When Charlene Housen of Charm Photography, a fellow natural mama and photographer, suggested teaming up together to do a naturalizing breastfeeding project, I couldn't resist. I nursed both of my sons, and I am a strong supporter of nursing moms. I have heard unbelievable stories of nursing moms being shamed by both family and strangers for publicly feeding their babies. They've been told that they should either cover up or nurse their child in the bathroom. They've been told to nurse their baby in a hot car or to only nurse their baby in the privacy of their own bedroom. They've been encouraged to bottle feed their baby instead of nursing, and in our society, extended nursing has definitely not been encouraged. I'm happy to say that I, personally, have never encountered any of this type of nonsense while I nursed my sons. But, I have close friends who have been shamed and who have been negatively affected by it. For this reason, I felt compelled to team up with Charlene for this project.
We had four moms & their babies participate. (From left to right Jen, Vanessa, Krista and Jessica) Look at those gorgeous Mums and bubs.
Jen and Krista were one of the two sets of sisters who participated.
Vanessa and Jessica were the other set of sisters who participated. We didn't plan for or ask that siblings participate. It happened organically. But, we were all very pleased with the outcome.
In the end, we chose a lovely water location in Fallbrook, CA, and I feel like I gained a few friends because of this project. I think it's ironically sad that the most normal thing in the entire universe, nursing one's baby, should have the word "normalizing" attached to it when someone is promoting or advocating for it. Before bottles, before formula, before society's judgement & shaming, what else was there but nursing? If you ever see a mom nursing in public, please don't shame her. Instead, send her positive thoughts and high fives for nourishing her baby the way nature intended.