I look forward to the opportunity to share empowering and positive images of mothers nurturing their babies all year every year…but this year is different. This will be the last year of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project, which has been an incredibly fulfilling experience not just for me but for the mamas I’ve been able to meet and support. They say all good things must come to an end, but I have to admit I’m not entirely ready.
Last year I shared this video about why the PBAP is so important to me, and one of my favorite moments captured ever. I’m sharing it again for you now. Even though the project may be coming to a close, my simple mission to promote beautiful imagery of breastfeeding in real life and positive public breastfeeding will not change. I am here for you, mamas. Let’s plan your 2020 breastfeeding session. 💕
This is my 6th year participating in the PBAP. Here are my favorites from this year, along with the powerful words from each mama. Take a moment to connect with them. I would love it if you shared your own breastfeeding story in the comments.
“Nursing around others has always been difficult for me. Even in my own home I will excuse myself and go to another room when we have visitors. Over the holidays it dawned on me that I should not have to go put myself into time-out to feed my own child in my own home. I am really pushing myself to gain the confidence to feed my child how, when and where I need to without feeling ashamed.” – Jenifer C.
“I think it’s important for woman to know that breastfeeding doesn’t have to be a hindrance to your every day life, that you can still do the things you need or want to do without feeling like you are being held back. In preparing for this photo-shoot I have been looking at pictures online for inspiration and a reminder that this is something I can accomplish. I would love if I could help to inspire another mom who is struggling in the same way. Even if none of my pictures are shared I hope the experience, for me and for anyone who happens to be present when it takes place, sparks conversation around this topic.” – Jenifer C.
“Although people told me it was difficult, I was so unprepared for just how difficult breastfeeding would be. I was lucky that my child seemed to take to it fairly easily. Even so, I struggled as a first time mom with insecurities that I was doing it right, making enough and all the other doubts that come along with it. Since then, we have struggled with over supply, undersupply, returning to work, and food sensitivities. When my child was first born, I had to talk myself through not quitting every day. I wasn’t sure I could make it though the first month. When I made it through 3 months, I thought maybe I could make it 6. Coming up on 6 months now I am aiming for 9, and then hopefully a full year. Looking back, I am so glad I did not give up. I am grateful for the ability to nurture my child for however long the journey lasts.” – Jenifer C
“I want other mothers to see breastfeeding as something completely normal and beautiful. I want them to choose to breastfeed confidently. It is our legal right in all 50 states. It is biologically normal. It’s developmentally appropriate. I hope to inspire another mother, as the mothers who inspired me did. With grace, accurate information and a bit of glamour.” – Katie K.
“Breastfeeding has been the anchor of my motherhood. It has been the foundation that has shaped all other parenting methods I have chosen as my style. It has given me so much confidence, patience and extra snuggles. It has been the one thing that can always ground us on good days and reconnect us on hard ones.” – Katie K.
“A mothers body, of every kid of animal, is made to feed her offspring. People watch horses, cows, cats, and dogs nurse their babies and think how precious and loving it is. A woman nursing her child should elicit the same emotion. A feeling of tenderness, love, and joy for providing life to her child.” – Sarah M.
“I hope to normalize breastfeeding as it is one of my bodies main functions when I had my child. Its not like I had to force or choose, to have my body create milk. It is not sexual. It is not gross. I do not eat in the bathroom or in a closet, and neither will my child.” – Sarah M.
“I am so excited to be doing this session with my best mom friend, Jennifer. Jennifer is nursing a 20 month old and breastfed her older son who is the same age as my son. We met through a babywearing group when our sons were 18 months old and they have been friends ever since! I am hoping to show that breastfeeding looks different at different ages and stages and that we should never be embarrassed to feed our children no matter where we are! Breastfeeding is natural and normal and every woman should feel empowered to feed in public if that is what she chooses to do!” – Kristina R.
“This is my second time participating in the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project. With my son, I was an exclusively pumping mom and now with my second I am exclusively nursing and not pumping at all. My experiences with the two have been so different! Everyone assumes that it must have been harder with my first but not necessarily. There was a certain comfort in knowing exactly how much my son was consuming and being able to leave him with family members for a few hours was so helpful! I stressed about production and when and where I would pump but I slept all night and could even have a night out every once in a while! Breastfeeding in public is very different too. I definitely pumped in the car and anywhere else that I needed to but it was always where no one could see me. This time around I have been much more brave. I have nursed my daughter in front of strangers, family members, friends and relatives. I have nursed her in restaurants, at the water park, in the carrier, in dressing rooms, and at rest stops on long road trips. PBAP was important the first time around because I wanted visibility for the EP community. This time around I want to inspire bravery, no matter how one chooses to breastfeed whether it’s nursing or pumping.” – Kristina R.
IT’S NEVER “TOO LATE” TO JOIN IN ON THE PBAP. I BOOK THESE SHOOTS YEAR ROUND AND WOULD LOVE TO MEET YOU AND TELL YOUR STORY.
Take a look back on 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014 for more inspiration.