For me, breastfeeding is the best option. It’s the option that my husband and I are happy with, it’s the option that fits best with our lifestyles and it’s the option that we are lucky enough to have.
Before I continue, I want to make it abundantly clear that, though I am pro breastfeeding, I am NOT anti formula.
However you nourish your child is great. Be in breast, formula, expressed milk, donor milk, wet nurse, etc. If it works for you and you are comfortable with it, and, more importantly, if your child is growing well, you are doing a wonderful job. #SupportNotJudgement – there is no criticism here.
What I think is important is the normalisation of breastfeeding.
There was once a time where the presumption was that a child would be breastfed, where now, it appears, the presumption is that a baby will be bottle fed. A number of things have contributed to this phenomenon – people returning to work sooner, medical issues or difficulty establishing breastfeeding, misinformation, lack of support; far more than I can mention. What I want to talk about, though, is those who don’t breastfeed due to being uncomfortable doing so publicly.
If that discomfort is personal, so be it – and good for you for having the self awareness and self courage to make that decision – but it’s when that decision is due to other people’s discomfort that makes me want to put pen to paper.
Breastfeeding is a completely natural (natural, not necessarily easy) act and one that has a host of benefits for mother and baby. If a woman wants to breastfeed, she should be able to do so without fear, discomfort or judgement.
We live in a society where breasts have been sexualised to such a degree that their original purpose is deemed the perversion. This isn’t right! And the fact that this has merged in to abuse of women for breastfeeding is outrageous.
The movement to #normalisebreastfeeding is working hard to turn the tables and to create an environment where women feel comfortable breastfeeding wherever, whenever and for however long they like.
…and there are some people leading the way in this (hurrah!)
Victoria Meyer is a phenomenal photographer based in Florida, USA, and she specialises in nursing photography; photography of women breastfeeding their children.
Victoria is working hard to make nursing such a normal part of life that it joins the list of lifetime photography sessions that so many people now observe – birth, newborn, NURSING, childhood, family, prom, graduation, wedding. And it’s by doing this that the image of women breastfeeding their children will become a normal sight.
It’s things like this that will stop the visual recoil from strangers when they see a feeding child, the self consciousness of the woman who is wary of nursing in front of family members or in public, the abuse that mothers face every day, all over the world, for (heaven forbid) using their breasts for their biological purpose.
We talked to Victoria about these sessions and her own experience with breastfeeding.
My experience with breastfeeding photography is a bit different than other people’s experiences. I knew before I got pregnant with my second child that I wanted to do breastfeeding photography. I knew that I wanted to be able to capture those moments for other moms. My very first session that was specifically for breastfeeding was with twins. After that session I was hooked. I knew I needed to offer these priceless moments to all moms who would want them!
When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I knew that I wanted those precious memories captured as frequently as possible! How could I encourage other moms to step in front of my camera if I didn’t do that myself? My nursing relationship with my son ended way too soon due to medical issues and I was devastated when I had to stop. I didn’t have any pictures at all. As you can see I remedied that with my daughter. 😉 I celebrate every feed I have with her and I document our journey as often as I can. I encourage every mom to take pictures of her nourishing her child with her body. Whether you nurse one time after birth or you nurse for years you will truly cherish your photos.
Thank you for your time
Photos by Victoria, Lazy M Photography
Photos of Victoria nursing her daughter