Last month I had an idea. I realized that throughout my journey as a mother and photographer I very rarely have gotten someone to take any pictures of me and my girls. I always feel weird handing over the camera and saying, “hey can you take my picture?” Something in me feels a little vain asking someone to do that… I don’t know… Anyways, so my idea was that I would take photos of mothers and their children. Then I started thinking a little bit more about it and brainstorming about how I wanted to do this and suddenly I knew the direction I wanted to take this project. World Breastfeeding Awareness Week was quickly approaching and motherhood and breastfeeding go hand in hand. (This post is not at all to degrade mothers who can’t or choose not to nurse their babies, for the record.)
Just like birth photography this area of photography is still rather new and some people don’t really know what to think about it. I wish I had known about birth photography when the girls were born and I wish I had thought to have someone photography me nursing them, because now I am left with only my memories. Nursing is beautiful and natural. It makes some people uncomfortable because our culture hasn’t provided the kind of environment that makes nursing a normative practice anymore. This post isn’t about covering up, nursing in public, the right to nurse anywhere a mother is allowed to be, nursing in the workplace, etc. (although all of those topics are very important). This post is simply to show the beauty and the bond between mother’s and their nurslings. To show that you can nurse when you have twins. To show that you can extend breastfeeding past infancy. To show that a woman’s body nourishing a child is natural and beautiful. To reject the trend of exploiting and sexualizing the female body in the mass media.
Ashley is one of these women. She is one of many championing the cause of nursing multiples and has been determined from day one to continue to nurse them when others said she couldn’t. Let me tell you, this woman is my hero. My daughter Paisley is close in age to her twins and I can only imagine the chaos that comes with having two toddlers PLUS nursing both of them. I got just a small glimpse into their nursing relationship for our shoot and I have so much respect for this woman. The bond that these three share because of nursing is something that I know they will carry throughout their lives together long after the nursing has stopped; it was an honor to witness it.