womeninthewild

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.”

DSC_1377

“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.”

DSC_1395

“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.

DSC_1406

“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

Please follow and like us:
0

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.”

 DSC_1346

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.

DSC_1336

 

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.”

DSC_1337

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

Please follow and like us:
0

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.

 DSC_1272

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.”

DSC_1278

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.”

DSC_1265

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

Please follow and like us:
0

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.

 

DSC_1492

 

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.

 

DSC_1494

 

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.

 

DSC_1495

 

Erin, you are amazing.

 

DSC_1496

 

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!

 

DSC_1502

 

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.

Please follow and like us:
0

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.

DSC_1509

DSC_1513

DSC_1518

DSC_1520

DSC_1523

DSC_1526

DSC_1529

DSC_1533

DSC_1535

DSC_1539

DSC_1542

DSC_1545

DSC_1548

DSC_1555

DSC_1563

DSC_1565

 

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.

Please follow and like us:
0

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.

DSC_1202

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…

DSC_1205

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.

DSC_1207

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

Please follow and like us:
0

Divine Mother Eva-Maria { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Self Love, Infertility & a Journey through IVF

 

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 1 }

{ Eva-Maria }

Self Love, Infertility & a Journey through IVF

I started each session with one question. And that was “Why did you decide to come out today?” I wanted to hear about what was motivating women to take off their clothes and pose knowing there would be no retouching, glamour posing, or special hair and make up. I wanted to know, why women, mothers in particular, were so determined to share themselves with the world.

Eva-Maria responded with “I have been struggling with myself, and I finally came to the conclusion that I should cut myself some slack.”

DSC_1150

She continues “People tell me all the time how quickly I have recovered, or how slender I look so soon after having a baby. But the truth is, these people don’t know how frustrating it feels, when none of the clothes I own fit anymore, when my hips all of a sudden feel as wide as the channel of England, or how devastating it is when you loose tons of hair everyday due to hormone changes. After 40 weeks of beautiful skin and a wonderful birth my skin decided to tear about a week postpartum, leaving tiny little stretch marks – I can’t say I was prepared for that at all, I had already considered myself lucky to get away without stretch marks.”

DSC_1165

 

Eva-Maria also opened up about her struggles with infertility and her journey through IVF in an email after the session.

“Nothing will eat away on your soul like the unfulfilled wish for a child.

There were several occasions were I just wanted to stay at home and feel sorry for myself, instead of surrounding myself with my friends that were pregnant, or had babies. But I FORCED myself to go out there and feel happy for them. I did not want to become that person that start wishing ill for others, just because I cant have what they have. Even though, I understand that feeling, the logic in me finds that behavior quite childish and mean. So I chose happy thoughts for others and to surround myself with good energies.

The IVF cycle itself is painful. 3 needles every night for weeks and weeks, hormone roller coaster rides, stomach cramps, headaches, nausea, growing about 20 golfball sized follicles in me and then having them removed under full anesthesia. But multiply all the physical pains to get a good picture of the anxiety of the outcome, the 2 week wait, the hoping, the preparing for all options – a crazy time! It can break you, or it can make you very strong – yourself and your relationship.

I kept my sanity with the preparing of fresh organic vegan foods, yoga and being around people I love. Or even an occasional glass of wine. I believe, that only if mind and body are working together, there is a chance of an embryo nesting inside of you.”

DSC_1174

I loved that she even shared some advice for those who have friends and loved ones going through infertility.

Sentences to avoid when talking to an infertile couple:
“It will all work out” – Aha, how do you know?
“Life can be so fulfilled without children” – True. But learning to accept and move on is a yearlong, if not lifelong, challenge.
“IVF? So soon? Don’t you feel you are messing with God’s plan?” – No.

Best thing to say to an infertile couple:
“I don’t know what to say. This is just a real shit situation.”

DSC_1184

It was a true pleasure to meet Eva-Maria and her daughter and learn about her journey into motherhood. Even more wonderful to know that she was able to conceive the child she had been dreaming of, I know for many this is not the case. Eva-Maria is also proud and grateful to have experienced a safe, natural, and relaxed home birthing experience. Something that I know to be a privilege to experience.

Eva-Maria, you are so stunningly beautiful and your child is gorgeous, what a blessing it is to see you both together and smiling and filled with warm loving light. Thank you for joining me on this journey of discovering self love and appreciation for the temple that is our female form.

You are amazing.

You are beautiful.

You are truly divine.

Eva-Maria 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

Please follow and like us:
0

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

A sneak peak into the images captured on Divine-Mothering’s first event from the Photo + Interview Series.

“I don’t think I can’t do these images justice, with my own words, because they are simply too special to me.

As I went through the photos, I knew I had captured something beautiful. However, once they started coming together in the editing room, my heart just exploded. There is something so equality delicate and tender as well as powerful and fierce. That inner light is so evidently percent present.

Every one of you is so incredibly beautiful, each mini session so unique and exquisite. But I think I was able to make my vision a reality, and capture what, in my eyes, is being a divine mother.” -Photographer, Liliana Taboas from Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

Divine Mother { Eva-Maria }

DSC_1168

Divine Mother { Alexevys }

DSC_1217

Divine Mother { Danille }

DSC_1248-2

Divine Mother { Annie }

DSC_1275

Divine Mother { Natallie }

DSC_1319

Divine Mother { Gabrielle }

DSC_1350

Divine Mother { Heather }

DSC_1404

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.

Please follow and like us:
0

The Women Who Changed it All: Normalizing Breastfeeding and Our Bodies { Divine-Mothering }

I already shared with you the amazing image from Erin White Photography which is getting an incredible amount of attention. If you haven’t seen it, you should! Go check it out here, in this amazing post by Krista Zurn titled “The Shame Game” on Erin’s blog.

But what I haven’t shared yet are the images that I had the opportunity to shoot once our group photo was finished.

It was a last minute decision that I am so thankful for. Because at that moment I was reminded of why I love photography, reminded of why I had started divine-mothering.com, reminded of what I found so mystical and amazing about women and their bodies. What I captured in these photos is everything to me. And while the shoot was literally only a few minutes long, as I waved over whoever wanted a photo as quickly and simply as I possibly could, it filled me up with so much positive energy. Like my very soul was consuming this joy we all felt.

I need more of this in my life! I need to keep make sure that these moments happen again and again and that as many women as possible can experience them. This is why Divine-Mothering is launching a Series of Photo+Interviews for mothers and women. So that we can come together and celebrate each other, our bodies, our accomplishments, our spirits, and the special bond we share as women.

To find out when the next Photo+Interview Session will be, click here.

And now, I leave you here with the words of some of the amazing mothers who shared their stories, speaking about their choice to participate in the photo session as well their personal breastfeeding journeys.

Thank you, Krista Zurn for collecting the stories and graciously sharing them with me so that they could be published in their entirety.

As I read through them it was hard not to get emotional. These beautiful, beautiful women are my inspiration. Their unapologetic fierceness shook me to the core.

We will not be silenced. Our bodies are incredible, and we are proud of it. So very proud.

{S}Hero Achely

DSC_0754
Ashley with her child. Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com
“As an active duty Soldier/mother my schedule is demanding. When I first started breastfeeding I had this unrealistic schedule that paralleled the demands of my son while I was at home on maternity leave. Soon after returning to work, I realized, that just because something is unreal doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In the morning-6am, I nurse my son on one side while I pump on the other side, this way he has a fresh meal every morning. Throughout the day, at work, I pump and store for the next day. Often times this conflicts with my schedule but being that I am a federal employee working in a federal facility, I have access to a place where I can pump and not feel ashamed. When I return home, I resume the same process, pump one side while nursing on the other. Now on the weekends it’s a different story. On weekends I can bond with my little one, I can exclusively nurse him, and appreciate the opportunity to do so.
 
This is why I am an advocate for normalizing breastfeeding… because when given the opportunity I shouldn’t have to turn my face away in shame, cover my son’s face in fear, or be restricted to a room simply because society tells me I’m acting outside of the norm.
 
Breastfeeding as a black woman has its challenges, but the biggest one is making sure that the message I am sending is a clear one. While I’m sure nearly all breastfeeding mothers who nurse feel this way, I speak from a different angle. When I had my first child, my great-grandma told me to cover myself, not because I was being inappropriate, but for her fear of what other wives might think if they caught there husbands looking at me.
 
For years the black nursing moms was a myth, a fairytale, the unseen. As moms of every race grace the cover of magazines, I patiently waited for my green light; a phenomenal black woman to make a statement so bold she inspires WOC (women of color) to come out of hiding. Nearly seven years since my grandmother’s death, I take solace in knowing that the times are slowly changing, to include my perspective. You don’t need black to relate to black, you just need to freedom, encouragement, and support, all of which can be found in most moms, despite their race.
 
I take pride representing the women of color. We’ve all heard “black women breastfeed too” but to be honest,  I wasn’t too sure if that was true but I stand here today to tell you they do!” – Achely
{S}Hero Jessie
DSC_0742
Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com
“I’m Jessie Holland and I’m nursing my 13 month old son in the photo. He is still nursing through the night and consistently through the day so we’re just following his cues on when he wants to wean (which doesn’t look like anytime in the immediate future).
I also have a 5 1/2 year old daughter who I nursed for approximately 3 months (always pumping or hiding in other rooms) because I didn’t have the knowledge or support for breastfeeding like I do now.
Where I am from, breastfeeding, especially in public is NOT that common and if uncovered, you would hear others mumbling about it. I know this because I had the same thoughts about breastfeeding before I came to our current location and received such amazing support and gained a wealth of knowledge. I think most importantly, I was exposed daily to women nursing their children in public all over the place, which helped me realize how normal and natural breastfeeding is and should be.
When I heard about the opportunity to partake in this photo, I was eager to do so because I’m proud of the past year, being able to exclusively breastfeed my son and do it when and where he needs knowing that I am providing him the best comfort and nourishment that I physically can. My mindset regarding breastfeeding has changed so much in the past 2 years and I thought by being involved with this project, it showed that growth.” – Jessie
{S}Heros Kathryn & Mallory
Left Kathryn with her son, and Mallory and her daughter. Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com
Left Kathryn with her son, and Mallory and her daughter.
Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com

“I’m Kathryn Washington. I just turned 24, and this is my 10 month old son Ezekiel. I’m a first time mom, away from family, so we are learning everything together. Our breastfeeding journey has been rough, but we are both determined to not give up. Struggling with low weight gain for my son, I started researching. We visited with a CLC and an IBCLC. I tried pumping to increase supply, but barely anything came out. I received donor milk and tried to feed my son through a supplemental nursing system,  but he refused to take it! We even tried mixing donor milk with formula in a bottle, but he wouldn’t take that either.  Zeke wanted nothing but my breasts. After seeing  specialists, causing countless tears and frustration, Ezekiel received a tongue tie and upper lip tie revision. We still struggle feeding to this day, but I’m not weaning him until he wants to.

I chose to be in the picture fully clothed because that’s how I feed my son in public. Nobody pressured me into taking my clothes off, and I didn’t feel awkward keeping them on. I wanted people see that breastfeeding, no matter how you do it, is beautiful. I’m a conservative Christian, and also wanted to show the church that breastfeeding in public CAN be “modest” without using a cover. Taking part in this picture was empowering to me. We,  especially women (and the church) need to stop shaming mothers; no matter what they look like, covered or not.”

In the individual photo… “the woman next to me is Mallory. We are polar opposites. I am a conservative Christian, she is an open atheist. I am tall and slender, she is shorter and thicker. I have a nursing tank on, and she is topless. I have small breasts, and well…she doesn’t! I feared being shunned by family and never being seen the same again for partaking in this project, and she knew she’d be supported. I have a son, and she has a daughter. We most likely raise our children in completely different styles as well.

So why are we paired together, and get along? Because we have at least one thing in common: we are both mothers; and that is a bond of sisterhood we both understand.

In the group photo I remained fully clothed,  but standing there after the photo was taken,  I felt empowered b and convicted. I felt moved for some reason by God to remove my pants;  something I never thought I would do. I realized something at that moment. I did not feel dirty, nor ashamed. I did not feel immodest, or like I was sinning. I felt euphoric and BEAUTIFUL! Something I cannot describe.  My soul felt pure, and that I was worshiping God in an intimate way. As if by feeding my son, bearing my body, I was in the garden of Eden. Would I feed my son in public with just my underwear on? Probably not, but this photo is about so much more. I encourage everyone to look at it from my perspective,  and women to imagine yourselves there; dressed however you feel comfortable.

As for me and Mallory…To me this photo represents that although we are quite different, we share the bond of motherhood.  We have a connection here on earth that cannot be broken. And that is beautiful.” – Kathryn

“I’m Mallory, and this is my 13-month-old daughter, Ali. I had her a month before my 27th birthday, and, with the knowledge and encouragement of my older sister, we have successfully breastfed since birth. Although I endured a lot of nipple pain for the first three months, I endured, and we have a fantastic breastfeeding relationship. Doing so has helped her cope with busy and loud places, to fall asleep, and help her when she has gotten boo-boos.

Having her gave me much larger breasts and some truly beautiful stretch marks on my now-round tummy. I am proud to wear my new body, because it reminds me of how I got this perfect little girl.” – Mallory

 {S}Hero Jaclyn & Liz

Jaclyn with her daughter, left.  Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com
Jaclyn with her daughter, left. Liz and her son, right.
Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com

“My name is Jaclyn and that beautiful baby girl with me is my daughter Julianna. My breastfeeding journey has not been the smoothest, especially in the beginning. I had no prior knowledge of breastfeeding, no one in my family ever breastfeed their children. I endured sore, blistered nipples and long emotional nights. With the help of an amazing breastfeeding Facebook support group I was able to conquer through the hardships and there was always someone to give me the courage to keep going when I thought I couldn’t. And now we have been successfully breastfeeding for 10 months!

When the opportunity came up to take this photo, I honestly wasn’t doing it for others. I did it for myself. My changing body during pregnancy was difficult for me and especially afterwards was hard. I’m at a good place with myself and I have just recently began to appreciate my stretch marks and mommy belly. This body carried and nourished my baby for nine months and pushed for 4 hours just to meet her so I should be proud of this body. To just be out in the open, half naked, with other beautiful mothers was such an amazing feeling.

There was no judgement, we all looked beautiful.” – Jaclyn

“I’m Liz and in the photo I’m nursing my 16 month old son, Emmett. When I was pregnant my husband debated me for hours over the “proper way to nurse in public”. To me there is no proper way to nurse, you just feed your baby. I went from clumsily nursing in my car, afraid of drawing too much attention to myself, to nursing at the base of the Eiffel Tower without a cover.

Participating in this photo shoot was a big step for me; I have always been self conscious even at my smallest and after having a baby my once toned stomach was proof that I had bore a child, complete with a c-section scar. As I read the description for the photoshoot project I knew that it was something I had to participate in.

Gone was the fear of someone seeing my curvy frame, instead it was replaced with joy knowing that something powerful would be created. Mothers are beautiful, babies are beautiful, and when you happen to be nursing a child, that to me is the epitome of beauty.” – Liz

{S}Heros Tiffany & Olivia

Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com
Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com

{S}Hero Krista

DSC_0744
Krista and her child. Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com

To read Krista’s amazing words, go check out the original blog post “The Shame Game” published with Erin’s incredible group photo.

To read about my own experience participating in Erin’s photo, check out this blog post “You Inspire Me”.

If you are interested in Liliana Beatriz Fotografia, visit the website here.

If you are interested in Erin White Photography, visit the website here.

If you are interested in participating in the Divine Mothering Photo+Interview Series inspired by this photo session, Follow Our FB Page and Join our Events.

Please follow and like us:
0

You Inspire Me { Divine-Mothering }

When my good friend Erin White from Erin White Photography told me she was planning to do a breastfeeding photo, I was so excited. I wanted to participate. She graciously invited me to assist with setting up the photo and to take individual shots at the end of the session.

This was going to be a fun shoot. We wanted a beautiful view, sunset, and women showing off their amazing breastfeeding bond with their nurslings. For a moment we wondered if anyone would come, would anyone bare their bodies, would we be too scared, too ashamed…

When we drove into the location, my heart exploded with pride and excitement. There were 16 women and 18 children. A total of 34 models for this amazing photo.

When sunset hit, we raced to undress, and capture these beautiful women in the golden rays that only come at sunset. What was captured, can only be but a glimpse of the exhilaration we all felt. The self love, pride, honor, joy, courage was palpable. There was a complete rejection of all our fears, shame, judgments. It was like for a single moment all that was gone… And all that was left was pure joy and love for each other.

I leave you here with the stunning image Erin White Photography produced.

erin bf photo

Absolutely amazing, and making the rounds in our social media. If you would like to read more about this session, the amazing and brave Krista Zurn wrote this inspiring blog post “The Shame Game” summarizing the project and stories.

This photo session did something to me, to all of us. It filled us up with hope and inspiration. It shook us to our core. It reminded us of the chains we wear on a daily basis and how heavy they are.

No more!

Our voices will be heard. Our bodies will be celebrated. And our dignity shall be restored.

Let that Inner Goddess Shine it’s amazing healing light on all of us. I will be immediately taking up this project again. Join us, and spread the word.

WE LOVE OURSELVES.

WE ARE AMAZING.

WE ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Read some of the stories of the women who participated in this blog post.

If you are interested in Erin White’s photography, visit her website here.

If you are interested in participating in the Divine Mothering Photo+Interview Series inspired by this photo, Follow Our FB Page and Join our Events.

Please follow and like us:
0

Humanize. Normalize. Celebrate. Share away!

%d bloggers like this: