This blog post will be sans photos... but the topic is important. You'll get more photos next week. :)
I have breastfed both of my kids up to the point where we mutually decided we were done. I'm still breastfeeding #2 when she wakes in the middle of the night... she's 15 months old. When they were younger and I would need to breastfeed out in public, I never had any trouble doing it. I personally never received negative responses to it. Although the few times I asked if there was somewhere I could feed my baby, they would look a bit lost. One person pointed me in the direction of the toilets (UGH!!). Another person in a large shopping outlet responded apologetically that there wasn't anywhere... but as I walked out to the car, there were chairs and tables at the front of the store. Honestly, I just needed a chair to sit in for a bit.
But, I was lucky. There are woman who have received dirty looks, insults, and even asked to leave the premises of a cafe. They have been confined to toilets, the corners of restaurants, and their cars. I will say this now, and I will say it again to anyone who asks: Mothers should NEVER feel ashamed to feed their babies regardless of location. And you will see more boob in the ad on the side of a bus than you will from a nursing baby.
In the past few weeks I have joined a group photographers all over the UK in the "Breastfeeding Campaign UK." The goal of this campaign is to normalise public breastfeeding across the UK. Although these negative situations are in the minority, they still exist and that is a huge problem. Breastfeeding can be a struggle and if the mother doesn't have support it can be even harder.
Over this next month, I'll be doing Breastfeeding sessions. These images are going to be used to make posters to display in cafes, restaurants, shops, etc. to raise awareness. If you would like to get involved, join up on the facebook page and/or send me an email for more information. If you're a business owner anywhere in the UK and would like a poster to display your support, let us know! If you're a breastfeeding mum and want to get involved, join the facebook group and join the conversation. There might be a photographer in your area that is currently looking for breastfeeding mums to participate. Please, help us spread the word and join the campaign to normalise public breastfeeding.
Here's a recent press release about the campaign and how it started:
Watch this space. I'll be sharing photos from my upcoming sessions and more information on how the campaign is doing.