It doesn’t take amazing scenery to make a breastfeeding picture beautiful. That bond, perseverance, self-sacrifice, and love is beautiful anywhere a mom breastfeeds…unless she has been shamed into isolation so as not to offend anyone. As long as pictures of breastfeeding moms are being reported, as long as kids’ eyes are being shielded, as long as people feel uncomfortable sitting down on a bench next to a nursing mother, this fight to normalize breastfeeding must continue.
Our society has reached an unacceptable and absurd conclusion that breastfeeding is to be kept private. Nurslings are to be kept covered or banished from public areas. It is perfectly acceptable for the Victoria’s Secret models to be splayed across buildings and billboards, but share a picture of yourself feeding your child on your Facebook timeline and you’re likely to be reported for misconduct.
If you see a child nursing as even remotely sexual, then you are a victim of a culture with severely misplaced values. How is it that a starving model with a boob job is beautiful, but a mother nourishing her child is inappropriate? Do your children even notice the soft porn that surrounds them nearly everywhere they go? Why are we allowing that to be the norm? And then to send the message to young moms that breastfeeding her baby is somehow dirty! This absolutely MUST change.
Let’s turn our attention to four women who are taking a stand against our culture’s failure. These pictures were taken in a small botanical garden in Topeka, KS, where we ended up having to duck out of the way of two other photo sessions that were happening at the same time. These four amazing mamas have all struggled with breastfeeding in one way or another and it is infuriating to me that they, or any other nursing mother, should face cultural pressures on top of an already difficult journey.
Thank you, ladies, for being part of a much needed change in our society. Your strength and passion are an inspiration.
I was so uncomfortable nursing in public in the beginning- for fear of someone making a scene or
humiliating me while I try to feed my baby. I started out using a cover, but I have grown a lot as a person and
mother since the beginning of my journey and I dare someone to shame me for nourishing my baby.
I’ve always known that when I finally had a child of my own that I would breastfeed, because of the nutritional benefits as well as the bond created. One day in April, I had a Business appointment with a man in his middle 30’s with no children of his own. He told me congratulations and in the same breath said “I hope you’re not going to be one of those women La Leching all around town; if you have your boobs out, I’m going to look. Women with their boobs out want you to look.” I started hiding out in the bathrooms trying to feed her.
I have always openly breastfed in public with no qualms. I’m of the mind that whenever and wherever my child is hungry is the perfect place to feed them. Not to mention if I am in the middle of a task I’m not going to stop and find a secluded place to “hide”. I’m that mom pushing a shopping cart with a baby latched on, or sitting in a restaurant eating with one hand while holding a baby to my breast with the other. I figure you see less of my breast while I’m nourishing my child then the average girl with her pushup bra and low cut shirt trying to draw everyone’s eye. Happily nourishing, comforting and bonding with my breastfed babes since 2007.
I have never been ashamed of breastfeeding in public. The first place I nursed openly in public was at the Kansas City Ren Fest when my baby was maybe 2 months old. I found a bench that was quiet, in the shade and out of the way and I covered up with a blanket (it was 80 degrees or more out).
An older gentleman came and sat down beside me, noticed I was nursing and said, “Aren’t you two hot? You should really take that blanket off.”
Now I only cover up to help baby fall asleep or if it is cold outside!
I may have just gotten lucky and have never been put in an unwelcoming or uncomfortable situation.
Breastfeeding Moms of Topeka is a group made up of pregnant and nursing mothers. The purpose of our group is to come together for support and friendship in our journeys of mothering our littles. We currently have a little over 130 members and growing daily! BMOT holds monthly outings, themed parties, and or play dates to give our members a chance to interact in person!