Instagram | @FeliciaSaundersPhotography

Photographer Celebrates The Different Ways That Moms Can Feed Their Babies Proving It's All Beautiful

marilisa.racco 5 Nov 2019

Most moms will tell you that feedings are among the most precious moments they share with their baby. It's a time to bond and have uninterrupted quality time, and it's oh so gratifying to know that you're setting your child up for a healthy and nourished life.

But not all moms and babies feed the same. While it is the goal for most to breastfeed, it's not always an option. And in some cases, babies may not even be able to feed from a traditional source.

Breast might be best, but ultimately, the decision is up to the mother.

Unsplash | Jan Kopřiva

While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises exclusively breastfeeding your infant for the first six months and continuing, along with complimentary foods, until the child is at least one year of age, they also recognize it's not always viable. To that end, the ACOG believes that the mother is uniquely qualified to decide what the best form of feeding is for her child.

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Moms who can't breastfeed feel extreme pressure that can have an effect on their mental health.

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For the women who can't breastfeed, the repercussions can be grave. Doctors have found a connection between the pressure placed on moms to breastfeed and rates of postpartum depression in those who can't.

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A photographer took a picture depicting different forms of baby feeding to celebrate all moms, and the response was overwhelming.

Felicia Saunders Photography

Felicia Saunders took a photo depicting three moms feeding their children in different ways — one by breast, one by bottle, and one through a feeding tube — because she wanted to honor every mom and show how beautiful it is to feed your baby, no matter how you do it. She says she's received emails and messages every day since posting the image, thanking her for her photo and the message it carries.

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She wanted to show a mom bottle-feeding because they can often feel alienated.

Felicia Saunders Photography

At a time when most social media feeds of new moms are flooded with pictures and rhetoric about the importance of breastfeeding, Felicia wanted to celebrate the moms who can't (or choose not to) breastfeed and show that they're just as connected to their children.

"My own battle with guilt from not being able to breastfeed really helps fuel my inspiration, we all do what is our own best and that truly is the best," she said.

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That's not to say breastfeeding isn't important or necessary.

Felicia Saunders Photography

She also included a breastfeeding mom in the pic because it's important to keep advocating for this natural source of nourishment for babies. But also because it's important to destigmatize breastfeeding in public.

For Felicia, the response has made the photo all that much more meaningful.

"The entire experience has been very humbling...it's still surreal to think about the true vastness of its impact," she said.

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