeeding creates.

Posting breastfeeding pictures makes a mother feel more normal, more connected, especially in a world where “less than 40% of infants younger than six months of age” were estimated to be exclusively breastfed in 2010.

Seeing breastfeeding pictures increases normalcy, encourages other woman to give it a try, and motivates a nursing mom when she’s up for the eighth time during the night.
After the company went public, the war against breastfeeding pictures ceased. But there is a whole generation of women who remember those years. The times their photos were labeled as un-pure, their accounts were locked and voices muted. There was a time when they were made to feel like outcasts.
Breastfeeding is the best thing for our babies, ourselves, and our environment.
It is the foundation for humanity’s future. It is the health and survival of our species.
What you invest in, where you spend your money and time, is what will change the world.
Every voice and every person makes a difference.
What will you do today to change tomorrow?



*This article was originally published on Formula Free and has since been edited.

Julie Dawn
Author of YOSEMITE RISING. When I'm not writing, I'm reconditioning myself and family to a sustainable and consumer conscious lifestyle. Currently learning to tame a garden and grew herbs. Detoxed from sugar and gluten two years ago. It changed my life. Love connecting with like-minded and mindful people. Always trying to change the world, capture its beauty, and help others see it.