The Beautiful Breastfeeding Photograph Causing A Stir Online

If you stop by my Facebook page, you'll find an array of breastfeeding photographs; some of newborns taking their first sips and some of toddlers practising a little 'gymnurstics'.  Needless to say, every single one of them is beautiful.  These pictures have been sent to me for sharing, by proud nursing mothers across the globe.  These women are both empowered and empowering; because with every share, they are helping to normalize breastfeeding.

So when mama Tanya sent in the following shot, taken by the super-talented Paulina, from Paulina Splechta Photography, I shared it with a smile.  Because, as you can see, it’s a stunningly beautiful picture…




My community reacted just as I had; there was lots of gushing and many comments of “Wow!”, “Amazing!” and “How Beautiful!”

But then, as ever, the naysayers joined the party.

I feel the need to warn you, at this point, that the following comments are not suitable reading material for those of a mindset sensitive to idiocy, ignorance or poor grammar/spelling…

“All I'm Saying Is That My 2yr. Niece & Nephew Can Drink And Feed Themselves... Can A Breastfeeded Child Capable Of Mentally & Motor Skills Wise Accomplish That. Not Down On Breastfeeding Nor The Photo.”

Ok, in fairness this one really is pretty funny.  With the up-and-down capitalization and the inclusion of “Breastfeeded”.  If it were a toddler using the term, it would be rather cute.  But alas, no such luck.  There are adults who genuinely believe this drivel and unfortunately, the crazy doesn't stop there.  Again, please look away now if you have an intolerance to idiocy, ignorance or poor grammar/spelling...

“I agree much too old to still be breast feeding! Their comes a time when wheening just seems the right thing to do!...Cups were invented for a reason!!!!!”

Head.  Meets.  Desk.

Seeing as the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least two years of age…the whole 'too old to be breastfeeding' argument falls flat on its face right there.

In truth, there’s a big part of me that feels truly angry that we are still reading/hearing such negativity and misunderstanding towards breastfeeding in 2014…but there is hope.  Because the vast majority saw this photograph for exactly what it is: beautiful.

For every negative comment made against this picture, there have been at least 10 positive ones.  For every show of ignorance, there have been at least 10 helpful and researched arguments in favor of breastfeeding.  The pro-breastfeeding resources and genuine appreciation of the beauty in this photograph dramatically outnumber the negativity, and that’s no small feat!

Sure, the "I support breastfeeding BUT" crowd stopped by for a moment, along with those who consider a public bathroom an acceptable place to nurse a baby, but overwhelmingly, the majority of commentators are supporters.

Paulina, the photographer, told me, "I am proud to be able to capture this amazing moment, but I am even more hopeful that through the work that I do, I can help contribute to spreading the word in our society that breastfeeding is normal."

Yes, breastfeeding is normal. And with support, encouragement and exposure (pun intended), even more mothers will feel empowered enough to trust their instincts, their children and their bodies.

So thank you, to every person who took the time to comment with support and with positivity.  And thank you to Paulina and Tanya, for opening more hearts and minds to the true beauty of breastfeeding.

You can read the Facebook discussion in full here

Like what you read?  If you'd like to receive new posts from Mama Bean Parenting straight to your inbox, just click here

You can also find Mama Bean on Twitter and Facebook


43 comments:

  1. Stunning picture!!!! That comment made me laugh so much! Classic! At least there are sensible people around to explain why the idiots are wrong ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, they had me at "wheening" ;-)

      Delete
  2. What a beautiful picture! I don't understand how anybody could see anything other than beauty in this photograph??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't understand it either, Clare! It is stunning!

      Delete
    2. How old is this child?

      Delete
    3. Doesn't matter how old babe is.

      Delete
  3. What a beautiful picture! I want one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Some people are just unbelievably stupid! Thankfully they are in the minority <3

    ReplyDelete
  5. I support breastfeeding, but.....haha, juuust kidding! This is beyond beautiful and inspirational! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol ;-) Thanks so much - it really is inspirational!

      Delete
  6. Its a great picture. I would most likely still be breastfeeding my 11/2 year old, but I had to stop when I hit the five month mark of my second pregnancy. But even when my oldest was just a tiny thing, I got the worst looks in public and even some of my family members would freak out if I started nursing. I hope that people will be open to it. Its the best thing for baby and mommy. I wish more people would understand that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish the same! I guess the only way to get used to something is to see it! Loving your support :-)

      Delete
  7. This photo is amazing. I'm currently weaning my 22 month old mostly due to feeling ill from early pregnancy but was horrified when my GP last week reacted negatively & with judgement in response to me still nursing her once a day at this age. I will miss it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry that your GP wasn't supportive! Congratulations on your pregnancy and congratulations also on reaching 22 months of breastfeeding: such an inspiration <3

      Delete
    2. Sounds like it's time for a new GP!!!

      Delete
  8. Absolutely stunning photo!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amazing pic.....I am currently still breast feeding my 2 (in 3 days) yr old....she is my 4th child and the longest I have fed (1st-10days (unsupportive mum..I was 16yr)..2nd-9months...3rd-(months) I still resent not being 'helped' with my first (but this was 22yrs ago) I'm just getting the..when are you stopping question...my answer..when we are both ready :) my husband of over 20yrs is very supportive and has a great bond with all our children

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nicola, I love your message - and how much more support you have now with your third baby. Your husband sounds wonderful :) "When we are both ready"...perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I breastfed my firstborn until he was 22 months old. I would have done it longer but I was 7 months pregnant with his sister and wanted to wean him before she was born. I breastfed my daughter until she was 2.5 years old. Now they are 10 and 8, rarely sick, and excel in school. I think breastfeeding had a lot to do with that! Here I am, almost a decade later, pregnant with baby #3. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to breastfeed him for as long as I did his siblings. Please keep your fingers crossed that I'm not too old and that my breast milk hasn't turned to powder, lol ;-) ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're an inspiration, Tara! Congrats on your pregnancy!

      Delete
  12. What a beautiful photo and special moment to capture! My daughter is almost 23 months and still breast feeds often. May this photograph inspire more Mothers to embrace the art of breast feeding

    ReplyDelete
  13. So beautiful! And I have to say, I didn't even notice the child's age until I read the asinine comments about it (found you on Huff Post). All I saw was love between mother and child. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sharon! Exactly - love, pure and simple!

      Delete
  14. I love the photo, wish I had had something like it. When my daughter was born 40+ yrs ago breastfeeding was not the norm and the only advice I got was from a nurse at the hospital who told me you will just have to let her keep nursing until you get the hang of it. I had just turned 19, no family around and the result - nipples so sore, raw and painful it was nearly impossible to feed her. After a couple of weeks I gave up. I was luckier with my son 6 yrs later. I stopped when he was 5 months. He found out he could drink faster with a bottle - you could hear him across the room glug, glug, glug and the bottle was gone in a minute or two. It was just too much trouble for him to nurse - he wanted dinner faster and had better things to do with his time - he is still the same in many ways. I was so sad I definitely was not ready to stop. For the person who commented "that's why they invented cups" - I can only say - breasts were invented long, long, long before that, they are portable and need no refrigeration. The people who think a restroom is a place for feeding a baby should be made to eat their own lunch or dinner in there and see how they like it, especially one with a urinal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Annie! Yes, breasts came long before cups...common sense seems to be a little limited for some! Lovely to hear your story.

      Delete
  15. That is a beautiful picture!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. First thing I thought when I saw this was brrrr.... lol!!
    Wow I wish I could have a pic like this!!
    I actualy planned to feed for 4months- like my first child back when
    I was 18 (i was cleary immature back then) as I thought it was creepy after that.
    but now baby no.3 and age 25 im loving it and will go for as long as I can :)
    well done mummy in the photo! Xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. My capable of mentally ,breastfeeded baby loves nursing. So if their complaining about it they should probably wheen themselves off of cows milk cause guess what ,that's still breast milk! Lol

    ReplyDelete
  18. Absolutely stunning photo! Breastfeeding is a natural thing and is extremely beneficial to mama and baby, no matter the age. It should be supported no matter what!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tell me again why we need to see this???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You asking that question is exactly why we need to see this.

      Delete
  20. What's beautiful about it? The scene is which is was set? The breast? The good-looking woman attached to the breast? Or, the subject feeding? Is there any other picture of any creature feeding that is beautiful? Would you call a litter of pups feeding beautiful? Maybe the beautiful thing about this is that it gives some people a chance to demean anyone who may not find it beautiful as a bunch of backward rubes. You know, some people are freaked out by antiques and big iron objects. I have no trouble with the photo but, aside from the attractive mother, I find nothing beautiful about it. Also, despite what WHO may advise, two is too old to be breast fed, unless you want to raise a momma's baby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not believe you have ever nursed and infant and have no sense of beauty. What the heck is a momma's baby?

      Delete
    2. Sure, let's not listen to the World Health Organisation, who have invested time, money & resources in determining the suggested breastfeeding age. Instead, let's listen to JB Sparks who doesn't see the beauty in 'The scene is which is was set?' (Whatever that means). Now, I'm not calling you a backward rube but if the shoe fits...

      Delete
  21. The only thing that concerned me when I first saw the picture was what the temperature of the water was. Kids can get cold very easily.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I recently stopped breast feeding my 3yo son. I fully support you! Well done!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. If this woman was posing in a bikini with the side if her breast visible, no one would think twice about it. But because she is using her breasts for a non-sexual purpose she is an exhibitionist and the photo is offensive? It is sad that this topic is controversial at all. I probably wouldn't pose for this photo, simply because I'm very private. But I live with the crazy notion that I can respect, appreciate, and find beauty in the beliefs and choices of others, even if I choose to live differently.

    ReplyDelete