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What to Consider Before Sharing Your Birth Photos

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Thinking about sharing your birth photographs with friends, family, on social media, hanging them up in your foyer, perhaps printing them in a coffee table book for home visitors to peruse?

Here are a few worthwhile things to consider first.

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A Year of Celebrating The Breast

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You may have noticed a new tab on this page!

Celebration of the Breast is a set of calendars (two versions – Vital and Taboo) that my doula, Nicole Deelah of Sage Beginnings Doula Services, proposed as a project earlier this month. We immediately had the perfect photographer in mind: the open-minded, open-hearted Blue Fitzcarraldo of Blue Fitz Photography.

The primary goal was to raise some funds for Intact Houston, the local not-for-profit chapter of The INTACT Network/Saving Our Sons that I co-direct. Promoting body positivity, releasing stigmas, and fostering acceptance and education about female breasts was just icing on the cake.

Because these are calendars, after all, the clock was running against us. We set up a shoot for later that same week and held an open call for any and all women who wished to participate in either (or both) versions of the calendar. Many were happy to be featured in both, while others chose to volunteer for one or the other.

Vital demonstrates the monthly themes in a more subtle way (no areolas are shown), while Taboo is more provocative (no censorship here). The photography is tastefully artistic.

Of course, the first month of the year is nearly behind us, so it’s prime time to tack a 2017 calendar to the wall if we haven’t already. What I love perhaps most about this set is the photos are gorgeous — they could be displayed individually or as a collage, even without the calendar pages. For aesthetics or function, it’s really up to you!

**If you’d like to see the calendar images, you can get a copy of Vital, Taboo, or both calendars here.**

They’re also available on Etsy. Shipping is included for domestic orders (email me for international orders). Keep in mind, we’re offering a $10 savings when both versions are purchased.

Below I’ve detailed some of concepts/themes that inspired Celebration of the Breast.

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The Secrets of Postpartum Bodies

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The power of transformation is an inherent gift of woman. The spider, snake, and butterfly are just a few of many creatures regarded as manifestations of feminine energy and universal symbols of shape-shifting. A master of creation, woman’s body is the original 3D printer. When she nurses a child, as Mark Twain once said, “she has no equal among men.”

Somehow still, many of us know discontent with or hatred for our bodies, whether transient or persistent. What’s worse is we believe it’s normal. Accepted to the point of expectation. This is especially true at the moment we inherit our mothering bodies. Through literally all forms of media and outlets for opinion, we are told before anything else that mothering bodies are not sexy, therefore not valuable, therefore invisible.

It’s a dangerous trajectory for the postpartum woman who is vulnerable, open, and recovering — she is brainwashed to confuse these things with weakness, brokenness, incapability, and decreased desirability. Continue reading

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I Want The Choice To Keep My Top On Instead of a Law That Says I Must

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I don’t have the choice to keep my top on. Because I’m female, and I have female anatomy, including female breasts and nipples. I have no choice but to keep my top on, unless I am willing to risk breaking the law. Doesn’t sound like much of a choice, does it?

It’s required by law (in all these US states/cities) to keep my breasts and nipples covered, even in the same places where topless male breasts (yes, they have breast tissue) and male nipples are considered acceptable to expose.

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It’s OK to Love Your Pregnant Body

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You are interesting. You carry a mystery, an unexplained power, a blessing that gets bigger every day. Do you not see the way you evoke turned heads with that package of life centered right on your body, one that might feel fragile to you, or burdensome with its new demand for constant responsibility and attention?

Have you forgotten (or have you ever really considered what it means) that “a woman’s body is the first environment”?

I tell myself this now…

But almost four years ago as a first-time mother, I couldn’t appreciate the changes in my body during three trimesters’ worth of pregnancy and the fourth trimester postpartum.

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From Cuplets to Outlets: Breastfeeding & Body Image

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My breasts enjoyed a low-profile life before their eventual employment in the food industry (specializing in the Kids Menu, of course). I like to think of this 23-year long period of inconspicuousness as a special favor to me from genetics that seem to favor physical minimalism.

I hadn’t expected this, though: 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.

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