Beautiful Breastfeeding Shots of Everyday Moms Go Viral

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Photographer and nursing mom Erin White creates gorgeous group images like this one, which she shot in Germany, to inspire new mothers around the world. (Photo: Erin White Photography)

By Esther Crain for Yahoo Parenting, reprinted with permission.

For such a natural body function, breastfeeding sparks a lot of controversy and mixed emotions: stares from condemning strangers, body confidence issues in nursing moms themselves, and even a sense of guilt if a woman or her baby has trouble getting the hang of it.

Now, one photographer, who is also a proud nursing mom, wants to transform breastfeeding from something considered shameful and often done behind closed doors to a celebrated, empowering, “indescribably beautiful” act.

Erin White, a mother of four who hails from the United States and now lives in Germany, was inspired by a group nursing photo shot by photographer Stephanie Karr that had circulated among the women in White’s local breastfeeding support group earlier this year.

White and the other moms were blown away by the sense of sisterhood, strength, and intimacy the photo conveyed. “A number of women [in my group] expressed interest in doing something similar,” White tells Yahoo Parenting.

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Photo: Erin White Photography

White volunteered to spearhead a shoot, gathering 16 breastfeeding mothers and the 18 babies between them back in May, all posed outdoors in a field in Germany. There’s no judgment or body shaming to be seen. Some moms are topless; some are in their underwear. Some sport tattoos and stand with their blouses draped open. All cradle their babies confidently and lovingly.

That photo became the first in a series called “Women in the Wild,” an ongoing project that has White traveling across the United States this summer and then Europe in the fall, organizing shoots of nursing moms either in groups or solo. The women are regular mothers of all shapes and sizes who volunteer to be part of the project, hoping to spread the message that breastfeeding is something to celebrate.

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Photo: Erin White Photography

“The energy that is present at these shoots is indescribable,” says White. “There is such a feeling of empowerment and sisterhood. Everyone leaves feeling that they have taken part in something transformative. It certainly has been transformative for me.”

The feedback she’s received on her website and Facebook page, where she posts the photos, has been very positive. “One of the reasons I decided to go on tour was because I had so many interested moms,” says White. “I have had some negative feedback of course, some really nasty, mean comments, but the positive emotional responses from mothers are the loudest voices by far.”


6 thoughts on “Beautiful Breastfeeding Shots of Everyday Moms Go Viral”

  1. When I started breast-feeding my daughter in 1968, I had exactly 2 role models. They were the only 2 women I had ever seen breast-feeding. I actually knew 3 breastfeeding women, but one liked to hide in the privacy of her bedroom while baring her breast, so I never saw anything.
    Luckily, breastfeeding went well for me and my daughter. Much later a woman came up to me and reminded me of a conference I had attended with my 2-month old baby. She had watched me nurse the baby “every five minutes” it seemed like to her, she said, and she remembered this when she gave birth some time later. I was the only woman she had ever seen breastfeeding.
    More power to these breastfeeding sisters! Our breasts are for our babies, not for sex fetishes.

    1. Phyllis I love your message here. People often wonder why others post their breastfeeding pics on facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. or even take pictures of BF at all. Your message answers the question perfectly. When I had my first son 10 years ago I breastfed him in private and I have no pictures of these moments. I regret it. Now I have my second son who is 9
      Months and I have lots of pics. I am shy to BF in public but am getting used to it hiding in corners or behind a light cover. If it weren’t for the negative rude mouths out there and pervs I wouldbfeel much more comfortable feeding my baby whenever and wherever without a cover. Sad that our society makes us feel bad about feeding our babies, but thrives off sexy magazines, movies, celebs that show more cleavage.
      If ok, I would love to share your response on Twitter to hose negative and asking why in the world someone would share a BF pic online?

  2. These mommies bring tears to my eyes!!! I breastfed my son for 18 months and loved every minute of it…. I wish I would have been in a group of women like this at that time to take beautiful pictures like these!!! Beautiful ladies, just beautiful…. Thank you…..

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