Portrait: Stacy

Please share with me why you chose to participate.

I want to participate because I would like a momento of this time in our life together.  Breastfeeding has been a major struggle for us, and I am very happy and proud of how far we’ve come together.

Why do you feel it’s important to promote a positive image of breastfeeding in society today?

As a new mom struggling to breastfeed, I had heard many stories from friends of being hassled, frowned upon, and shamed for breastfeeding in public.  I was unable to breastfeed without a cover, and in the early days had to supplement, so I was scared to nurse in public because I was afraid I would get hassled from both sides.

I want to help stop that fear for other new moms, and remind other people that breastfeeding is a normal, natural thing to do, but that it isn’t easy and what moms need is support, not judgement.

Portrait: Amber

Please share with me why you chose to participate.

I would love to have a professional photograph of my daughter nursing. I also believe that this project should be supported.

Why do you feel it’s important to promote a positive image of breastfeeding in society today?

It makes me really sad that there are women out there who clearly and consciously make the decision not to breastfeed. It’s one thing if you can’t physically or medically but, I believe that it’s one of the most important things that you can do for the health and development of your child.  Making the choice not to breastfeed because it’s not supported in our culture or it’s frowned upon within your own family or community is something that can be changed with projects like these. Continuing to promote a natural, beautiful and positive image of breastfeeding is a project worth while in my book!

Portrait: Emily

Please share with me why you chose to participate.

Breastfeeding is a gift.  I didn’t know that when I was pregnant, but now I often find myself looking down at my little girl and marveling at what we are sharing – love, intimacy, nourishment, growth.  I wanted to participate in this project for two reasons – one, so that I could have record this fleeting time and two, so that others might come to see what I now see.  For a million reasons, breastfeeding is incredible!

Why do you feel it’s important to promote a positive image of breastfeeding in society today?

A positive image of breastfeeding is important in order for women to feel comfortable taking care of their children in this natural way.  More breastfeeding women leads to healthier kids and moms.  But, it’s more than just the health benefits that motivate me to participate.  If women are comfortable and supported, then this whole beautiful experience becomes accessible. I would wish that all women could experience the indescribable closeness and beauty that comes about by breastfeeding your child.

Portrait: Kaitlin

Please share with me why you chose to participate.

Charlie and I struggled to breastfeed because of an un-diagnosed tongue tie but we worked hard to maintain our relationship. This included a frenectomy, post-release stretches, round the clock pumping after feeding, and twice weekly appointments with an IBCLC. Because it took so long to figure out why Charlie wasn’t gaining weight, and despite all the pumping I did, my body doesn’t make all of the milk that Charlie needs.  I would be really proud to participate in #NormalizetheFeed to show that breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  You can still breastfeed even if you have to supplement.

Why do you feel it’s important to promote a positive image of breastfeeding in society today?

There are so many reasons to promote the normalization of breastfeeding that it’s hard for me to summarize my feelings.  I could talk about how ridiculous it is society is ok with breasts as long as they are sexualized but not when used for their anatomical purpose (!) but my true feelings are more basic than that.  I feel that at every turn we make life harder for women and for moms especially. Looking for a private space, using a cover, or pumping and carting around bottles makes a huge obstacle for moms to get out of the house! Women don’t need more obstacles or burdens in their lives!

Portrait: Christina

Please share with me why you chose to participate.

I chose to participate because my son and I got off to a rocky start with breastfeeding.  He was born 6 weeks premature and had to spend his first 9 days in the NICU, because of this we were unable to have the bonding time we each needed to promote a healthy start to our breastfeeding journey.  Our first month was a struggle, but we overcame it with the support my midwife, nurses, lactation consultants, and most importantly, my loved ones.  I know many women have the same story but don’t get the support they need.  Lactivism projects like this can help change minds so women have more support during such an emotional and difficult time in their lives.

Why do you feel it’s important to promote a positive image of breastfeeding in society today?

To remove the stigma and old views of breastfeeding so women have the support they need.
#NormalizetheFeed

Portrait: Katy

Please share with me why you chose to participate.

I’m thrilled to have a memento of such a special time in my life. Nursing my last baby is bittersweet, I know that I’ll mourn the breastfeeding relationship when she weans. I’m usually the one behind the camera, so having a photo of me doing something I really value is something I’ll always cherish!

Why do you feel it’s important to promote a positive image of breastfeeding in society today?

I wish that all people, especially mothers, felt more comfortable with their bodies and how amazing they are. I feel lucky to have never felt any kind of shame or disappointment about my body, but I wish that was the norm! I think that if women had more confidence in themselves and their bodies they would succeed more often with their breastfeeding goals. I know too many mothers who didn’t get the support they needed, or worse, were given bad advice. If our society was more used to positive images of breastfeeding I think more women would get the support they need. It takes a village, and if that new mom doesn’t have any successful breastfeeding mothers in their village to be exposed to and learn from, it can be even harder for them to reach those goals. The more normalized breastfeeding is, the more our whole society will benefit.
#NormalizetheFeed