Today is the last day of World Breastfeeding Week and since August is dedicated to breastfeeding awareness, I wanted to take a moment to send my love for all those breastfeeding moms out there. The sole purpose of this week is to help promote and support breastfeeding moms on their journey. Whether your breastfeeding journey is successful, you’re struggling, or you tried and weren’t successful, I see you all and I am proud of each one of you. Breastfeeding is hard. No matter how your story turned out, you deserved to be honored and celebrated.
Breastfeeding comes easier for some than others, but I think we can all agree breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or want it, breastfeeding doesn’t work—this was exactly how my journey wound up.
Like most new moms, I wanted to breastfeed my babies. I mean, all the research said it was the best for my children, and what mom doesn’t want to give their children the best? I took classes, read everything I could, bought all the “stuff” I was told I needed. I was prepared—or so I thought. It wasn’t until I brought my brand-new daughter home that our struggles began. Between an undiagnosed lip/tongue tie and low supply due to PCOS, our breastfeeding journey was over before it even began. However, through this journey I did make some incredible friends from lactation consultants and breast milk donors.
When it came time to try and breastfeed my son, I knew better. I addressed his ties early on, I did what I could to help my supply (even though it was still low and I still had to supplement) and we were able to breastfeed for about 9 months. It was at the 9-month mark my supply tanked and no matter what I did, I could not get it back up. So, while I am disappointed I couldn’t breastfeed longer, I’m happy we were able to make it work for as long as we did.
There is always a silver lining to every situation and my breastfeeding journey was no exception. The most caring people have been brought into my life through my breastfeeding struggles. I have developed life-long friendships as a result and for that, I am grateful.
I wish someone would have warned me about how hard breastfeeding was going to be. Time and time again, I see the majority of breastfeeding discussions revolve around the numerous benefits it has for baby and how incredible the connection you both develop will be. It glamorizes the process and, when this is not our experience, moms tend to think they must be doing something wrong. They believe they are the problem—the exception, not the rule. We don’t often talk about how hard (and sometimes improbable) it can be for mom. For this reason I have decided to take on a personal photo project which will document reality of breastfeeding.
I am looking for several moms in the Rochester and surrounding areas who would be interested allowing me to document their breastfeeding journey. This would be a long-term project and would involve a monthly commitment and open lines of communication. The goal of this project would be to shed some light on the realities of breastfeeding, help inspire other breastfeeding mamas, normalize breastfeeding, and most of all, let moms know they are not alone in their struggles.
Breastfeeding is hard and it’s not always glamorous, but it’s also pretty damn beautiful. That is what I want to focus on.
I am looking for moms who fit one of the following categories:
- An expecting mom who is planning to breastfeed
- A new, breastfeeding mom
- An established breastfeeding mom
- A extended breastfeeding mom
- A low supply mom using an SNS or supplementing via bottle
- Mom + breast milk donor Pair
- An exclusively pumping mom
- A nursing mom of multiples
- An adoptive mom who has induced or will induce lactation
If you would like to participate in this ongoing project, please fill out the questionnaire by clicking here. I can’t wait to chat with you!
All applications will be reviewed and families will be contacted if selected. Those selected will receive 10 high-res images suitable for printing up to 11 x17 as a thank you.
If you have any questions regarding this model call, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
*Must be willing to sign a model release as these images will be used for my portfolio, a possible photo book, and advertising purposes.