Newborn herbal bath | Warrensburg birth photographer

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.

Newborn herbal bath with flowers smiling
Sleeping newborn herbal bath fresh flowers
Newborn milk herbal bath watermark

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.

Newborn herbal bath blooper
Breastfeeding herbal bath newborn
Newborn photography Warrensburg Missouri

Contact me today if you're interested in a newborn herbal bath portrait session in Warrensburg, MO or the surrounding area in Kansas City.

Styled group breastfeeding photography session | Kansas City Photographer

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.

Kansas City group breastfeeding photographer
Kansas City mommy and me photographer
Warrensburg baby photographer
Kansas City outside breastfeeding photography
Warrensburg outdoor child photographer
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Flower crown child photography Missouri
Styled group breastfeeding photography

Flower crowns were from Awesome Blossoms in Warrensburg, MO

World Breastfeeding Week 2016 | Kansas City Missouri Breastfeeding Photographer

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!

Kansas City PBAP
"Breastfeeding is such a special bond and is something I am very passionate about. We are currently 18 months and still going strong."       - Morgan and Owen (18 months)

"Breastfeeding is such a special bond and is something I am very passionate about. We are currently 18 months and still going strong." 

- Morgan and Owen (18 months)

"I am 2 years in to feeding my 3rd baby. I've been lucky enough to nurse all three of my kids for as long as they needed. It's an experience I am incredibly thankful to be able to have had."      - Debbi and Skye (2 years)

"I am 2 years in to feeding my 3rd baby. I've been lucky enough to nurse all three of my kids for as long as they needed. It's an experience I am incredibly thankful to be able to have had."

- Debbi and Skye (2 years)

"We were lucky enough to meet each other and several other awesome breastfeeding mom friends during a babywearing get together. We started having moms-and-babies coffee dates, which kept us sane. Being able to nurse comfortably in a public setting was crucial to being able to spend time with friends and escape our houses. The company of other breastfeeding moms also meant we always had someone to turn to if we had nursing questions or frustrations, and we encouraged each other. Nursing in a group gave us all more confidence in nursing in public and nursing longer."   - Emily and Vanessa

"We were lucky enough to meet each other and several other awesome breastfeeding mom friends during a babywearing get together. We started having moms-and-babies coffee dates, which kept us sane. Being able to nurse comfortably in a public setting was crucial to being able to spend time with friends and escape our houses. The company of other breastfeeding moms also meant we always had someone to turn to if we had nursing questions or frustrations, and we encouraged each other. Nursing in a group gave us all more confidence in nursing in public and nursing longer."
- Emily and Vanessa

"No one should ever be afraid to breastfeed in public. If people don't see it it will never be normalized."      - Vanessa and Lana (1 year)

"No one should ever be afraid to breastfeed in public. If people don't see it it will never be normalized."

- Vanessa and Lana (1 year)

"Breastfeeding is, as my husband calls it, the best tool in our joint parenting toolbox. It's more than just nourishment, it's comfort and safety and love all wrapped up along with the milk. And that's part of why I don't think twice about nursing in public. Why wouldn't you utilize the most effective tool you've got?"      - Emily and Rose (18 months)

"Breastfeeding is, as my husband calls it, the best tool in our joint parenting toolbox. It's more than just nourishment, it's comfort and safety and love all wrapped up along with the milk. And that's part of why I don't think twice about nursing in public. Why wouldn't you utilize the most effective tool you've got?"

- Emily and Rose (18 months)

"My first daughter I breastfeed abs covered or would go to my car. I felt as if it was taboo and some what private. The longer I breastfed her the more I learned about how much of breastfeeding was more about me and nurturing my child. I also choose to breastfeed ago my future children as well. Now breastfeeding my second child I do not cover art all. I love sharing my precious bond seeing her smile and co. I missed most of these interactions with my first due to covering. Nothing in this world could change how i feel about breastfeeding. I also have all rights to feed my children anywhere I am allowed to be. This makes me very happy as I do not like that I felt as if I had to hide to feed my child."      - Leora and Kallia (4 months)

"My first daughter I breastfeed abs covered or would go to my car. I felt as if it was taboo and some what private. The longer I breastfed her the more I learned about how much of breastfeeding was more about me and nurturing my child. I also choose to breastfeed ago my future children as well. Now breastfeeding my second child I do not cover art all. I love sharing my precious bond seeing her smile and co. I missed most of these interactions with my first due to covering. Nothing in this world could change how i feel about breastfeeding. I also have all rights to feed my children anywhere I am allowed to be. This makes me very happy as I do not like that I felt as if I had to hide to feed my child."

- Leora and Kallia (4 months)

"Breastfeeding has been incredibly challenging, important and worthwhile for us. Gemma was induced 2 weeks early due to Preeclampsia and was born very small. My milk was not in production yet and to boot, she was unable to latch. So while I pumped around the clock, dad fed her formula with a syringe. By the time we left the hospital a week later, I was making enough milk to replace the formula completely. We never needed to supplement again but we did use a nipple shield for the next seven months. Eventually I produced enough milk to donate to the St. Luke's Mother's Milk Bank. It was something we did together and it was a gift to all of those moms and babies who also had challenging births and needed to supplement. She's 10 months old now and we are going strong with no plans to stop."  - Krysta and Gemma (10 months)

"Breastfeeding has been incredibly challenging, important and worthwhile for us. Gemma was induced 2 weeks early due to Preeclampsia and was born very small. My milk was not in production yet and to boot, she was unable to latch. So while I pumped around the clock, dad fed her formula with a syringe. By the time we left the hospital a week later, I was making enough milk to replace the formula completely. We never needed to supplement again but we did use a nipple shield for the next seven months. Eventually I produced enough milk to donate to the St. Luke's Mother's Milk Bank. It was something we did together and it was a gift to all of those moms and babies who also had challenging births and needed to supplement. She's 10 months old now and we are going strong with no plans to stop."

- Krysta and Gemma (10 months)

"Our breastfeeding journey got off to a rocky start, including a tongue tie and no weight gain. I'm spite of the rocky start, we have been exclusively breastfeeding for over 7 months with no end in sight. Breastfeeding in public is something I feel very strongly about and will continue to do until Aspen decides she is finished."      - Ashley and Aspen (7.5 months)

"Our breastfeeding journey got off to a rocky start, including a tongue tie and no weight gain. I'm spite of the rocky start, we have been exclusively breastfeeding for over 7 months with no end in sight. Breastfeeding in public is something I feel very strongly about and will continue to do until Aspen decides she is finished."

- Ashley and Aspen (7.5 months)

Breastfeeding photographer in St. Charles
Nursing photographer in St. Charles

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.

Next up on the blog circle! Second Ave Photography is a newborn + children/family + breastfeeding photographer serving the Washington DC-metro area