This Sesame Street video showcasing one of its guest stars breastfeeding on air is from 1977. Yes, 1977! Clearly and sadly, when it comes to breastfeeding, things were a lot more progressive back then.
In the segment entitled “Buffy Nurses Cody,” Buffy Sainte-Marie, a Native Canadian singer-songwriter and regular Sesame Street guest, breastfed her son while explaining to Big Bird: “I’m feeding the baby. See? He’s drinking milk from my breast.” Big Bird responded: “That’s a funny way to feed a baby.” And Buffy then says: “Lots of mothers feed their babies this way. Not all mothers, but lots of mothers do.”
Big Bird didn’t tell Buffy to cover up, he told her it was “nice.”
Buffy goes on to talk about why she loves breastfeeding her child, and how feeding the baby has changed since he was born. It’s a lovely, simple segment, without much fanfare… just like it should be.
It’s really unfortunate that today breastfeeding continues to be a topic frequently misunderstood and controversial. “Buffy Nurses Cody” is a powerful reminder of a much simpler time when we didn’t need campaigns and petitions to “normalize” breastfeeding, arguably one of the most normal and natural things in the world.