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Why This Breastfeeding Photo Went Viral

Hint: it wasn’t the woman’s baby

On a domestic Philippine Airlines flight last week, 24-year-old air hostess Patrisha Organo heard a baby’s cry. The mother looked up at her tearfully, explaining that she’d run out of formula.

“I felt a pinch in my heart,” Organo – a recent new mum herself – later wrote on Facebook. “There’s no formula milk onboard. I thought to myself, there’s only one thing I could offer and that’s my own milk. And so I offered.”

The flight attendant scooped up the baby and took her to a private area to feed.

“As soon as the baby started rooting and feeding from me, I saw the relief on the mother’s eyes and eventually her daughter fell asleep. As a mother myself I knew the stress she would’ve been going through,” Organo wrote. “I could only imagine the chaos of those feelings. The helplessness you feel when you cannot feed your hungry child is horrible, so I had to step in.”

The photo has been shared nearly 39,000 times, met by some censure – namely concerns about sharing milk – but overwhelmingly praise for the selfless act. And in a year that’s seen women make headlines for nursing their babies everywhere from on the catwalk to during an ultra-marathon, it’s another important step towards normalising breastfeeding.

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