PBAP2015 – Austin, TX Breastfeeding Photographer

PBAP2015 brought in hundreds of fresh and beautiful photographs of mothers breastfeeding in public places. I am blown away by the talent represented by nearly 70 photographers from all over the globe. We are now representing breastfeeding mothers not only in America, but Australia, the UK, Italy, Venezuela and Canada. And we hope to expand to other countries! PBAP has had a great year of exposure too, both the individual photographers themselves and the project as a whole. In February, we participated in an art show “Mother Nature’s Masterpiece” at the Austin, TX Capitol during a week of breastfeeding legislation action days.  We have images going up in health clinics in NY as we speak. Our images can be seen in the upcoming documentary “Lactaboobiephobia”. As the founder, I’ve been interviewed by and/or written articles for Midwifery Today, Holistic Parenting and Breastfeeding Today. I had the good fortune of appearing on ABC Nightline News in May. I also had the unique opportunity to travel to Houston at the end of World Breastfeeding Week to discuss the importance of breastfeeding in public, and present some of PBAP’s best breastfeeding images, at an event hosted by The Health Museum of Houston called “Cradle Me Here… A Breastfeeding Awareness Health Art Event”.

For my sessions this year I photographed approximately 40 breastfeeding mothers at the grocery store (Whole Foods), pediatrician’s office (ARC), back porch of Homeslice Pizza, park (Play for All Abilities), The Health Museum of Houston and on the charming streets of Grapevine, TX. I loved getting to know and chatting with each mama and hearing about their breastfeeding journeys, which has lead them to both early weaning/extended nursing, to nurse both covered and uncovered, to pump, feed via g-tube, or SNS, but most importantly to speak out on the importance of supporting breastfeeding in public. I even had a few dads get in the pictures this year! The support of your partner is paramount to meeting your breastfeeding goals. Community – whatever yours looks like – is so important!

One of my favorite testimonials this year (I encourage my photographers to get one from each mother they photograph) was that of fellow photographer Laura Paulescu (Crowned Photography): “I’m a very modest person. With my first baby, I did three things when it came to feeding her; scheduling going out around her feedings so that I didn’t have to nurse in public, gave her bottles of pumped milk, or nursed with a cover (preferably in that order.) But all that changed with my second. Enter: baby who didn’t want to take a bottle, wanted to nurse every 1.5-2 hours for the first 2 months, and also gets incredibly hot and sweaty while nursing. It is simply unfair and not practical for me to just sit at home, in my car, in a yucky public restroom, or causing both my baby and myself to be hot and uncomfortable with a cover EVERY TIME she needs to feed.”

“Encouraged by my dear friend Leilani Rogers & the amazing Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project last year, I decided before I even had my second baby not to be embarrassed about what God created my body to do, or hide away whenever I need to feed my precious babe. It is not sexual, and it is not prideful. (And if I’m being totally honest, I felt like I always drew WAY more attention when I used a big cover than anytime now.) I’m so thankful for Leilani and her courage in speaking out about this. Because the only way we can normalize it is by seeing it in public, remembering that it is a sacrifice for that momma to even be committed to it, and reminding ourselves that she is simply feeding her child- not doing it for attention or to be rude.”

Thank you so much, Laura, for letting me photograph you as you begin your journey as an advocate for breastfeeding in public. Thank you to ALL THE MOMS that got in front of my camera this year, and last, and the year before that when this little idea of mine was first explored. I am so thankful for the stories you’ve shared with me, and your beautiful faces!!!

Here is a compete collection of my contrition to #PBAP2015:

 

For more PBAP images, please visit Ashley Marston, one of our talented Canadians!

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