This week we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Celebrated worldwide, the first week of August every year. This year’s theme, “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility” focuses on bringing further awareness to the community how important their role is in supporting breastfeeding. It’s reported that 54% of mum’s still don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. There is so much more to be done at a family level, community level, corporate level to make sure we are all working towards supporting the breastfeeding mother.
Steph, a mother herself, has the fondest memories of breastfeeding her own daughter. Aside from the obvious benefits to health and the wellbeing of both mother and baby, (Steph) “Breastfeeding my daughter, I have wonderfully fantastic memories of the personal experiences of the bonding”.
These experiences led her to bringing family photography to her portfolio and photography business. Steph has shared so many wonderful experiences and has exceptional memories of family photography assignments.
(Steph) “There have been so many incredibly fulfilling family photoshoots. I have captured the most private moments of those first days, weeks, months between mother and child. Skin to skin, these photographs display the beautiful raw emotions and purest love to be cherished for a lifetime.”
The honour of being invited to share the most precious and intimate moments between a mother and her baby while breastfeeding is not taken for granted by Steph. She is so aware, capturing the intimacy of the family unit sharing these most private moments, is the greatest privilege.
Being very sensitive to the vulnerability https://goo.gl/maps/fWet2RXax2Ccsb2p9 of a new mum and the need for privacy when taking such intimate photographs. For newborn photo sessions, Steph prefers they are taken in the home where you can enjoy the comfort and security of your own environment. This environment gifts the photos taken, not only the familiarity of your personal surrounds within the photo itself but provides a natural setup and ease to any nervousness of sharing your most private moments while breastfeeding in front of the camera. Steph has a natural affinity with people, she blends into the background, is a master of making those being photographed feel very much at ease. You almost don’t know she I there.
There are no fixed circumstances when photographing for a family. While we know, breastfeeding is totally natural, and much is documented on the benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child. It is important, we acknowledge, not all new mothers, for various reasons, are lucky enough to be able to breastfeed. Our Australian Breastfeeding Association are a leading force in supporting such new mothers.
Finally, in support of this year’s theme, Steph asks all to give a gentle encouraging smile to mum when you see her breastfeeding in public. For her partners, perhaps pick up a little extra of the household duties to help at this precious time. Then, for the corporate world, please look to your HR to create guidelines to support the new mum in the workplace.
By Nicola Hazzell