Breastfeeding is widely regarded as a beneficial practice for new moms and babies, and yet many mothers still face stigma about feeding their infants when they’re out and about. Recently, a Tennessee photographer staged a breastfeeding photoshoot that posed moms with the negative comments they’d received while breastfeeding in public. Juxtaposing loving, intimate scenes of mothers feeding their babies with rude comments from strangers, the photo series pushes back against outdated beliefs that breastfeeding is somehow “obscene” or inappropriate in public spaces.
Photographer Nicki Kaylor gathered nine mothers in East Tennessee for the series, titled “Latched With Love.” In a Facebook post about the photo shoot, Kaylor wrote, “These 9 gorgeous mamas are fierce & determined. Through any catty remarks.. They still stand PROUDLY nursing. Together, We wrote down some remarks they have been told or have heard about breastfeeding. These remarks are NOT okay.” The comments that the women had heard include statements that they should breastfeed in the bathroom, suggestions that they should be using bottles or covers, and admonishments that their children are too old to be breastfed.
“I put this series together because there's so much judgment against mothers nursing their babies in public,” Kaylor told Mashable. “Absolutely no mother should be in public, feeling ashamed because her baby is hungry and she has to feed it.”
Kaylor urged readers on Facebook, “If you see a mother nursing her child in public, Please do not approach her with rude words. Smile and continue on your way or tell her how AWESOME she is!”
You can find more of Kaylor’s photography on her Facebook page.