In honor of World Breastfeeding week, August 1-7, I would like to share with you my own journey with breastfeeding.
When my first son, Luke was born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. It seemed like the right, natural thing to do. But I was embarrassed to do it in front of anyone. If someone came over to my home, I would go to the back room to nurse him. I only ever nursed him in a public place once, Lucille's BBQ in Las Vegas, NV. I pulled out my nursing cover and went to the couches right in front of the restroom. I thought surely this was the right way to nurse him. I got several dirty looks that day and never nursed him in public again. I always had a bottle of pumped milk with me, or worked my schedule around his meal times.
I was so nervous nursing him in public places, that I even avoided doing so at friends homes at play dates. Looking back, it makes no sense to me why I couldn't nurse in front of friends, but that is how I felt. And I am not the only one who has experienced these feelings in regards to nursing in front of other people.
For the first part of my contribution to the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project, I took photos of moms nursing their little ones at a playdate. While a playdate in a friends home may not seem like a "public" place, it really can be just as intimidating to nursing moms as a restaurant or park. I wanted to show moms that it is completely normal and OK to nurse your baby when he is hungry, regardless of the situation. Here are some of the photos from that day (my story continued below).
Now that I have had my second son, Dax, I am a lot more comfortable and confident nursing him in public. In fact, I have no idea where my nursing cover is (and who could use it in this Texas heat?). He nurses so much that it would be impossible to do anything outside of the home unless I nursed him in public. Here in Austin, TX, I have never gotten a dirty stare or unkind words. It really has been a wonderful nursing experience.
For my second contribution to the Project, I wanted to show what nursing in public looks like when you are comfortable nursing your baby whenever, wherever they are hungry. I contacted the Thinkery Museum here in Austin about taking photos of nursing moms. The Thinkery is such an amazing place, I go there often with my two boys. I have nursed Dax there many times, including once in their "nursing lounge" located upstairs when he needed a little less stimulation so he could focus on the task at hand. They were very welcoming to me and these nursing mamas!
I have come a long way in my nursing journey, and I hope that by showing what nursing in public looks like, more women will feel comfortable nursing their babies whenever and wherever. Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful things a mom can do for her child, why should it be done in a dirty bathroom or only at home?
I'd like to share this one last photo. Here I am, nursing Dax, here in Austin. Please help me, and the other photographers who are part of this project, normalize breastfeeding!
Thank you Leilani Rogers for putting this project together and allowing me to be part of it! For more information, visit Leilani's website at: http://photosbylei.com
You can check out the next photographer in the blog circle: Boca Raton, Florida Maternity, Newborn and Family Photographer Connie Granja Photography