Out in the open

The more that people see breastfeeding, the more they see it for what it is: the simple act of feeding one’s baby

BRATTLEBORO — Our photographic project “Nursing Is Normal” consists of portraits of mothers breastfeeding their children. The premise for this project is that the more something is seen, the more normal it becomes.

In the last century, breastfeeding fell out of favor, thanks to the so-called advances of science pertaining to infant nutrition.

When formula was introduced, it was marketed to families as superior to breast milk. Women were made to feel like their milk was not as nutritionally sound.

Eventually, the marketers prevailed. Breastfeeding rates declined. It became something that some people never saw.

But the breastfeeding rates are slowly rising as we learn more about nutrition and health. In what has been found to be the exact opposite of the original claims of formula's nutritional benefits, the medical establishment now recommends to mothers that they breastfeed their babies for a least a year, if not longer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a lengthy statement on breastfeeding in 2012, which calls breastfeeding and human milk “the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition.”

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Through these photographs, we are working to help make breastfeeding become fully normal once again. New mothers need to see experienced mothers nursing their children so they can learn and be successful with their own babies.

Breastfeeding should not be something that is hidden or taboo. It should be viewed as the simple act of feeding a baby.

We created two years' worth of photographs that not only celebrate breastfeeding but also celebrate mothers and the incredible gift they are giving to their children.

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