Childrearing

Stop Trying To Romanticize Breastfeeding

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Pictures of mothers breastfeeding infants are considered distasteful by some. Photos of older children being breastfed cause even more controversy. But before photographers and moms get their nursing bras in a twist over backlash, maybe they should consider that it’s the message behind the image that’s the problem, not the depiction itself.

Blogger Mama Bean recently wrote a piece for the Huffington Post about a photo on her Facebook page that created some friction in the comments. The photo was submitted by a reader who had the picture of her and her daughter taken by a professional photographer. Here’s the image:

As anyone who’s read anything about breastfeeding an older child could predict, the photo received the usual comments- most declared it beautiful, some claimed they were supportive of breastfeeding but felt this child was too old for it, and a few reacted with disgust. Same story, different boobs.

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86 Comments

  1. SunnyD847

    October 14, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I don’t object to the picture, but it’s not something I would do. I never had any pictures taken while breast feeding. I didn’t take pictures of them eating otherwise either, except when they got spaghetti all over their heads or something. Feeding your child should just be a normal, everyday thing that doesn’t need to be documented.

  2. ActionComics25

    October 14, 2014 at 11:58 am

    This photo makes me feel super uncomfortable because it just looks sexulized.
    Maybe it’s the soft focus and beach. Maybe I’m an asshole, but that makes me far more uncomfortable than romantisizing breast feeding.

    • guest

      October 14, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Yeah, it kind of has an air of perfume advertisement as far as the photo goes. Also, I realize moms are basically required to take embarassing photos of their children but idk that I’d want my mom having romantic pictures of me as a child with a nipple in my mouth personally.. but to each their own I suppose.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      October 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      I think you hit the nail on the head for my issue with it. I couldn’t figure out at first if it was my own personal discomfort with the idea of breastfeeding a baby (some extension of my tokophobia, maybe?), but…yeah. If you covered up the kid in the photo, it would be really easy to imagine that it was some six-packed dude the woman was snuggling up to. Considering the issue a lot of people seem to have with breastfeeding is tied up in the concept of breasts as being primarily sexual, I still applaud this woman for her guts but can see how the image is causing backlash.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 14, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      There is a photographer where I used to live who takes very beautiful and arty, but also very sexualized, pictures of pregnant women and moms and young kids. I still remember seeing one of a mom and daughter, apparently naked, sitting together wrapped in a bedsheet. Mom had a coy look on her face and the daughter, who looked to be maybe three, was staring at the camera kind of blankly. It always gave me all kinds of creeps, even if I knew it was totally innocent, because it felt like something you might see on Law and Order: SVU after the investigating officers discover a child sex ring.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      October 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Ewwww, yeah. Look, I absolutely support moms wanting to feel sexy post-baby, but I really think the projection of that feeling ought to be reserved for, y’know, those old enough to be sexual!

    • Jfbogdan85

      October 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Maybe it’s the fact that it literally looks like a sports illustrated swim edition cover with the addition of a nursing toddler. My first thought when I saw this was that it was sexualizing breastfeeding. Making it appear sexual in any way shape or form isn’t going to help breastfeeding garner support in a public fashion. It’s demonstrating the exact thing that I personally have argued against with people that are bothered by breastfeeding.

    • Boozy Inactivist

      October 14, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Yep, minus toddler it could be out of a men’s magazine. Beautiful photo, but just slightly uncomfortable (and I am 100% supporting of parents feeding their children, breast or otherwise!)

  3. Ursi

    October 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I love this photo. I totally understand that it’s not realistic but I am A-okay with being bombarded with images like this of even older children breastfeeding to hammer in the point that it’s completely normal and should be acceptable in public. By all means, glamorize it. It beats the alternative.

    I’m not a mother so take the weight of my opinion as you like.

    • alice

      October 14, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      I think the problem is that breastfeeding never needed to be glamorized. Those who are uncomfortable with, and protest against, public BF have never decried a lack of public flare or glam. It’s more the opposite: they feel that public BF is in itself a sort of selfish spectacle.

      And photo campaigns like these support their belief. Breastfeeding: the Spectacle on the Beach!

      A successful BF photo campaign needs to change the perception that public BF is something to gawk at

    • Boozy Inactivist

      October 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      So much this! /

    • NYCNanny

      October 15, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Interesting. I never thought anti public BFers thought it was “selfish”… I thought they thought it was inappropriate and disgusting.

    • alice

      October 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

      No doubt they find it inappropriate and/or disgusting in public. But the larger argument there is usually just because YOU are cool with it doesn’t mean EVERYONE ELSE should be

  4. monamiemarie

    October 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I’m jealous of this image, tbh. I had professional photos taken of me and my daughter breastfeeding and they looked terrible! The other photos (just regular family photos) taken at the same time were great. I felt all beautiful and floaty while I breastfed, i guess I just didn’t look it!

  5. SnoozyPuppies

    October 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I like it. I think it is an unusual take on the breastfeeding portrait. Also, I guess I don’t really buy the central argument here. Isn’t most portrait photography about romanticizing the subject? For instance, if, say, we were to insist that wedding portraits depict gritty reality, everyone’s wedding albums would primarily consist of photos of people doing things like arguing about whose turn it is to clean the toilet and the happy couple curling up on the couch to stare at the TV together.

    • Spongeworthy

      October 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      I think the difference for me is wedding photos are about one day that is supposed to be romanticized and hyped up, whereas photos like this are, essentially, photographing a basic function (feeding your child) that is done several times a day in one way or another. It is, objectively, a beautiful photo, but I personally don’t care for it. I BF’d, and I’m all for it, but it is, essentially, about feeding your kid. I’m not better than anyone else for doing it. And like Megan said, no one takes arty staged shots of themselves feeding their kid a bottle. I don’t agree with this elevation of breastfeeding as this mystical, earth-goddess act. It’s a wonderful thing if you can and want to do it, but it’s ok if you don’t.

    • Megan

      October 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Maybe I should take some poetic bottle feeding snaps. #thisishowIllmakemymilliona

    • Spongeworthy

      October 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      Do it!! Bottle feeding in the surf, bottle feeding in a field of flowers, bottle feeding at a table covered with tastefully arranged mason jars…

    • LK

      October 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      So many mason jars.

    • Spongeworthy

      October 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      I’m sure if I looked on Etsy I could find a mason jar sippy cup too.

    • Kitsune

      October 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      I bought a sippy cup attachment for mason jars for a friend who always drinks out of them so I’m certain you can.

    • LK

      October 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      “I don’t agree with this elevation of breastfeeding as this mystical, earth-goddess act.” — Yep that. My life was breastfeeding-o-rama during both my kids’ baby time, and it was mundane AS HELL. And that was all I ever wanted anyone else to think about it– “Oh nursing her baby, that’s boring and I don’t care.”

    • Spongeworthy

      October 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Yes, exactly! Photos like this do nothing to normalize breastfeeding. It’s the other extreme of the “cover up that’s disgusting!” camp. Neither of them serve to normalize BFing. It’s not disgusting, and it’s not some mystical, magical act. It’s feeding your kid. That’s it.

    • SnoozyPuppies

      October 14, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      Fair enough, although I think that plenty of people do see breastfeeding as about more than just a bodily function which is why the breastfeeding photo is a “thing” and there is a very old and well -established trope of the nursing mother in portraiture. I really liked that the direct, somewhat disconcerting gaze of both mother and baby in this portrait subverts the traditional mother/child portrait. I also think a bottlefeeding portrait could really be fantastic.

      You could also level the “it’s merely a biological function” argument against pregnancy photoshoots or even newborn photoshoots. The fact that we value and immortalize those moments is every bit as much a social construct as the breastfeeding portrait. For myself I am not that sentimental nor am I fond of being photographed so I wasn’t much into those portraits but I don ‘t have a huge issue with those who do like them.

    • Spongeworthy

      October 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      I am also not a fan of having my picture taken, and roll my eyes at most maternity shoots. I don’t have a problem with people taking them–it’s their time and their money–but like I said, I do think it elevates breastfeeding to “something so super special” status, and I don’t love that. I’d rather see breastfeeding normalized as a basic biological function instead of put on a pedestal as a superior moral choice. Hyping it up to be the be-all, end-all of motherhood is something that can frustrate those who are having trouble with it and make them feel like a failure. I’d rather a lot of the pressure around BFing go away.

    • jendra_berri

      October 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      Breastfeeding at this point has been elevated to the level of spiritual quest. Officially bottle feeding remains a functionary way to get the job done. Drives me bonkers. It’s just a baby eating! And by the time the kid is past 1, you’d think it’d be old hat by then anyway.
      Thing is I give zero shits about extended breastfeeding… except I’m being given the message I should give many shits and things like this exist to perpetuate that shits are to be given. Can’t I just not care and causally equate your breastfeeding to my bottle feeding on equal ground? Because I do. Maybe I don’t want to bow at this alter of the boob. I don’t make anyone fawn over my bottles.

    • Spongeworthy

      October 14, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Yes. It’s gone from a functional choice to a moral one, and I can’t stand it. I’m not a better person because I breastfed. I’m certainly not a better parent because I did. And I do not care one single bit if another woman chooses formula over BF. They’re both valid choices that should be respected, then forgotten about by anyone other than the parents.

  6. Boozy Shark Lee

    October 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    The one thing I always tell my first time pregnant friends is that in the beginning breastfeeding will hurt like hell. It takes a bit of time for the pain to go away. I am that asshole scaring everyone but only because I wish someone had prepared me for it. I always let them know that if they stick with it, it should indeed get better.

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      I was very lucky that it didn’t hurt for me, but I’m very glad that the breastfeeding consultant prepared me for the fact that it could be that way. You’re right, it is a bit scary to hear it could be painful, but it also took away the fear that any discomfort meant you were doing it “wrong” and were going to have huge problems.

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      October 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      I can tell you, your friends appreciate that.

    • NYCNanny

      October 15, 2014 at 9:09 am

      Not all women are in pain while BFing. This thread is making is sound like every women who BFs is in for a world of hurt. Not true. Many many moms have an easy time BFing.

    • LotteryTicketRetirementPlan

      October 15, 2014 at 9:55 am

      That’s great for those moms, but for some of us it’s really horrible at first. At the hospital I had nurses trying to help by telling me it hurt so much because I was doing it all wrong. If it weren’t for a very kind lactation consultant I would have given up almost immediately. I wouldn’t want to scare off anyone who wants to breastfeed by saying that it might not be easy at first, but many are discouraged when they discover it’s not as simple as putting the boob in the mouth. I guess it’s nice for new moms to hear both sides and to know that even if it sucks at first it gets better!

    • Boozy Shark Lee

      October 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      It was easy for me after about a week and a half but that first bit was hell. I wish someone would have warned me. I thought I was doing it very wrong until I called the lactation consultant. If someone warned me I wouldn’t have been so freaked out.

    • LotteryTicketRetirementPlan

      October 15, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Nope, you’re not an asshole for saying that! I tell everyone the exact same thing. I think being prepared for it and knowing that you’re not necessarily doing it wrong is important for new mothers to hear.

  7. Maggie Mae

    October 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I breast fed all my kids and while I never took any photos my husband did draw my feeding our younger ones. One of the drawings is framed and in our living room.
    But that wasn’t a planned thing. My husband saw me feeding baby and wanted to draw it. He also has been know to draw me and our boyfriend sleeping, the kids playing and our boyfriend reading.

    I have no issue with breast feeding pics, but that feels like a magazine ad – to posed and not at all natural.

    • Geneveive

      October 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      You and husband share boyfriend?

    • Maggie mae

      October 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      More like boyfriend is the best descriptive word since we can’t all legally marry each other.

    • nancy

      October 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Oh look at me! I’m so quirky! I must tell everyone!

    • TheQuirkyDiva

      October 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      This post makes me happy.

    • stella

      October 14, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Why?

    • TheQuirkyDiva

      October 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Um…because reading about happy families doing interesting things makes me happy? Do I need another reason?

    • Stella

      October 14, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Did I ask for another one?

    • Maggie Mae

      October 14, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  8. Katherine Handcock

    October 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t know if I’ll go so far as to say pictures like this create a false impression of breastfeeding, but I definitely agree that staged, romanticized photos just don’t feel right to me. The thing that bothers me about this photo is that both mom and child are looking at the camera, which makes it clearly staged. I think if the photographer had captured a similar moment as Mom and child took a break from pictures, it would have been charming and sweet.

    I kind of feel the same way about pictures of babies in baths. I’ve seen some candid shots of parents and kids (especially little babies) smiling and splashing at each other that just melt my heart, but I’ve also seen ones that feel totally artificial — parents looking at the camera, baby wearing that look that tells you someone is waving an item over the camera to get eye contact. It’s not a real moment, so it doesn’t capture the same heartwarming feeling for me.

    • guest

      October 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      My husband has always hated staged photos in general but even for our wedding he only did a few and was over it. He likes action shots that help him remember the moment and I do have to agree they always look a lot better as I think the natural smile is cuter than a forced one with a blank stare.

    • Jennie Blair

      October 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Same here, I hate staged shots cuz i always come out looking like a pissy
      asshole (well maybe I am sometimes), so the few times i take a pro picture i am always very up front no weird poses, let us be ourselves and we have great pictures because either it’s candid or we are doing something so out of the standard that I’m laughing and it’s a legit smile.

    • JAN

      October 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      I wonder if the same shot, with mother and child looking at one another (which was more the norm for me while nursing) would look a little less odd.

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      October 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      As a non parent, for me it definitely makes it seem like BF is this beautiful amazing thing. Lots of BF posts I read or memes or photos make it seem very easy. I thankfully am blessed with friends who BF who are not afraid to tell me how hard it is, how much work it is, even a year later, how painful it can be. The picture doesn’t make me think “man I wish I was doing that right now” (well, minus a beach but it’s cold and rainy here) but it does make it seem like BF is a easy peasy and cute.

  9. Rachel Sea

    October 14, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Sitting in the surf zone has gotta be one of the weirdest places anyone could choose to breastfeed. Next up: breastfeeding during CrossFit, while cooking bacon, on stage singing Suor Genovieffa’s part during a performance of Suor Angelica…

    • Katherine Handcock

      October 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      That would be one badass opera singer, though…

    • Rachel Sea

      October 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      Indeed, but perhaps not the most convincing of nuns.

    • ChickenKira

      October 15, 2014 at 5:02 am

      Or on the floor in front of a formula stand 😛

  10. LaughingRat

    October 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    It’s not a bad photo, but to me, who has no kids, no intention of reproducing, and is asexual with no practical use for my breasts either sexually or in terms of childrearing, the whole breastfeeding conflict just smacks of a new Cult of Domesticity wherein women (and in this case their biological functions) are held to unrealistic standards of femininity. Why does it need to be some magical, transformative experience that elevates a woman to more-than-mother? Can’t it just be a practical, healthy, sometimes unpleasant, increasingly more publicly acceptable way to feed your kid?

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      October 14, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      October 14, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Oh wow. As someone who might be your long-lost identical twin and who is handling a move on four hours of sleep, my brain is now spitting up conspiracy theories linking extreme lactivism to far-right supporters of the patriarchy.

    • stella

      October 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Wouldn’t it be just the opposite though? The far-right, with their emphasis on modesty, does not comprise the bulk of the “Everybody should watch me nurse! Look at all my nursing photos!” crowd.

    • rockmonster

      October 14, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      You wouldn’t undersdtaaaand! You don’t HAVE kids you basemunt [email protected]!

      (Serious Mode: This to infinity!)

    • AlbinoWino

      October 14, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      There definitely is this new breed of mom out there and a few acquaintances of mine have fallen into that whole lifestyle of breastfeeding forever, only eating the most natural of natural foods, and humble bragging about all of it. They are also against vaccines and will forever be skeptical of your mom score if you had a c-section. One friend told me recently one of these groups has a mom who goes around asking all of the other friends if they are “blessed” which means they are stay at home moms because apparently having children and working makes you unfortunate and shitty. I try to avoid these types of moms at all costs.

    • Gangle

      October 14, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Ugh, and they are usually the ‘all or nothing’ crowd too. ‘Breastfeed but supplement too? LOSER!!’ I am a member of the Australian Breastfeeding Association and even they aren’t arseholes about breastfeeding.

  11. 0katykate0

    October 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I really wish people would cut the shit already… “Breastfeesing has been the most wonderful, joyous, blah blahhh blahh!!” Good for you!! If it was so great then why do people need to validate it by photos like these? I was so disappointed and heartbroken when I realized how much of a let down (ha! See what I did there?) it was due to this very thing. Your just feeding your kid. That’s it. Women have done it with out all of this pompous ego stroking since the beginning of time…

    • NYCNanny

      October 15, 2014 at 9:05 am

      You’re logic is a bit off. People tend to photograph happy moments. Weddings. Births. Parties. Holidays.
      So you’re whole “if it was so great, then why do people need to validate it with photos like this is off.
      Also, if you HATE breastfeeding photos so much, don’t look!!

    • 0katykate0

      October 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Well nanny, my whole point is that it’s pretty impossible to simply “not look” at photos of this type of breastfeeding because they are EVERYWERE. Most photos are just unrealistic and paint a deceptive picture of breastfeeding. It’s irritating and actually can be harmful to mothers who don’t undstand why they arnt as blissful as the women in the photos. While I can understand wanting to remember happy moments, and using photography to normalize BFing, but that’s not what this women is doing. Showing pictures of what nursing is REALLY like would actually be more normal then sitting in the surf with your nipple in a kids mouth. -who actually isn’t even drinking btw.

    • NYCNanny

      October 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Oh please. Like women actually look at these photos and cry because they aren’t as glamourous or airbrushed as the subjects.

    • 0katykate0

      October 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      That’s whole point of this article… And I’m sure it happens just as women develop eating disorders from magazine models… Look I used to be the “know it all nanny” too. Then I actually had a kid and stepped down off my high horse. Nice debating with you.

    • NYCNanny

      October 15, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Having an opinion about breastfeeding has nothing to do with being a mom.

  12. brebay

    October 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    It’s like anything else you’d see on FB or Pinterest that’s hilariously unobtainable, I don’t know that it will “hurt the cause.” The definition of “romance” actually isn’t sexual in nature, and it is a lovely, romantic picture, though one I probably, for my child’s sake wouldn’t make public (honestly, I probably wouldn’t even have it taken, but that’s me.) I don’t think it’s sexualized, it’s the beach, not the strip club.

  13. Jennie Blair

    October 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I can admit, when these pop up on my news feed I cringe. I feel really bad for the kid, especially older ones because as soon as they are allowed a facebook mommy may as well tag each and every picture to relive the glory days of snack time a la boob. But I’m an adult and rather than report it as something dirty, which is not but to me a touch creepy, I just press the nifty hide button and move on with my life. I’m planning on bf this kid if she ever decides to come out but I don’t want pictures, professional or otherwise, of the experience

  14. Ashley Austrew

    October 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Let me preface this by saying I support breastfeeding 100%. Do it in public, post photos, whatevs. That said, this photo makes me snort laugh. Also, that latch hurts my nipples to look at.

  15. Guest

    October 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    No body eats in the waves! No one!

  16. Cindy Ailey

    October 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    This image is in the same vein (vain?) as those gauzy maternity photos that everyone posts. Or wedding photos. Or the newborn baby wrapped in a beautiful swaddle and a GIANT flower on her head. Or the family photos of everyone standing in a wheat field with the beautiful orange sunlight streaming across their face.

    All those pictures are super stylized and do not in any way represent real life. They are just meant to be beautiful.

    • NYCNanny

      October 15, 2014 at 9:11 am

      thank you!! people on here are totally forgetting that they take TONS of stylized, poised pics for other reasons.

  17. MerlePerle

    October 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    To me, it doesn’t look like the kid is actually breastfeeding but rather chewing on the nipple, which I think makes the picture appear weirdly sexualized instead of mundane mother-daughter bonding.

    • guest

      October 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Yeeeeees. Everytime I’ve seen a photo where some kid has their chompers down on a nipple and I rethink any plans I ever had to breastfeed.

    • nottheotherone

      October 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Yeah, my one year old still nurses like that. We went to several lactation consultants and tried every trick in the book, but she never really figured out how to nurse without chomping down. It is worse now with her teeth, but I kept at it because I had a great experience with my first and didn’t want to “fail”. Not sure why it is a failure in my mind since all my friends bottle feed and it isn’t something that I judge them for at all. So….if circumstances were different and I were much more photogenic I could see my self having pictures like this taken to celebrate having stuck with it.

    • LotteryTicketRetirementPlan

      October 15, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Ow! My baby just discovered biting and I’m all like: “Shut it down!”

  18. jendra_berri

    October 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    If breastfeeding need be a nothing-to-see-here-folks thing, then portraits making it the star attraction and very much something to stare at is weird.
    I would also be heinously embarrassed if a picture online like this existed of my mother and I when I was that age. She breastfed me, did so in front of people and that was good enough for her.
    I don’t mind casual shots where mom happens to be feeding her baby, but making the breast the focal point of the whole elaborate portrait just seems… not about feeding the baby.

  19. Marisa Quinn-Haisu

    October 14, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I wasn’t able to breastfeed and part of me is horribly jealous of other women who were able to do it without any problems because the one time it did work for me it was sweet and awesome and magical. But it wasn’t meant to be and I’m okay with that now because having giant, swollen, sore, leaky breasts sounds fucking terrible. My breasts barely changed at all during pregnancy and afterwards and I think I prefer it that way.

    • LotteryTicketRetirementPlan

      October 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

      If it makes you feel better, I’m having a very difficult time weaning my baby and am jealous of moms who are able to bottle feed. Grass is always greener, I guess.

  20. Elevatorshoe

    October 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    I must disagree here. I really like the photograph, and any woman who thinks this is how all mothers do it based on this one photo have other problems. Plus, by the time the kid is that age, the discomfort and difficulties are usually worked out, right? Breastfeeding is difficult for a lot of women, but not everyone, and they’re allowed to be represented, too

  21. R

    October 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    I have never liked pictures like this for the exact same reason! I have no problem with breastfeeding at all, but like you said it’s just not like the picture. I’m not really a fan of any pictures that are nothing like reality.

  22. Gangle

    October 14, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    I have photo documentation of my breastfeeding journey. I have some beautiful candid shots of me breastfeeding my baby done by the photographer who did our family portrait. I have one I love of me and my baby feeding in bed curled up and snuggly. I also have the early photos of me syringe feeding my sick, jaundiced infant expressed milk and feeding at the breast while I have my hair scraped back in a pony and bags under my eyes and an SNS and nipple shield taped to my chest and boobs. They are all realistic images of what breastfeeding looks like and I am happy with all of them Those tough days of learning to breastfeed are just as important to me, if for different reasons. I have a friend who also has trouble breastfeeding, but gets so cranky and frustrated that her child won’t latch without a shield and she has trouble unless she uses a nursing pillow because that isn’t what breastfeeding looks like… but since, in actual fact, she is breastfeeding, that IS what breastfeeding looks like.

  23. AP

    October 15, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I think a lot of these widely distributed breastfeeding portraits are tasteless because they are exploitive of the child. The child is doing a normal thing- eating- and the parents are plastering it all over the internet so they can get brownie points, shares, likes, and re-tweets for being the Bestest Mommie Evah. And let’s face it, when you’re dealing with the internet and boobs, you’re also getting likes and shares and retweets from basement-dwelling boob trolls. It’s a shameless media attention grab. These women might as well call themselves Honey Boob Boob. It’s the same thing.

  24. hdonovan

    October 15, 2014 at 1:34 am

    If I didn’t know that this woman requested the pic I’d have called the “defiant” look more of a why the F— am I feeding my kid sitting here trying to keep the waves from knocking us over? look.

  25. 2Well

    October 15, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    I don’t have a problem with the breastfeeding. I do have a problem with the naked child. People sometimes forget that children have (or should have) a right to privacy. Just because adults want their lives on full blast doesn’t mean children will. I actually think the next generation will see a backlash against such open social media sharing, because they are having their private moments blasted for the world to see.

  26. Pingback: Deromanticize Breastfeeding, But Maybe Not Quite This Much

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