The movement to normalise breastfeeding is spreading around the world and often this is done through beautiful photography. Suzie Blake, a Melbourne mother of two set out to do something a little different when she started her What Does Breastfeeding Look Like tumblr account.
She has captured something all mums can relate to – a typical breastfeeding experience. No flash lighting. No makeup. No elegant backdrops. Real mums. Real bubs. Real moments.
And the results are stunning.
What started as a self-portrait of Suzie breastfeeding her son (above) resulted in several other mums wanting to get involved.
“The response has been incredible,” she says. “So many women have offered their time and told me how relieved they are to see realistic images of women breastfeeding.”
The driving force behind the candid black and white images is to showcase “breastfeeding in all its beautiful messiness”.
Along with the tumblr account, Suzie has collected quotes from the mums about their breastfeeding experiences and created a stunning video to collate her message.
This isn’t the first time we have stumbled across campaigns advocating the normalisation of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding selfies or ‘brelfies’ are one of the latest celebrity trends and earlier this year we also showcased a beautiful photography project to support World Breastfeeding Day.
However, what makes Suzie’s project unique is that the images are so real. There is no staging involved. The mothers are photographed in bed, at the park, at cafes, in the kitchen, on the living room floor, at the salon.
Toddlers run amok in the background. Toys gather in the corners of the room. People continue to play in the park.
The world continues to move, even if the moment is paused in the photos.
The mothers are beautiful in their own ways. Some look tired. Some look frustrated. Some look at peace. But they all look real and it is this raw beauty that shines through the lens and grabs our attention.
While many mums, myself included, have no problem breastfeeding any time, any place, anywhere, regardless of what others think, many mothers do not feel this way.
One of the mums who was photographed admits, “What some people don’t realise is that breastfeeding mums really don’t want the attention. We just want to feed the little human we are caring for and we want you go about your business, without even looking at us.”
Suzie explains that she wanted to showcase that breastfeeding isn’t glamorous. “Women are faced with ridiculous stereotypes of other women breastfeeding.”
The truth is that breastfeeding is hard and not really that glamorous at all. But it’s real. And it’s amazing. And, most importantly, it is a completely normal act of motherhood.
Make sure you also check out our post on 18 things all breastfeeding mums will understand for another real peak into the world of breastfeeding a little human.