Breastfeeding

Divine Mother Alisha { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Support & Supply

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 2 }

{ Alisha }

Support & Supply

“Growing up I didn’t  think I wanted to be a mom. I didn’t want to have kids. I wanted to adopt and then one day it’s like a switch went off.

Make babies!”

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“With him I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding. He was tongue tied and I have flat inverted nipples. Right off the bat we were supplementing with formula. But after about a month I decided I had had enough and we put the formula away. We’ve been breast feeding ever since.

I had to fight to get a supply. My milk didn’t want to come in because his latch was bad.”

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“She was born and her latch was perfect. But a few days after coming home I got mastitis. I think it was the tandem nursing, I was engorged for weeks.”

“I’m actually just getting over mastitis again.”

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“In this area there is so much support. I remember with my first I would call my best friend every night crying. All I wanted to do was feed my baby and I couldn’t make my body do it.

I was able to see a specialist who was very helpful figuring out the tongue tie, but I feel even more support here.”

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“They are my life. Everything I do is for them. Maybe I need to make more time for me, but I’m away from them 8 hours a day for work. The time I have with them, is for them.”

Alisha, thank you so much for coming in and sharing yourself with us. You are such an incredibly strong mother. I loved hearing about your determination to breastfeed and I’m so happy you found the help and support you needed to achieve your goals. You are totally amazing!

Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

Alisha participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of July Session 1, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in this series please consider subscribing to our blog and following our FB page.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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The Divine Mothers of July Session 1 { Motherhood Photo+Interviews }

A sneak peak into the images captured for Divine-Mothering’s Photo+Interview Series, July 8th 2015.

“We had a full studio for this session as an influx of toddlers and preschoolers filled up the room. They brought so much energy and joy and definitely stole some of the spot light, but I often look at my images and like to think that my photographs often capture more than an individual. They don’t focus on one subject or another, but rather they capture a bond, a connection.” -Photographer Liliana Taboas from Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

Divine Mother { Colleen }

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Divine Mother { Alisha }

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Divine Mother { Danielle }

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Divine Mother { Amy }

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{ #GoddessesInTheStudio }

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Thank you, ladies, for participating! I always feel so full of love and energy after each session, thank you so much for sharing yourself with Divine-Mothering and the world! <3 <3 <3

I will be blogging about each of their mini sessions in the coming week and I absolutely can’t wait to share more.

If you are interested in the photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia, please visit her website here.

If you are interested in participating in one of the Motherhood Photo+Interview Events, check out our FB Page and click Events.

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Divine Mother Michele { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Breastfeeding Goals

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 2 }

{ Michele }

Breastfeeding Goals

Michele was incredibly fun to work with, so full of energy and laughter. She was very excited to share her breastfeeding accomplishments with her third child.

“She’s the longest I’ve breastfed; 5 1/2 months. I’m really proud.”

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“My other two I only breastfed until 8 and 12 weeks. This one, she wouldn’t take the bottle until 4 months! My goal is 6 months.”

I had to laugh when she told me “I think it helped that I had mastitis with her, so I needed to keep breastfeeding.” What a way to make lemonade out of lemons!

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“I got more help with the 3rd child. Before I had no one guiding me or helping me with the latch. I feel I lot more confident too, maybe it’s the age… You learn and gain experience as a mother.

With my first I wasn’t too confident. I didn’t have help, with this child I’ve had so much support and encouragement with breastfeeding.

She’s an easy quiet baby.”

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When I asked her how she felt about continuing her breastfeeding journey, she was pretty honest. “I’m not sure what will happen whens he gets teeth!” A common fear for those who haven’t nursed a toothy infant. But from personal experience I can assure you all, it’s fine… And they don’t bite… Much…

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Oh, Michele, it was such a pleasure to work with you! I loved your energy and your little one is gorgeous. Congratulations on achieving your breastfeeding goals, I’m so happy to hear that you have received support and encouragement which often is the key factor for a successful journey. You are a lucky woman!

You are amazing.

You are beautiful.

You are truly divine.

Michele participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of June Session 2, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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Divine Mother Heather { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Support Matters

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 1 }

{ Heather }

Support Matters

I am so thankful Heather came to me to share her amazing breastfeeding support story with me. The stories of breastfeeding mothers are so varied when people see serene images of mothers nursing their young, it simplifies the story a bit. It must be so easy for her. She feels so confident. She must have had no issue. She must love breastfeeding. But women who have breastfed know better.

When I asked Heather about her journey I was pleased to hear how having the right support made all the difference.

“I was very hesitant about breastfeeding. I didn’t want to do it.

My husband is a nurse and he convinced me that I had to at least give it a try.

You have to try, he told me over and over.”

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“I was surprised at how naturally it came for us. It’s probably the most natural thing I’ve ever done. So my goal was 6 months.

Making it to 11 months for me is amazing.

I want to make it to 12 months and then I’m done.”

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“I’m so thankful to my husband for encouraging me to breastfeed.

I thought… If someone like me can decide to try it, anyone could.”

The most common complaint I have personally heard from mothers when it comes to nursing their children long term is the lack of support. Wether it be from their spouse, their family or in laws, once the support drops, many mothers start to doubt themselves and their choices. This leads, unfortunately, for many women to turn way from breastfeeding sooner then intended.

It was refreshing, however, to hear quite the opposite story for Heather! What an amazing partner you have.

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“I wanted to be a part of this.

I was prior enlisted for 10 years, and now being a mother, I have to learn to slow down.

I want to live in the moment.”

Heather, thank you so much for sharing a little of yourself with us. Your story is heart warming and I love that you wanted to dedicate these images to your husband for his amazing encouragement and support. He sounds truly awesome!

Heather, you are so amazing.

You are beautiful.

You are truly divine.

Heather participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of June Session 1, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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Divine Mother Gabrielle { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Empowerment, Breastfeeding & Identity Change

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 1 }

{ Danielle }

Empowerment, Breastfeeding & Identity Change

There is something about Gabrielle that I find absolutely fierce. The self confidence she has almost clashes with the soft gentleness of motherhood. So it should come as no surprise to me, or anyone who knows her that her interview consisted of a single word.

“Empowerment.”

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For a moment, it seemed sufficient that just leave it at that. Because what else could this be about?

After all this movement couldn’t be possible if weren’t for women in search for empowerment. The female form has been demonized, sexualized, materialized, and dehumanized throughout the centuries. And while we’ve come a long way, women across the world are trying to take back their bodies and give them the respect, dignity and true meaning they deserve.

When I asked her to expand, she told me:

“I want empowerment for women struggling with their bodies.

It’s about being able to feel good about yourself.

Knowing that what you’re doing is important.”

Gabrielle, what you are doing is so incredibly important.

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When I asked her if she had support for her choices as a mother, it was not at all surprising to learn that she was the first in her family to do things differently.

“I was the first natural birth and the first to breastfeed.”

Gabrielle later emailed me with some further thoughts on her incredible breastfeeding story.

“Breastfeeding and motherhood has been a journey with its highs and lows. Poor latch, supply issues and diabetes have made my breastfeeding journey intense. It took a lot of willpower and determination to not just throw in the towel and buy some formula! After 13 months of exclusively pumping for my first child, I was determined to breastfeed my second.  We made it over humps, bumps and what seemed like brick walls to a now successful journey of breastfeeding.”

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She also opened up about her intense identity change when going form active duty military to mother.

“Motherhood has been the biggest sacrifice I have ever made in my life. Giving my military career to be “just” a mother was a journey that was very hard to acknowledge. Surrendering everything in my life to provide a sole focus to my children was never an undertaking I planned on. It was not my previously planned life path. Though my life has taken a course I never thought it would, I now have full acceptance of my role as a mother, wife and my postpartum body. My body now has curves for a purpose!”

Thank you, Gabrielle, for coming to this session and sharing yourself with us. Motherhood is indeed an intense transformation, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally. A total reinvention of self. And yet, know what you are doing everyday in tasks of motherhood and rearing and educating and nurturing, you are doing something so very important.

You are amazing.

You are beautiful.

You are truly divine.

Danielle participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of June Session 1, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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Divine Mother Annie { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Letting go of Guilt

 

 Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 1 }

{ Annie }

Letting Go of Guilt

I had my three year old daughter with us at the studio during the interviews. It wasn’t ideal, but as a mother, sometimes you just have to do things with your little entourage, or not do them at all. But I got quite the kick out of her reaction to Annie and her twins. She practically shrieked with delight “Mom! She has TWO babies! Did you see? Two babies!”

“I actually have three.” was Annie’s cheerful response as she motioned towards her oldest daughter, who was still younger than my own.

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When I asked Annie why she wanted to come to this photo session she answered with so much enthusiasm. “I participated in the group breastfeeding photo, and the experience was really amazing. I was wearing the twins and the online response was so positive. I had strangers messaging me asking me how I wrapped them, and cheering me on. It was awesome.”

“It’s hard to remember sometimes… that what we’re doing is awesome. I want to remember, it’s easy to forget.”

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It is definitely easy to forget. Between the crying, diaper changes, cooking, cleaning, sleepless nights, and on and on, it is hard to see much glory in the day to day work of being a new mother. And add in twins and a toddler? Annie, you are my hero!

“But I can do the diapers, it’s really not such a big deal to add in another change. But emotionally it’s hard for me… I have a lot of guilt.”

When a family goes from having a single child to multiple, there is always a lot of uncertainty as to how the older child will feel. Will they feel neglected? Pushed aside? Will they like their new siblings? Will they get along? Will the fight? There is always a transition period for everyone involved and it can be a nerve wrecking time for everyone.

“I’m trying my best every day and I wonder… if it’s still enough.”

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Oh Annie, of course you are enough. Your whole being a light with joyful love and warmth for your children. Keep remembering how incredible you are, how much love your heart provides daily, how much your body gives to all your children. It’s amazing how much of ourselves we give as mothers.

Thank you, Annie, for coming and participating in this project. Thank you for sharing what little is left of yourself with the world and giving mothers a voice to connect with.

You are amazing.

You are beautiful.

You are truly divine.

Annie participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of June Session 1, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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Women in the Wild { Divine-Mothering } Normalize Breastfeeding

Inspired by the incredibly positive reaction to her epic breast feeding photo, my good friend Erin White, from Erin White Photography, decided she wanted to do more. Trying to harness the energy from the first image she is now planning a series of images for breastfeeding mothers all over the word! Not only that, but the out cry from bottle feeding mothers to want to join in has compelled her to include them in future photos, promoting love, health, and nourishment for all babies! I can’t wait to see the results.

If you are interested in participating in a Women in the Wild group photo, contact Erin White Photography here.

 

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Today I’m sharing with you some action images from the photo session in Baumholder, Germany. The location was an hours drive for many participants and the excitement was exponential as we were planning a water photo. What was chosen was a lovely hiking trail winding at the side of a picturesque creek. Some participants came with family or friends to watch their older children. I myself brought my husband, he and my daughters, as well as other spouses, went on a hiking excursion as we worked on the photos.

 

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It was truly a remarkable sight to see all these lovely women and children frolicking through the forest trails to the sound of swooshing water and song birds as we hurried to beat sun down. The joy and euphoria is truly palpable once we were all in the water shooting. The water was crisp, the air warm, a perfect summer evening.

 

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Erin, you are amazing.

 

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The joy that you are bringing to these women is incredible. The attention you are getting from this project will surely bring you positive energy and more incredible opportunities. I want to thank you for reaching out to me to assist with the event and the photos. I truly love this craziness and I couldn’t be happier to be part of it!

 

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I had the great pleasure of shooting individual photos for the participants at this event, and the results were just jaw dropping. So much beauty and warmth. It was difficult to keep myself composed while I edited the photos. The pure love, the location, the stories of the women, and the sound of the river still ringing in my ears. Pure perfection.

If you would like to see some of the images captured, check out this blog post “River Goddesses“.

If you would like to read Krista Zurn’s incredible blog post about the first breastfeeding photo, check out this blog post “The Shame Game“.

If you are interested in participating in the Women in the Wild project, contact Erin White here.

If you are interested in the photography in this post, visit www.lilianabeatriz.com

If you are interested in following the Divine Mothering Community, like our FB page and check out our Events.

Blessings ladies, you are amazing.

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River Goddesses { Divine-Mothering }

These are the individual photos captured during Erin White Photography’s second epic Breastfeeding photo to normalize breastfeeding.

The photography is done by Liliana Taboas, from Liliana Beatriz Fotografia, who assisted with the photo shoot and helped documented the event.

There is no way to describe how powerfully beautiful these images are. Shooting them was one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had. As I shuffled through the water I called out to all the mothers “Please! Don’t move! We’re doing individual photos!” As a look of uncertainty crossed some faces I added. “Trust me, you are NEVER doing this again! You need these photos.” With that a ripple of laughter spread through the group and we set up the photo as everyone made their way safely out of their water with their children. It was truly a magical experience. Thank you, again Erin, for including me in your project.

I give you, what I can only describe as a collection of River Goddesses.

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If you would like to see some action shoots of this session, check out this blog post “Women in the Wild”.

If you would like to read Krista Zurn’s incredible blog post about the first breastfeeding photo, check out this blog post “The Shame Game“.

If you are interested in the photography in this post, visit www.lilianabeatriz.com

If you are interested in following the Divine Mothering Community, like our FB page and check out our Events.

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Divine Mother Alexevys { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Breastfeeding Awareness

 Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 1 }

{ Alexevys }

Breastfeeding Awareness

When I asked Alexevys why she felt compelled to come to my Photo+Interview, she told me she wanted to help normalize breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding still feels taboo in my country (Venezuela) and in the states (USA). I want to help change that.”

Coming from a conservative Latin country myself, I understood what she meant. While she expressed complete support from her family, the discomfort at the sight of a child at one’s breast is still palpable.

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She also opened up a recent negative conversation she had with another mother. The woman had expressed a condemning attitude towards breastfeeding photos, particularly those done in outdoor settings, claiming there was no need to flaunt breastfeeding, or glorify it.

Can’t say Alexevys and I would agree! Considering what Divine-Mothering has been up to…

“I don’t know why she felt that way… She breastfeeds too.”

It’s the greatest mystery to me why mothers choose to do this. Why women put each other down, judge each other, pit themselves as enemies in eternal competition instead of creative a tribe, a sisterhood. Because when we fight amongst each other, we only continue to perpetuate all the negative stereotypes about women. The cattiness, the disloyalty, the distrust…

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Towards the end of the interview I asked her what she thought her family might feel towards these photos.

“My husband is one hundred percent supportive, he will love them. My family… I don’t know… It will be an interesting reveal.”

Alexevys, thank you so much for sharing yourself with us so we can help normalize breasfeeding. Congratulations on your journey, reaching the 12 months of breastfeeding milestone that still out of reach for most American mothers.

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CDC reports that only %27  of infants are breastfeeding at 12 months. Despite the strong recommendations otherwise for all healthy mothers who are able to breastfeed their infants.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.” CDC.gov

Alexevys, you are so incredibly beautiful. Thank you again for participating in this humble project to get women’s voices out in the open!

You are amazing!

You are gorgeous!

You are truly divine!

Alexevys participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of June Session 1, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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Humanize. Normalize. Celebrate. Share away!

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