Amy Woodruff's Controversial Picture
Amy Woodruff's controversial picture (Twitter/Maureen O'Connor)

Hundreds of Instagram users are protesting against the deletion of a mother's account on the photo sharing site.

A picture of Amy Woodruff breastfeeding her child naked and in an upside down yoga pose went viral two years ago. Despite the popularity of the image, which was received by internet users with mixed reactions, the identity of the woman in the picture was not revealed until Woodruff's interview with last week.

Within one week of the publication of the interview, wherein Woodruff shared details of her lifestyle and experiences, her account - Daughter of the Sun - was deleted from Instagram.

In her interview, she revealed the picture was taken when she, her partner and their daughter were living in a clothing-optional community in Hawaii. Woodruff was in the middle of her regular yoga practice when her daughter Naia crawled up to her to feed.

"The truth is we were living on a small community in Hawaii where our land was clothing optional and yoga was/is a necessity! I was just doin' my daily flow when the little sweet pea came to sneak a suckle", Woodruff told the website via email.

"This happens all the time by the way. When a breast is out and baby is around, they are going to try and get it anyway they can! I have been blogging for years now and this photo was just a simple share of a beautiful captured moment", she added.

The photograph soon became a subject of controversy with some calling it "disgraceful".

"Women who didn't seem to enjoy breastfeeding or more of the conservative crowd thought it was the weirdest thing and just couldn't wrap their heads around it", Woodruff said.

"I enjoyed hearing all sides of the spectrum as it reminded me that we are all different and if anything it may have opened the eyes and hearts for some who didn't think multitasking to that level was possible! No regrets about posting the photo whatsoever", she added.

However, following the deletion of Woodruff's account, quite a few outraged Instagram users created a petition asking the site to reinstate her account. Her supporters say Instagram's decision is "unjust".

"This beautiful, pure living inspirational mama has had her account removed by Instagram," one Australian mother wrote.

"A bunch of sad witch-hunters have flagged her photos after Amy unwillingly gained their attention with a naked breastfeeding photo that unfortunately went viral after she posted it on her personal blog. This photo was not even on Instagram. . . [Instagram's] actions are incredibly disappointing and a global community is outraged! Bring her account back."

However, when contacted by Mail Online, a spokesman for the social networking site said: "Instagram has a clear set of community guidelines which make it clear what is and isn't allowed. While we cannot comment on individual accounts, we followed our usual protocol on this occasion and took action on content that broke our community guidelines.

"We encourage people who come across content that makes them uncomfortable to report it to us using the built-in reporting tools next to every photo or video on Instagram."

Woodruff and her partner, who took the controversial picture, have also written a blog addressing the matter, which can be found here.