914 words • 5~8 min read

Why I Took Pictures While Breastfeeding My Son

I always wanted to have an actual, professional portrait of my son nursing, in the same way that I wish I hadn’t let my body issues stop me from getting some form of maternity photography done. But at least I have those pictures we took at home. Pictures like these:

 

I know; super disgusting and inappropriate. I know this, because when I made the mistake of reading the comments on an HLN article regarding the Facebook Nurse-In, I came across a lot of comments like this:

what they FAIL to realize is that when they post pictures of their babies suckling, that is EXHIBITIONISM. Sorry but why oh why would you even take a picture of yourself breasfeeding? I understand that it is a natural thing, that’s one thing, but to complain that FB is taking your pictures of you being an EXHIBITIONIST? Wow you have some warped logic if you are upset about that. If you are going to breastfeed your child, then have some decency about it and cover the child up – to do it in the middle of a store is just the same as posting pictures of yourself online breasfeeding – its indcent exposure in the eyes of most – I don’t want to see your boobs.

I would punch this guy square in the dick if we were talking in person. Okay, I wouldn’t. I’m not violent. But I would be super pissed off, because apparently he feels like he can identify a sexual desire based on pictures of a child breastfeeding, and that suckling is somehow indecent. I wonder if he would feel more comfortable if we set babies up at a distance as shot milk into their mouths — then we wouldn’t have to subject poor babies to dirty dirty nipples.

It’s so hard to explain this to people who immediately see breastfeeding = exposure. I know it’s all about how we view a woman’s body on a cultural level, and we expect that if you’re flashing a bit of breast at all obviously its just because you want people to look at you. Hell, another commenter said: Theres a time & place to plop your tits out…like Marde Gra …these gals are what give breastfeeding a bad rap…”

So, if you ever asked yourself why a woman would take (and post) a picture of her child breastfeeding, these are just a couple reasons she might have done it.


I took pictures of Miles nursing because it was a powerful and fleeting part of my life. My son is weaned — he will not nurse again. While I’m glad to be done with that part of his life, I’m also sad. It was beautiful, it was empowering for me, and it helped me really come to appreciate and respect my body. It was an amazing experience.

I took pictures because I wanted to be able to look back and see what it was like, especially from an outside perspective. I’ll never forget the way he looks when he rests content in the crook of my arm, but by taking pictures I can see what we look like together, what we were together rather than looking down at him. And sure, I want people see that and think, “Wow, that looks like love.” I want them to think that when they see me walking down the street holding his hand, and I want people to think that when he graduates high school and I inevitably cry like a baby.

What I was not doing was going, “Man, I really hope someone is looking at my breasts. Are they looking at my breasts? Can they see all that sexy sexy breast?” Because exhibitionism is, according to the Great Wiki,a desire or compulsion to expose parts of one’s body – specifically the genitals or buttocks of a man or woman, or the breasts of a woman – in a public or semi-public circumstance, in crowds or groups of friends or acquaintances, or to strangers.”


Contrary to popular belief, a picture of a mother breastfeeding her child is not a picture of a breast: it’s a picture of a moment in their lives. It wasn’t taken for you, it was shared with you because we want people know that this doesn’t have to be a private thing. I shouldn’t have to hide away one of the most memorable parts of my son’s early years — I shouldn’t be told to take that in a bedroom or hide it under a blanket.