Embodied Online Activism: Breastfeeding Activism (Lactivism) on Facebook

  • Lula Mecinska
Keywords: Breastfeeding, Activism, Embodiment, Social media, Lactivism


Online support communities for people with various health problems and related online activist groups have been the focus of scholarly attention for three decades. The arrival of social media increased the popularity and breadth of both phenomena. Breastfeeding online activism represents an interesting case in how it connects the (health) support and activist online presences of breastfeeding women. Furthermore, breastfeeding activism - or lactivism - is a form of embodied activism, often performed through breastfeeding. Stemming from over six years of observant participation in breastfeeding spaces online, this article traces the ways in which lactivists use Facebook to further their cause. From the creation of support groups, through the use of Facebook capabilities to organise action and create structures, to Facebook specific forms of mass action, including image flooding and negrating, I argue that the emergence of lactivism as we know it is intimately connected with, and through, the medium.

December 11, 2018
How to Cite
Mecinska, L. (2018). Embodied Online Activism: Breastfeeding Activism (Lactivism) on Facebook. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 11(2), 21–38. https://doi.org/10.31165/nk.2018.112.534