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The Making of a Facebook Breastfeeding Photo

They’re everywhere these days. Those amazing breastfeeding photos that make breastfeeding look romantic, easy and fun. Even the ones featuring gymnurstic toddlers and tired moms can bring rush of wistfulness to us hormonal breastfeeders. But one of my last breastfeeding photos posted to the Facebook page got me to thinking…

I posted this photo.

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Beautiful, huh? Yeah, it’s exactly what I was shooting for. Me smiling down at my boys. Them holding hands. We look comfy and in love. It represents how I often feel inside. I feel like a powerful and beautiful mother who loves breastfeeding. I feel like I have it all figured out. I feel like we are living in harmony.

And after about 15 minutes of dealing with what actually happens in my life we got it. My sister was in town and I asked her to take some pictures. I have so many selfies, but I don’t have many tandem shots or shots taken from a few steps back where you can see the whole scene. I knew what I wanted to capture; with the extra set of hands I was able to put forth the effort. But seriously folks, it was an effort! When I read the comments under this photo I felt a bit bad. The worst of it is when some said I make it look easy.

Holy Fucking No Way.

No, there is not much easy about breastfeeding and not much easy about this moment! But I really wanted to have one of those special photos where it actually looks on the outside the way it feels to me on the inside. One the outside it’s chaos. Exley is popping on and off. Jack is poking his finger into Exley’s eye. Jack is sliding down my leg. My sister is trying to find a way to get both latches in the picture with no hands in the way. And on any day of the week this is how it is. Throw in the daily battle with nursing aversion, parenting stresses and all of the other wonderfully overwhelming situations that life brings. There is a major gap between this photo and reality.

But this photo does capture something real for me. On the inside I feel successful, empowered and strong. Despite all of the chaos and difficulties breastfeeding and being a mother has given me many things to feel proud of. This is why we love to share these beautiful breastfeeding photos. Not because we have it easy, not because we don’t struggle, not because we are trying to fool anyone, but because we just feel so awesome and wonderful sometimes that we want a really moving photo to represent it. Not always, but sometimes.

When I read the comments that I make breastfeeding look easy I felt sort of bad. I felt like I was being deceptive. So just so we are on the same page here are the rest of the photos from that photo shoot.

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Abby Theuring, MSW

Comments

  1. Jennifer Spires says:

    I love these pictures. I don’t have any of me tandem nursing my babies.

    • I love them too! My husband had taken one of me tandem nursing my boys in the very early days after my youngest was born.. somehow I never printed it or saved it to a photo printing/sharing site 🙁 It got lost on our old hard drive.. I would love to have that photo now.. these bring back the memories (the boys are 8 and almost 7 now)…

  2. I love reading your blogs and following your page and other breastfeeding/mom pages. Although sometimes I feel alone. I hear the challenges and struggles and joys of breastfeeding everywhere. But am I the only one who found it so easy and natural? I believe there must be others out there. Maybe afraid to hurt or offend others so we keep it to ourselves? I have 2 boys like you do. My guys are 19 mths apart and I tandem nursed for 19 months. I am still nursing my 3yr7mth old so in total I’ve nursed 5yrs and 3 months straight. The first few weeks of tandem was a bit challenging figuring out positions and how to feed both laying down for nap time (which didn’t work lol) and a few months ago I started getting nursing aversion (which I learned was an actual thing thanks to you, thank you). But in general all five years have been simple and natural and I’ve even called nursing ” lazy parenting ” ( hope that’s not offensive) because it solves every issue (although not quite as much for my second), no bottles no getting up at night (co-sleeping) fixing booboos, help calming down when emotions are too much to handle, get to sit down and relax, or lay in bed with a good reason, don’t feel obligated to let others hold and feed the baby and I could go on but Anyway I was wondering if you could ask on Facebook if anyone feels the way I do. You can paraphrase or post this whole comment if you like. I only have around 50 friends so you could reach many more breastfeeding mom’s then myself lol. If you do would it be possible to email me so I don’t miss it. Thank you julie berube

    • I always say breastfeeding is the easy way out!! Once you get the hang of it it sure is a cure all!!! I breastfed my first daughter for 4 years, 2 months, she is almost 18 now. My second daughter 2 years, 1 month, my third daughter 2 years, 7 months, and my son is 3 years and 4 months and still breastfeeding. Not one drop if formula for any of them and my son had open-heart surgery when he was 4-months old.

      I’ve had leaking, engorgement, cracked nipples… My husband was Air Force so I delivered one in a military hospital, we PCS-Ed when one was exclusively breastfeeding at six months old.

      I’m glad I had good support from the start!

    • I’m with you, Julie. I know it’s hard for a lot of women. But for me, after the initial adjustment, breastfeeding is easy. Nursing aversion is hard, though. I weaned my first while pregnant with my second because of it (he was ready, though; it wasn’t forced). I’m very grateful that it’s been an easy thing for me.

  3. Sometimes I feel like pp. Once I got past the worry bred in the hospital’s by staff I rarely had any troubles but I was also very lucky to have supportive family and resources when I did feel like I was mucking things up or just needed to see other nursing dyads. (Pmsl cause it tried to autocorrect to nursing dads.) I always grieve a little when I hear nursing hasn’t worked out for my family and friends. Cause looking back it was soon easy. Much easier thanrecovering from my HBC. So no ppl you are not alone.

  4. Oh man i can relate. My 2 year old use to fight with her brother when she would nurse with him mind you he was under a year under 9 months before she self weened. But she would try to shove his head and he would grab hand fulls of her hair. It was chaos, but i have a couple photos of us tandem nursing 🙂 and that makes me happy.

  5. YOU ARE AWESOME! It is so not easy but it does make you feel wonderful knowing that we are providing our babies with the best nutrition right from our own bodies. Great pictures. I have a 15 month old and she is always popping on and off of my boob, and when i think she’s done, she isn’t and she’s smacking my chest for more! lol

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