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Mother Marissa Brown defends breastfeeding Facebook photo

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By Sadie Whitelocks

PUBLISHED: 14:51 EST, 3 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:35 EST, 3 January 2014

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A mother has defended a photograph of her breastfeeding her baby daughter after a Facebook user reported it for violating the rules on pornography and nudity.

Marissa Brown, 26, from Torrance, Los Angeles, told CBS News that she was not forced to remove the image - as the social network's own policy respects the rights to share 'content of personal importance' - however, the whole situation left her outraged.

In an act of protest she swiftly swapped her profile picture for one showing her sticking her tongue out at the camera with her child latched to her breast.

Source of controversy: Marissa Brown, 26, posted this image of her breastfeeding her young daughter to Facebook but a user later reported it for violating the rules on nudity and pornography

Source of controversy: Marissa Brown, 26, posted this image of her breastfeeding her young daughter to Facebook but a user later reported it for violating the rules on nudity and pornography

Again she received a notification informing her that it had been flagged as 'offensive'. Dismayed, she posted a long message to her Facebook page defending her actions.

'Breastfeeding isn't a trend. It is life. It is normal. It is natural. It is not shameful. It is not embarrassing. It is protected by LAW!' she wrote.

Before becoming a mother, Ms Brown said she had no intention of breastfeeding because she didn't want to destroy her 'hawt [sic]' cleavage.

But then after having her daughter, Jilly, 'everything changed.'

Not backing down: In an act of protest she swiftly swapped her profile picture for one of her showing her mid-feed facing the camera with her tongue sticking out

Not backing down: In an act of protest she swiftly swapped her profile picture for one of her showing her mid-feed facing the camera with her tongue sticking out

When it comes to the subject of nudity and pornography, Facebook states:  'We aspire to respect people's right to share content of personal importance [like] family photos of a child breastfeeding'

When it comes to the subject of nudity and pornography, Facebook states: 'We aspire to respect people's right to share content of personal importance [like] family photos of a child breastfeeding'

'Whether it be mental or emotional or hormonal or spiritual, I made the hard choice to breastfeed,' she continued.

So far she has been feeding her child for 19 months.

At first she said she was 'embarrassed' about the process because it was something she wasn't exposed to until she was a young adult.

'I was nursing her. And she fell asleep, and it was naptime, and we were close and cuddling, and it was sweet'

But now Ms Brown clearly feels comfortable about sharing the 'natural' experience with the rest of the world.

Indeed, the blonde, who runs a fashion accessories e-commerce business from home, says hearing her daughter say 'boobie' is more 'far more fulfilling than any whistle or honk or comment' she received in the past.

In the first photograph she uploaded to Facebook she appears lying down on the couch with her daughter mid-feed.

Recalling the moment, Ms Brown said: 'I was nursing her. And she fell asleep, and it was naptime, and we were close and cuddling, and it was sweet.'

Changed woman: Before becoming a mother, Ms Brown said she had no intention of breastfeeding because she didn't want to destroy her 'hawt [sic]' cleavage

Changed woman: Before becoming a mother, Ms Brown said she had no intention of breastfeeding because she didn't want to destroy her 'hawt [sic]' cleavage

New experience: Ms Brown has been feeding her daughter for 19 months

New experience: Ms Brown has been feeding her daughter for 19 months

While the scene upset some of her Facebook followers, the majority have supported her openness.

One wrote in response: 'It kills me, all the problems in this world and people are so worried about breastfeeding, who loves who and who don't love who and all kinda [sic] of other crazy stuff!

'Breastfeeding isn't a trend. It is life. It is normal. It is natural. It is not shameful. It is not embarrassing'

'It's a shame a mother is getting harassed for nurturing and loving her baby. Children are dying from mothers not nurturing her child!'

When it comes to the subject of nudity and pornography Facebook's Community Standards page states: 'Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity.

'We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo's David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.'

Ms Brown says that she doesn’t have any plans to remove the breastfeeding images from her Facebook page, despite the controversy they have caused.

'As moms we’re just trying to do the best things that we can for our children and we don’t need negative input.'

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