Thursday, April 16, 2015

Musings of a Mother - Angela

   I'm so excited to welcome our first featured photographer, Angela from Yashanti photography!

   Nursing my son for eight months is something I never even imagined.Where I was brought up, breastfeeding was kind of a taboo you didn’t talk about it, and you chuckled if you saw anyone doing it. I was raised in a low-income family with a disabled mother who could never breastfeed. The doctors told her it was too dangerous. "Epilepsy and breastfeeding can never be safely done together." I can honestly just remember the amount of ignorance that was taught concerning breastfeeding and raising children. All of my friends were pregnant either in high school or right after and I can’t say that any of them breastfed. As a matter of fact, I am pretty confident in health class we were taught about formula and even programs like WIC that we would qualify for if a teen pregnancy occurred. “Why would I breastfeed if WIC gives me the formula for free?”

Self portraits of motherhood

   Unfortunately, this was the mentality I witnessed and still currently see taught in my community. Bashing others about breastfeeding is wrong, laughing at mothers nursing in public, disgusted in the sounds of the suckling, and whispering about mothers naturally nurturing their children has to stop. I have gotten a lot of backlash for breastfeeding my son from friends and family. The little jokes about nursing him until grade school or college are offensive. They hurt! Sadly, our community; our Country, is uneducated in the act of breastfeeding. I hope that in a few years breastfeeding is taught in schools and not snickered about in the halls. How is it that we can drink milk from a cow, but once we feed our own flesh, our own blood, and from our own body it is considered taboo? We need it to stop! We need to normalize it so that others can know it is so healthy for our little ones. I don’t plan to quit anytime soon, eight months and going strong!

   I will not stop because he is healthy, and this is beautiful.

   Angela Renee Yashanti Photography

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