Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nursing Photos

Please Note: there are not any actual nursing photos in this blog post.  Because while I value the photos I have of my daughter nursing, I am also uncomfortable sharing those photos with all the perverts on the internet.  I hope you understand.

Previously I wrote about how I happened to start taking self-photos of the Wee One and I - some of them show up in the slideshow to your right - and how much I treasure some of those photos.

This is a post about nursing photos, and how much I treasure those as well.

Early on, either while I was still preggo, or one sleepless night with an infant in my bed, I perused the Diaperswappers forum and came across a post of a new mama who had professional photos taken of her new family.  She posted some of the proofs to get feedback (from complete strangers) to choose one.  They were all photos of her nursing her brand new baby, with her husband by her side.  The photos were beautiful, but I was uncomfortable with taking a professional photographer's time for nursing photos, and I admit I was a little uncomfortable with how truly intimate these portraits were of this family that I didn't know.

Then came the advocacy.  Reading posts on blogs from the mamas that say you should nurse in public whenever and wherever the mood strikes because that paves the way for the right of other mamas to do the same.  You shouldn't wear a nursing cover because there is nothing to be ashamed of.  Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your child and it should not be covered up.  You don't put a cover over a baby eating solids in a high chair, or an infant being fed by a bottle, why cover up an infant being fed by the breast?  Many breastfeeding advocates post pictures of women breastfeeding in an attempt to make such images more mainstream.

I have breastfed my daughter in more public places than I care to count or list.  On a memorable occasion, I breastfed her walking through the dog food aisle at Petsmart.  (She was tiny and easy to carry at the breast in the early days.)  I agree that it should be completely acceptable in society, and that introducing more images in mainstream media is a way to gain exposure to advocacy for breastfeeding.  (Images of someone else, tho, not me!)

Because I saw so many beautiful images of mothers breastfeeding wanted to be like the other mothers on the internet, I took some nursing photos.  I decided that I was not comfortable posting them on the internet (I'm a weak advocate, so sue me), but I am very glad that I have photos of my tiny baby (and some of my bigger baby) nursing.

The nursing photos I have of my daughter and I are self-photos, taken with my cell phone or with my digital camera. Most aren't very good (too close) but I have a few that are (this is a non-nursing photo taken when she quit nursing to figure out what I was taking pictures of).

So if you are still nursing your little one, or will be nursing a little one soon, you might want to consider taking some photos of your nursing relationship.  I regret not asking for any nursing shots in our first professional session, because our photographer is professional and wonderful enough that she would have gotten some beautiful images.  I regret that all of mine are too close, fuzzy, wierd angled, washed out, and hand held images.  But they still important to me, so I encourage you to think about having some of your own.


Laraf123 said...

Hmmmm, I know our nursing days are numbered. I wonder if I should get one or two photos while I still can. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

BTW, I nursed in the front seat of my Hyundai several times while parked in various store lots. When they gotta eat, they gotta eat!

Billy said...

I recentally took a few nursing pictures (self photos..), though while I look at her on my breat (or resting next to after) and it is just a beautiful image, somehow when I try to take a picture it looks more phonographic than cute :-(. Anyway, she'll probably come up to me one day and say - mummy, how could you!? But like you, I am happy I have these photos..

As for the breast feeding advocates, I am all for breast feeding in public and not having to cover yourself etc, but.. they talk about it being a natural process. If you have to not cover yourself or go out in public if you are not comfortable with such, kind of contradicts it being a natural thing..