Mothers face judgment on every aspect of how they raise their kids, from how they dress them to what they let them play with. A recent photo series by a Tennessee mom tackles one of the biggest controversies of new motherhood: the right to breastfeed in public.
Nicki Kaylor, an event photographer, photographed nine breastfeeding mothers for her “Latched with Love” series. In the photos, each woman holds a sign with a rude comment a stranger has given them while breastfeeding, ranging from the uncomfortable (“you should go to the bathroom”) to the incredulous (“Are you serious?”).
Kaylor thinks these attitudes are ridiculous. In her post on the subject, she says that “the judgment and awkward stares against breastfeeding need to end,” and that “mothers who breastfeed should be applaud [sic] not judged nor stared at.” She photographed the mothers in nature, showcasing the experience as normal and beautiful.
The Tennessee mom of three is well-known for her beautiful outdoor photography, generally of families and weddings.
But these photos aren’t just beautiful. The signs these moms carry capture the strange, funny, difficult reality of breastfeeding in public.
Many of the comments these moms get are well-meaning, but ultimately not very helpful.
And plenty of other moms online have been able to relate, adding their own embarrassing, funny, or infuriating stories.
Since she posted her series online, it’s gone viral, with worldwide coverage and over three thousand Facebook shares. But reactions have been mixed. While most who left comments were supportive, some believed that the pictures were inappropriate, or that new mothers should simply breastfeed in their car or a washroom instead.
The pictures are so beautiful that it’s hard to believe anyone would have a problem with them, but a lot of people did!
But Kaylor isn’t concerned with the criticism. She plans to continue her series, focussing next on photographing mothers who bottle-feed to highlight the judgment and challenges they face. Her ultimate goal is to make it easier for moms to feed their newborns, no matter how they do it.
As she said to the Huffington Post, “Absolutely no mother should be in public, feeling ashamed because her baby is hungry and she has to feed it.”