My project about empowering moms through body positivity and normalizing breastfeeding worldwide.
I’m glad there are so many women that choose to be brave and stand up for breastfeeding and body positivity. It takes a lot of courage to decide to make yourself vulnerable and stand up with others for a cause. We are attention seeking, but for good reason. If you have never encountered negative reactions to your breastfeeding in public (or in general) then you can consider yourself lucky. We are fighting and creating this art to support new moms everywhere. The state I am from, Virginia, for example JUST this month, 2015, made a law saying moms could breastfeed anywhere without being asked to leave. 2015! I’m not sorry you are seeing breastfeeding mothers everywhere – be it art or real life.
You can choose to embrace the “beauty standards” imposed on you by society, or lift yourself up (and other women) and realize how beautiful you are. I understand it’s not an easy thing to do, but trying to bring others down with you and your insecurities is not the way to go. It’s fine if you don’t like the images, but we should be standing together as mothers, instead of shaming each other. You are part of the reason we felt the need to do this movement. I hope every new mom comes out of this movement knowing how beautiful they are and more confident about breastfeeding in public.
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“This morning I felt out of my comfort zone, scared and just unbelievably out of control. I have body issues, so for me the thought of getting undressed to nurse my son in front of a camera was way out of my league. As my hands gripped the steering wheel this morning I thought back to the excitement I felt when this was announced. I promised myself at 25 I would step out of my comfort zone. I would gain self confidence this year.”
“For whatever reason, it took my mom about 6 months to find and “retrieve” me. Soon after coming home, my mom’s current boyfriend began molesting me. This man did all sorts of wrong to my family and every time we moved to escape him – he always found us. The sexual abuse wasn’t frequent and didn’t last – but the physical abuse to my whole family went on for years. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever been so afraid of another person. I can remember thinking that he was going to kill all of us and praying that he would just leave my brothers alone…
Being a mother has given me a new outlook on life. I was always wishing the time away before them… I couldn’t wait for the next big thing, hoping it would bring me happiness. I don’t even use the phrase “I can’t wait” anymore because every single moment is so precious to me, and I refuse to wish their lives away when it’s already happening so fast!!! The truth is, I don’t have anything to wish for anymore … there’s no more waiting because I feel so complete in my role as a mom.”
“My baby boy Asher is 4 months old, my second child but first to be breastfed. With my first marriage I was young and was talked out of breastfeeding my daughter due to the fact that his family didn’t. My new husband is very supportive of my decision to breastfeed our son. It has helped tremendously with post partum depression and the bond with my baby is indescribable. I have struggled with my weight since I had my first child but the older I get the more accepting I am becoming of my body that housed my two lovely humans. My stretch marks and extra skin around my mid section are constant reminders of the miracles God has blessed me with.”
“I’m acting outside of the norm. Breastfeeding as a black woman has its challenges, but the biggest one is making sure the message I am sending is a clear one. While I’m sure nearly all breastfeeding mothers who nurse feel this way, I speak from a different angle. For years, black nursing moms were a myth, a fairytale, the unseen. As moms of every race graced the cover of magazines, I patiently waited for my green light–a phenomenal black woman to make a statement so bold she would inspire women of color to come out of hiding.”
“In college, I was sexually assaulted after having too much to drink at a party. For years afterward, I felt disconnected from and disgusted with my body. How could it have betrayed me so brazenly? I was smart, I was careful, I wasn’t supposed to be a rape victim. Even after meeting my husband, who loves, respects, and cherishes me, the disconnect remained. My first child’s birth, via unnecessary cesarean, seemed like a natural continuation of my feelings of being out of control when it came to my own body. It wasn’t until I began my breastfeeding journey with her that I finally began to feel as though I had some sort of ownership over my own anatomy again. I couldn’t feel more in control of myself. For the first time I feel like celebrating my body as a wonderful and precious instrument rather than a shell of betrayal.”
Jamie And Courtney
“My breastfeeding relationship has been totally awe inspiring. From the first few days of sleepy newborn latches to feeling like superwoman for growing a human with exclusively my milk for the first 6 months. I was her lifeline for literally 16 months from conception to solid foods. Courtney has been the biggest reason I am able to keep nursing Sophia. I can see how imperative it is to have a supportive partner, without her physical and emotional support I would have been more apt to stop when things got rough.”
“I undressed in front of a complete stranger and nursed my 11 month old son. This is an amazing project, to normalize breast feeding, to show others how beautiful a bond between a mother and their child(ren) can be and to help mothers like me gain confidence is a beautiful thing. I’m ecstatic to have taken a part of this. Thank you.”
“I have always struggled with self image. I was born with cleft lip and palate and have endured a dozen or so corrective surgeries throughout my childhood and adolescence. Many of them were very painful and came with long and difficult recoveries. None of those surgeries however held any comparison to the painfulness that other people can inflict with their words. As a society, we need to stop shaming and attacking things that we see as different or abnormal. We need to love each other and embrace those differences and imperfections that make us all unique… All women are beautiful and as mothers, we need to embrace every perceived flaw because we are teaching our children how to view themselves and how to treat others”.
Catching Lightning Bugs Along The Blue Ridge
“Breastfeeding my babies was something that was just ingrained in me. I always knew we would be in it for the long haul, however long that meant. I was blessed with an easy start and an amazing support system. I know not everyone is so lucky. I know this bond is something to be cherished and I cherish it every single day. I wanted to be involved with this project because I wanted to remember how special it is to be able to connect with my boys and how truly blessed I am.”
“To breastfeed or not to breastfeed was never a question for me. I always knew it was something I was going to do for my child. Even comments I would receive from friends about how my breasts would never be the same didn’t scare me. It just seemed right. It seemed natural. It seemed beautiful. I don’t breastfeed because it’s “cool” or because it’s “what’s in right now” or because “I love to show off my breasts in public.” I do it because it is simply what is best for my child. My body isn’t the same. And it probably never will be. But, honestly, I believe it’s better than ever!”
Baumholder, Germany Group
Kaiserslautern, Germany Group
Knoxville, TN Group
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