Last year I heard about a FABULOUS project called the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project. The project was started by the amazing Leilani Rogers from Austin, Texas to show the world the beauty of breastfeeding. The mission is to NORMALIZE, plain and simple. Women should always feel comfortable feeding their babies wherever and whenever they need!
The project includes 75 different photographers from around the world and I’m beyond thrilled to be included among such talent! Please enjoy a few of my favorites from #PBAP2015. I’m already so excited for PBAP 2016 and nursing in public photos in Naples, Italy!
A HUGE thanks goes to all of these beautiful moms and their precious little ones. It’s your story, I’m just the teller. Thank you so much for that honor!
To see more photos from #PBAP2015 Please visit Sara Dragman Photography in Oklahoma!
Also be sure to check out this awesome feature on Huffpost Parents!
“Nearly every culture in the world values the breast for its intended purpose: to produce milk and to sustain our children’s health and to promote their growth. In our culture, that purpose has largely been hidden – shut off behind closed doors, draped underneath covers – and sometimes denied to a mother outright. That is not acceptable.
I am one mother in a group of thousands across this country who is hoping to normalize breastfeeding by opening those closed doors and throwing off the covers. My breasts are for milk, not sex. My breasts are my children’s, not my husbands (don’t worry, he is o.k. with that). My breasts are not something to be ashamed of or scrutinized when using them to feed my child in public. Every mother should also understand that, and every other person surrounding that mother should respect her body as it was designed and for its intended purpose. If anyone has any question about that purpose, look up the definition of “mammal” in the dictionary.
I am so happy to be a part of something so huge and so great, not just as a breastfeeding mother, but as a woman in the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project.”
Amy, mother of 2.
“My daughter deserves to eat in a comfortable, clean, and pleasant place just like everyone else. These few moments, her first eating experiences, her nursing months will only come once, and I am going to enjoy them with her, without leaving the dinner table, without making my older daughter stop playing at the park, and without harming anyone else around me. I have learned that it doesn’t matter what others think. I’m doing what’s right for my baby and for me. If they don’t like it they can look away!”
-Sophie, mother of 2
“The biggest, most important part of breastfeeding in public is that my child’s needs must always come before any one else’s comfort. If the choice is: feed my child or make sure this stranger is comfortable? There’s no contest. I won’t make my child cry or stay hungry or eat while in a hot car or dirty washroom stall because a stranger is way too worried about what I’m doing to look away. And I think any mom, bottle or breastfed could relate to that. My son had to be formula fed due to complications after my emergency c section and I never would have made him wait to eat. If a baby is hungry, you feed it.”
– Amber, mother of 2
“I had never seen anyone breastfeed until I was twenty! TWENTY! And I remember wanting to watch out of curiosity but not knowing what the polite etiquette was- “Do I look away? But she’s talking so I should look at her…but is that rude? Should I not?” I must have had this internal battle for at least ten minutes before I decided to just act like I would if she weren’t. Which of course was the right choice because nothing crazy was happening, haha! I want my daughter and son to grow up knowing that this is what breasts were meant to do, this is how a baby can eat- or they can eat with a bottle. They are equally normal. So that when they grow up, if they choose to procreate they can feed their babies wherever they need to, whenever they need to, without controversy or ridicule. Without all the worries and uncertainties that comes with public breastfeeding at this point in time. If everyone has seen it their whole lives it will stop being weird or different or uncomfortable because it will be the norm. And who wants to be sexualized and objectified all the time? I feel like normalizing the truth of what breast are actually for with help combat this idea that women’s bodies are only for sex. We can do incredible things! We make, carry and nourish life!! How is that not note-worthy?!”
– Amber, mother of 2
“The great Yogi Berra once said baseball is 90% mental and the other half physical. I say breastfeeding is the same. This is just daily life for us – there’s no question about whether or not I’ll nurse my child when he needs it. It’s just how things work in my world.”
Jill, mother of 3
“As a first time mom, I knew I wanted to breastfeed soon after I knew I was pregnant. I had heard horror stories about friends and family not getting the support they needed or just not knowing their rights. I made the decision to give it my absolute best and asked my husband and close family and friends for support. The most common piece of advice I heard was, “know your rights.” So I armed myself with education and committed myself to breastfeed my baby. We’re at 11 months and still going strong! There are no words to express how grateful I am to be able to do this for my son. It has NOT been easy at times, but oh my gosh it has been worth it. I remember the first time I breastfed in public, without someone there to help me. I never felt stronger as a mother! Breastfeeding for me has been the single greatest accomplishment for me as a new mother. I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my loved ones and the online education and supports groups like Breastfeeding in Combat Boots and Breast is Best. I’m so grateful for anyone willing to stand up for themselves and all of us to normalize breastfeeding.”
– Mary, mother of 1
“My daughter deserves to eat when she’s hungry just like anyone else in the world. Nutrition is a right that should be afforded to all and no one should be made to eat in a bathroom no matter how clean, no matter how they are fed. Every other civilized country let’s moms feed their babies whenever and wherever and their government encourages them to nurse their babies until one year or more.
I breastfeed in public because it’s normal and natural. And maybe a mom will see me out feeding my daughter and be encouraged to try or keep going. We all need to support moms, it’s the toughest, best job and we are hard enough on ourselves. Smile at a mom, nursing or otherwise, and let her know you support her!”
Becca, mother of 2