The Realities Of Breastfeeding
Artist, photographer and mother, Suzie Blake, has created a photo project she hopes will normalise breastfeeding.
The photo series features a collection of beautifully shot black and white photographs that capture the realities of life as a breastfeeding mother.
Writing on her website, Blake said: “I feel there is a distinct lack of authenticity in images of women breastfeeding. In the media most photos are highly stylised or unrealistic; many are sheer fantasy.
Whether it be the angelic mother in her clinical white perfection or some model on the front of a fashion magazine. I’m tired of images that fail to show the realities of breastfeeding.”
Blake wanted to create a project that captured everyday breastfeeding. Not the glamorous fashion shoots, but the tired mamas slumped on the sofa at home. The women are photographed in their homes, with toys scattered across the floor as older children play gleefully in the background.
Some women are photographed breastfeeding in public, a reality of life for most breastfeeding mothers. From serene shots taken at a local park to a quick feed at the hair salon, the project perfectly captures these real life breastfeeding scenarios.
Portraying Breastfeeding In All Its Beautiful Messiness
The Melbourne based photographer wrote on her website: “This project is about portraying breastfeeding in all its beautiful messiness. This is about tired eyes and no make-up. This is about milk leaks and ratty hair. This is about giving in to all the demands of your 2-year-old while you try to feed your newborn. This is about dishes piled up in the kitchen and dirty laundry building in the corner. This is about puke on your shoulder and toys on the floor. This is about let down milk sprays in cafes and engorged breasts at the park.”
The project started with a self-portrait Blake took of herself breastfeeding. She wanted to take a photograph that summed up her breastfeeding experience, and soon realised that this was the perfect concept for a photo series.
After posting a request on Facebook to see if other mamas might be interested in being photographed, Blake soon realised there was a huge demand for this type of project. The photographer and breastfeeding mama is now hoping to take the project global and photograph breastfeeding women all over the world.
To find out more about the ‘What Does Breastfeeding Look Like?’ photo project, check out the Facebook page here. Blake hopes the project will help to normalise breastfeeding, empower new mothers and improve breastfeeding rates. See her YouTube video below.
Recommended Reading: Check out the BellyBelly article about another postpartum photo series I Gave Birth Yesterday – Was It Like This For You?