1). Breastfeeding needs to be seen to be learned.
“We absolutely need to see positive, educational breastfeeding images on social media and to encounter these maternal norms on a daily basis. Women learn how to breastfeed by example and observation, as is the natural design, rather than by instinctual expertise.
For a new mother, breastfeeding is like using a muscle she’s never used before — NOT like picking up an exercise routine with the blessing of muscle memory (even with breastfeeding experience, she still must learn afresh how to breastfeed each new child).” – Brelfies Aren’t TMI — They Celebrate a Power Exclusive to “Mom Bods”
If my computer crashes and my backup drives malfunction, at least I have my photos saved on my blog and social media. Posterity, friends. Plan for posterity.
3). Seeing breastfeeding desensitizes others to the non-sexual, primary function of breasts.
(Re-)normalizing public breastfeeding makes it easier for upcoming mothers to nurse in wherever they are without unnecessary anxiety.
“This way of child nurturing is so natural it can easily blend in with everything else we attend to in our domestic, professional, and social lives. But blending in is not equal to disappearing.
If you never see it, you may not know it’s how many women learn to become mothers. You may not know it’s how they continue to learn about who they are as mothers. So we must make a point to not let the image and act of breastfeeding disappear.” – If You Never See Breastfeeding
4). Breastfeeding is a normal part of many mothers’ days.
Sharing moments from our lives helps us feel seen, to connect and commiserate with other mothers, and to release the stigma attached to real motherhood moments like those described in 18 Things Children Should See Their Mothers Doing.
“Photos have always been so important to me. To please my especially nostalgic heart, I look back on photos often. To satisfy my desire to connect with others (as an especially introverted person), I share my photos often. And I love knowing that when I’m not around, a moment I lived is at least immortalized through another’s eyes behind a lens.” – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… When You Add Love, A Thousand More
5). My breastfeeding photos make me feel beautiful.
To me, that is strong, empowered, capable, primal, reflecting love, sustaining life. Hardly anything else I do hits every nail on its head in the way breastfeeding does.
“What served that long as basic decoration had, in the birth of a moment, become the absolute rulers of my body and my days — and the body and days of another tiny human being too, for countless flips of the calendar’s months.
Even more so… I hadn’t expected how reforming my attitude about a single body part could void most of my earliest ideas about self-image, self-appreciation, power, and purpose.” – From Cuplets to Outlets: Breastfeeding & Body Image
There is so much bad news to read in the world, so many tragic stories. Breastfeeding can be a challenge, a struggle, a trial by its own merit — but its purpose can be reduced to a single word: love. When we give our youngest generations as much love as we can bear, and allow others to see this example if we choose, the world really does seem like a much more hopeful place.
*All photos credited to Bloom Photography & Design*