Should breast-feeding be shown on Sesame Street?

Sesame Street via / Today
In a Sesame Street from 1977, Buffy St. Claire explains breastfeeding to Big Bird.

Sesame Street, brought to you by the letter “B.” As in, breast-feeding.

That’s the hope of a petition “Bring Breastfeeding Back to Sesame Street,”  which was started by moms on the website who say they “want breast-feeding normalized again.”

The petition, which currently has more than 9,700 signatures, points to the good old days on the Street in the 70's and 80's when “nursing was tastefully shown on the show.”

Guest star Buffy St. Marie breast-fed in a 1977 episode, explaining to Big Bird: “I’m feeding the baby. See? He’s drinking milk from my breast.” To which Big Bird answers: "That's a funny way to feed a baby." And St. Marie responds: "Lots of mothers feed their babies this way. Not all mothers, but lots of mothers do." Street regular Sonia Marzano (aka Maria) was also shown nursing her own daughter on the show. 

Petitioners say they are not asking the show to remove bottle feeding. They just want both ways represented.

If we normalize breastfeeding in our community, especially with our children, we can help raise a generation of breastfeeders which will support our economy, make for healthier children and lessen the risk of breast cancer for many nursing mamas!  

In response to the breast-feeding brouhaha, Sesame Workshop, creators of Sesame Street, responded with this statement via email:

Sesame Street is a research-based educational program for preschoolers. Each new season is designed to teach a specific curriculum; this year’s curriculum is science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Sesame Street does not have a mandate against breastfeeding, and the show never made a switch to portray bottle-feeding only.  We have depicted breastfeeding in the past, and would include it again in the future if it was a natural part of the storyline.

What do you think? Should Sesame Street feature breast-feeding?