A New Jersey borough employee recently made headlines when she called the police on a young mother breastfeeding her baby at a town lake—despite the fact that, similar to many other states, public breastfeeding is completely legal in New Jersey. Incidents such as this one happen all the time, and women are often shamed into breastfeeding only in private. However, a recent photo series by Boston-based photographer Gina Brocker seeks to de-stigmatize the natural act of feeding infants.
Brocker was inspired by her own personal experience breastfeeding. In an interview with POPSUGAR she revealed that
“After giving birth to my son and experiencing breastfeeding firsthand, I became fascinated and passionate about the process. I’m amazed that our bodies can create, birth, and nourish these amazing little humans — but it isn’t without challenges and it doesn’t always come easy. After navigating the typical uncomfortable and challenging situations, the need to share the realities of breastfeeding led me to begin this project.”
The images depict women breastfeeding in a variety of mundane situations, in both public and private spaces. The large variety of settings represented allows for a normalization of the act—women are shown feeding their children in the bathtub, at a café, even at the grocery store—and the world still hasn’t ended. Gina, who published the series just in time for August, or Breastfeeding Awareness Month as it is known to some, points out some of the hypocrisies inherent in those who seek to shame and obscure the act. She was quoted as saying,
“Meeting the needs of babies and children should be the priority. Not just of parents, but our society. Breastfeeding is the best possible way to ensure they get the nutrition and comfort they need, and there shouldn’t be any additional barriers to that.”
To view the rest of the images in the series, click here.