Breastfeeding has been prescribed to new mothers at large by the medical community, but it has not been embraced by our culture. Breastfeeding women are harassed, physically removed from public spaces, told to cover up, and made to feel dirty and shameful.
This fear of harassment creates an untenable situation for women hoping to simply feed their children in the manner that is biologically normal. We live in a misogynistic culture that places endless restrictions on the behaviors and bodies of women. Society is uncomfortable with public breastfeeding, because it is uncomfortable with women. Changing society’s attitudes about breastfeeding, alters the power imbalance for all women.
Women come into these shoots from all different backgrounds, from different perspectives and experiences. They have various reasons for being drawn to participate. Some have overcome a great deal of difficulty in order to meet their breastfeeding goals, and for some, breastfeeding has been a nearly seamless experience. They all are eager to share their stories, to celebrate the beauty and strength of the nursing mother. To celebrate their own strength and beauty. To stand in solidarity with women the world over and have their experiences seen. To take their power back.
“I found my thing on May 9th 2011. It took 27 years, 2 months, and 1 day, but it hit hard and fast and just like my friend Joey, I just knew. The day I became a mother was the day I finally found out who I was meant to be. Who I am meant to be. It’s everything I thought it would be and so much more. It makes life magical and mystical and wonderful. Everything I had looked for for so long.”
“Today I breastfed on a beach with total strangers and never felt more beautiful or empowered as a new mom ever! Feeling confident in my own skin nursing my son as the sun rose over the pier changed our bond. Looking down at him feeding and smiling as the water hit my back… made me realize how important that moment truly is… the moment when you look down at them and they look up at you smiling, the soon to be giggling and wiggling. That is the moment we cherish… the moment that is gone so soon. Unconditional Love.” -Melissa
“It’s our special thing. I have an incredibly demanding job an I’m eternally grateful to my husband and family for the constant support they give me with Kendall. I am convinced her and I are the luckiest girls on the planet. Aside from the undisputed health benefits, it has forged a truly beautiful and amazing bond between her and I. She knows that I’m her mommy, my milk is hers, and she is mine. I cherish every special moment her and I have while she nurses. The way she holds my finger, the way she peeks out the corner of her eyes, the way she smacks her lips satisfied when she’s done, the way her skin feels next to mine. These are moments I hope remain etched in my heart for the rest of my days. One day I may feel like she doesn’t need me anymore. But this was our special thing. And she did.” -Amanda
-Erin White is a photographer for A Beautiful Body Project. You can book a shoot with her at: www.ErinsLens.com
A Beautiful Body Project was launched by renown photographer Jade Beall. You can book a shoot with her at her Tucson, AZ studio at www.JadeBeall.com