Home birth in California, MO.Read More
A couple of weeks after her birth, I went back to do some portraits of this newborn with her beautiful mama in a newborn herbal bath with fresh flowers. Originally we had planned to do a different color scheme, but I'm SO glad that we ended up with these colors. It is freezing cold here right now and these pictures make me think of spring!
What is the purpose of a newborn herbal bath? These baths can be great for relaxation, healing, and bonding. And if you invite me, you get some great pictures too! There are teas available that are gentle for newborns and include ingredients that can help heal tissue and soothe skin.
This next one is what I consider part of the "blooper" reel! She was so wiggly and enjoyed being able to stretch in the water.
Contact me today if you're interested in a newborn herbal bath portrait session in Warrensburg, MO or the surrounding area in Kansas City.
Over the summer I decided I wanted to get a local group of moms and kids together and do a styled breastfeeding portrait session. While I had hoped to have more participants, it was a fun evening! The children ranged from about one month to nearly 3 years old - it was wonderful to see such a wide range of ages represented.
But this looks nothing like real life...you're correct! Breastfeeding on a daily basis is anything but glamorous. Latch issues, tongue/lip ties, weight concerns, pumping, comments from well-meaning (or sometimes not) family and friends, middle of the night feedings that last for.ev.er and acrobatics of a toddler learning that they can move - all challenges faced at different points in a nursing relationship. I wanted to give these mothers a chance to celebrate the relationship that they have cultivated with their child, no matter the age.
Flower crowns were from Awesome Blossoms in Warrensburg, MO
My first daughter was born 4.5 years ago. She had a tongue tie, I had supply issues, I went back to work at 10 weeks, and she was in daycare full time. Pumping at work, counting 1/2 ounces, pumping in the middle of the night (hoping she slept through), nursing as much as possible on the weekends. It was exhausting. We added formula when she started losing weight. We'd go out to dinner with friends and I'd escape to the car to feed her when she started fussing, missing out on conversation and getting my food in a styrofoam container. But I was too nervous to feed her in public.
When she was six months old, we went "home" to St. Louis and went to the zoo with some friends of ours who happened to have a baby boy that was born on the exact same day as our daughter. I was so nervous to be out and about, knowing that at some point, our daughter would get hungry. I'd have to feed her. In public. I must have spent the whole morning scanning for hidden spots at the zoo where I could nurse with some privacy and feel comfortable. The time came, she cried and I tried putting it off knowing what she wanted. Finally, we settled down, and alongside my friend, we nursed our babies in public. Together. And we survived.
Fast forward 3 years and 2 more children. It was no longer possible to run to the car to hide and leave my husband with two kids while I fed the baby. Whether we were at a restaurant, the zoo, or a park - why would I want to miss out on those experiences with my other kids because of someone else's insecurities about breasts? I've come a long way in my level of comfort with nursing in public since my first daughter was born, but it has taken time, a bit of wardrobe adjusting, and a wonderful support network of seeing other women's stories about nursing their babies in public. Many times, these stories were from facebook posts in private groups, but nonetheless, I saw them and was inspired and relieved. If they could do it, I could too!
This is why I initially applied to be a photographer for the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project (PBAP; www.publicbreastfeedingawarenessproject.com), and I'm so happy that I was selected to participate. I believe that the only way to normalize breastfeeding is to see it. I have hope that someone out there reading this and seeing these pictures is inspired to stay at the table with their family or at least not watch their other kids play at the park through the mini-van window.
I was thrilled to have so many local moms who were interested in participating in this project. Thanks to them, I was able to share some great images for World Breastfeeding Week 2016. I met quite a few awesome mothers who had inspiring stories to share about their breastfeeding journeys. For some, it came easy, for others it was more difficult. Some have never heard anyone say something negative when they nursed in public, others have unfortunately been the recipients of nasty glares and inappropriate comments. But they are persevering and I'm thankful that they allowed me to photograph them to help other moms.
Here is a collection of the highlights from those sessions along with some words from the moms who made this possible!
If you are interested in a breastfeeding photography session in the Kansas City area, please click here to contact me! I offer public nursing sessions as well as more formal portrait sessions.