If a petition has its way, a future episode of Sesame Street will be brought to you by the letter “B” — for breastfeeding. A group of “breastfeeding mothers and their supporters everywhere” would like the show to feature more nursing mothers. At some point in the recent past, Sesame Street swapped breasts for bottles when discussing feeding babies. As of Jan. 11, more than 5,000 people have signed an online petition titled “Bring Breastfeeding Back to Sesame Street” in the hopes of changing that. The petition encourages Sesame Street to show both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding as normal options for babies and parents.
If Sesame Street decides to comply with the petition’s request, they would not be breaking new ground, but actually returning to their roots. In the ’70s and ’80s, discussions of breastfeeding were featured on the show. It wasn’t until the ’90s that bottles became the chosen method of feeding babies. Here’s a timeline of videos showing how the discussion of baby feeding has changed on Sesame Street over the years, found via BuzzFeed.
In the ’70s, nursing was integrated into the program:
In the ’80s, nursing and bottle-fed options were discussed:
In the ’90s, only a bottle is shown:
Why do these parents and concerned citizens feel the need to promote the issue on children’s television? According to the petition, “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.”