This outdoor breastfeeding photo session starring Ivy and her son Casper took place at the beautiful Tintern station. This session was a long time coming…thanks lockdown! So after months of waiting, chatting and rescheduling, I was so excited to finally meet this wonderful Mother and her lovely son!
As I mentioned earlier, there were a few bumps in the road getting to this breastfeeding photo session! But finally the day arrived that we could at last create these meaningful images. Ivy was so sweet and it took a lot of convincing to get her to finally stop apologising for how long it had taken to make this breastfeeding photo session happen. It’s been one hell of a year, we’ve all had our lives turned on their heads. Then there’s new Mothers like Ivy who have had a double whammy of that whilst they adjust to life with a newborn!
Honestly one of my favourite things about working with other Mothers is that we get IT. You need to reschedule, babies poorly, you’ve been up all night. You’re running late, you’ve had to run back into the house three times to collect essential day out with baby items. It happens! It’s all good and there’s never any pressure from me for it to be any different!
Anyway back to the breastfeeding photo session.
We met at The Old Tintern Station Cafe and thankfully managed to time these photos in between showers of drizzle, Welsh summertime hey? The cafe was bustling with people and kids running around. So we chose to head a little away from the noise and found this lovely shady spot right by the old train cars. This is certainly my first breastfeeding photo session involving trains. I very much enjoy that after years of these breastfeeding photo sessions there’s still firsts to be had!
Poor Casper had been a little unwell with a cold the night before but you would never have known. He was a star smiling for Mummy enjoy a lovely feed al fresco! Of course all breastfeeding Mothers know theres nothing like Mummies milk for curing any ailment! He fed perfectly completely uninterested in the woman running all around him snapping photos! Safe to say that Casper made this breastfeeding photo session a breeze!
I love shooting these breastfeeding photo sessions outside in public spaces. I know breastfeeding in public is something a lot of new Mothers have anxiety about, I can tell you I certainly did! So I love sharing images like these. A Mother happily nursing her baby in a busy place with no concerns. Because the truth is that feeding in public, more often than not goes completely unnoticed by the people around you. And in my experience, those who do spot you and realise you’re feeding tend to be the first to offer you a smile and maybe even a ‘well done’. Please never fear feeding in public.
Here's what Ivy had to share with us about her breastfeeding journey so far,
"I have loved my breastfeeding journey, we are 7 months in. But the first month was hard and i needed to persevere. Those first feeds hurt!! I promise jt gets better. It gets better than better.
I had good support. Both my mum and a friend spoke to me before baby was born to help me prepare mentally for the task. My friend told me she could be contacted day or night as she breastfeeds her older baby. I never needed to contact her in the early hours but it helped to know I could. I make this offer to other women now.
My partner was the best. He came to a breastfeeding course with me, he propped me up with pillows, made me cups of tea, reminded me to eat and drink and told me it was okay to be on the sofa for hours a day feeding if that was what baby needed (it was). He told me he was proud of what I was doing for our son.
My top three pieces of advice would be:
1) find your tribe, people who you can be fully open with about your experience with to talk to and get advice from when it’s difficult. People who will support you to continue breastfeeding and help you find the way
2) trust in your body and your babies body. Your bodies will work together, you will find your rhythm and after that first pesky few weeks you will find the joy
3) make a bulk purchase of lansinoh nipple cream. Nothing else will do! Be liberal for the first few weeks but beware it stains your clothes
4) take pictures! You may only do this once after all and you never know exactly when that last feed will be" And as usual I couldn’t resist catching a few non breastfeeding photos too! My favourite has to be Capsers impressive upside down posing! Cold? Cold, schmold!! Casper was a star!
Mother nurture is a project where I invite parents to have their own breastfeeding portrait session. It is an ongoing project so if you would like to be a part of it, please get in touch.
If you want to see more of this work or find out about the sessions you can head here.
And to get to know more about ME and this project you can come over and say hi on Instagram!