Every August, public health officials and breastfeeding supporters celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. And breastfeeding moms enjoy a little moment to collectively bask in the success of doing a hard thing well, of the pleasure and joy often associated with the fleeting breastfeeding relationship with our babies. I’m all about that stuff. 😉
Each year (and really anytime anyone asks!) I shoot breastfeeding portrait sessions for moms who would love to capture that pleasure and joy in beautiful images they can look back on when the nursing days (and nights) have passed.
This year I worked with Jessica, a mom of two currently breastfeeding her three month old son. We had to reschedule for rain, then relocate to avoid baseball game traffic, but ended up with a perfect location and a perfect cool summer evening for her photos. I was enchanted by the golden setting sun streaming around this beautiful mother as she fed her baby, then snuggled and laughed with him after he was finished. I love these sessions. I love these mamas. My heart is so full!
Thank you for sharing these lovely moments with me, Jessica!
My thoughts on the “controversy” of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding in our little part of the world: For those of us enjoying the relative ease of middle-class life in the United States, the choice to breastfeed is a personal one and whatever way a mama choses to feed and care for her baby is cool by me. As a mom who breastfed for 30 months, I have to say it was a wonderful thing I will always be proud and happy to have done. But around the world, supporting breast-feeding over formula feeding can be the difference between life and death for thousands, if not millions, of babies. Formula is expensive, and access to safe water and refrigeration may be limited. Missing out on the antibodies and individualized nutritional content of breastmilk also leaves babies susceptible to illnesses. Where breastfeeding is supported and encouraged, mothers and babies do markedly better than where babies are fed by formula. I’d encourage every woman who cares about public health around the world and improved outcomes for babies in poorer countries to support the global nature of *World* Breastfeeding Week, because, while I love talking breastfeeding, supporting breastfeeding and celebrating it with moms so inclined, when it comes to World Breastfeeding Week, it’s really just not about us. It’s about moms everywhere, and there’s a whole lot of “everywhere” besides America. (Ok, off my little soapbox now!)