A quiet maternity milk bath - Vero Beach Milk Bath Photographer

No matter what advice you get before becoming a parent, there will always be things that will only ring true after you’ve had children.

One of those things, for me, is that life will never be quiet again. Sure, there will be moments of calm and the times when the little one(s) are sleeping. But your day and life, once you have a child, is never your own again. It is an offering to the most beautiful form of chaos. A cacophany of babbles, screams, laughter, cries, and singing. It’s a beautiful thing, to give life and nurture and be needed. But it can also be so. so. loud. (Can you tell I have a toddler and a preschooler?)

This is one reason I LOVE floral bath sessions. They are calm. They are quiet. They are a gift of relaxation to the mother to be (or the new mother during an herbal bath session).

A quiet maternity milk bath - Vero Beach Maternity Photograper - Ebb and Flow Photography

Momma-to-be sporting her magnificent tiger stripes, ready for her milk bath. So fierce.

A quiet maternity milk bath - Vero Beach Maternity Photograper - Ebb and Flow Photography
A quiet maternity milk bath - Vero Beach Maternity Photograper - Ebb and Flow Photography

Time spent reflecting on pregnancy and motherhood. Pressure off the feet, attempting weightlessness in the soothing warmth of the milk bath.

A quiet maternity milk bath - Vero Beach Maternity Photograper - Ebb and Flow Photography
A quiet maternity milk bath - Vero Beach Maternity Photograper - Ebb and Flow Photography

And flowers. How luxurious to be surrounded by flowers - quite literally. Feeling like a goddess instead of the Hindenburg? Sounds like heaven.

A quiet maternity milk bath - Vero Beach Maternity Photograper - Ebb and Flow Photography

And time to quietly contemplate birth affirmations. (Mug and temporary tattoo by The Oxytocin Emporium)

A quiet maternity milk bath - Vero Beach Maternity Photograper - Ebb and Flow Photography

Dreamy Walk along the Lagoon Maternity Session - Vero Beach Maternity Photography

Sometimes I can’t believe that this is my job.

Really.

I am beyond grateful that I get to be a storyteller with photography. And even more so when I have the opportunity to do it for others.

Life is constantly changing. Families growing, shifting around, ebbing and flowing. The chance I give families to hold on to a time in their lives - with all of them in the frame - is such a gift.

dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography

This session is part of the story of how love made magic into reality.

dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography

You can just see the love, excitement, and anticipation in these two.

dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography

This adventuresome couple took me on a hike and showed me a hidden gem here on the Treasure Coast. A boardwalk that went on foreeeeeeever, lined by mangroves.

dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography
dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography
dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography
dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography
dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography

See the love they have for eachother? Just radiating around the two of them and ready to welcome their newest addition.

dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography
dreamy walk along the lagoon - vero beach maternity photographer - ebb and flow photography

World Photography Day - A Day Spent Connecting With Other Photographers

August 19th is World Photography Day!

For the last three years I have gone on a hike on this day, and enjoyed photographing things for myself, beyond the scope of client work. On this day I celebrate the reason why I first fell in love with this fantastic art. Photography was first a way for me to connect with nature. And now it has evolved into a way for me to connect with people.

This year was particularly special because I got to share my hike with another local photographer, Crystal of CR Life Photography.  I brought my daughter and we posed for breastfeeding portraits in honor of National Breastfeeding Month.

World Photography Day - Connecting with other photographers - ebb and flow photography

We chatted about how we've seen the landscape change here over the years. The invasive Australian Pine grove was eradicated and the understory is well underway to becoming established.

World Photography Day - Connecting with other photographers - ebb and flow photography
World Photography Day - Connecting with other photographers - ebb and flow photography

We stopped and admired ferns, butterflies, beautyberry, and moss covered tree trunks.

World Photography Day - Connecting with other photographers - ebb and flow photography
World Photography Day - Connecting with other photographers - ebb and flow photography

And seeing it through the eyes of my two year old made the Florida humidity just a tiny bit more tolerable. She was more interested in the texture of the moss and the flapping of palm fronds than the beads of sweat that began to curl her hair.

World Photography Day - Connecting with other photographers - ebb and flow photography

I'm pretty sure Crystal got some cute photos! She's so silly with kids. And such a great light seeker. It was fun watching another photographer work. And she's definitely more flexible than I am!

World Photography Day - Connecting with other photographers - ebb and flow photography

In the end I was reminded of the saying,

TAKE NOTHING BUT MEMORIES,
LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS

and how photography allows me to do that.

Connecting with nature and other photographers AND my daughter. My cup was so full.

World Photography Day - Connecting with other photographers - ebb and flow photography

And then. Well, the two year old told us it was time to go.  😂




Using the Last of the Donor Milk - a Special Milk Bath Session - Treasure Coast Breastfeeding Photographer

When it comes to breastfeeding, I don't think I've met a single person that has "had it easy."

This wonderful gift we give our children is often one of the hardest to give. Due to archaic social stigmas, lack of support (or really, not knowing where to go), and the actual blood/sweat/breastmilk/tears it takes sometimes... BREASTFEEDING CAN BE REALLY HARD.

Allie came to me with a vision to celebrate the stuggles she overcame to breastfeed her son. A breastfeeding milk bath with a twist. Some of the milk would be donated breast milk. LIQUID GOLD.

Her breastfeeding journey started out bumpy to say the least. Low supply issues sent her trying every pill, oil, old wives tale... everything. Nothing seemed to work. Using a Supplemental Nursing System and donated breastmilk, she was able to provide her son nourishment. Until one bittersweet day, after so long trying so many other ways to nourish her baby with breastmilk, he latched and it finally worked.

The last few pouches of donated breastmilk sat in the back of her freezer and expired.

She didn't need them any more.

 

Using the Last of the Donor Milk - a Special Milk Bath Session - Ebb and Flow Photography

She poured the last of the precious gift carefully into the bath as I adorned the surface with flowers. A tribute to her breastfeeding journey.

Using the Last of the Donor Milk - a Special Milk Bath Session - Ebb and Flow Photography
Using the Last of the Donor Milk - a Special Milk Bath Session - Ebb and Flow Photography
Using the Last of the Donor Milk - a Special Milk Bath Session - Ebb and Flow Photography
Using the Last of the Donor Milk - a Special Milk Bath Session - Ebb and Flow Photography

Another special treat and added layer of awesomeness: mother salts. Salts handed down from mothers and blended at a mother blessing. A gift from her midwife's mother blessing, shared from sister to sister. Mother to mother.

Using the Last of the Donor Milk - a Special Milk Bath Session - Ebb and Flow Photography
 

World Breastfeeding Week 2018 Mini Sessions

Each year, breastfeeding is celebrated world wide during the first week of August: World Breastfeeding Week. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action partners with breastfeeding, health, and nutritional organizations to host events and bring awareness to the benefits of breastfeeding - poverty reduction, better nutrition for babies and children, and food security.

During WBF is the Big Latch On, a world wide event bringing breastfeeding parents together for community and support.  I have participated in every BLO since having children, except one when I was pregnant. My first BLO I didn't get to join a group, but I did nurse my easily distractible son in the back seat of our car in the dark basement parking garage of a Whole Foods. My husband took a photo right at the moment to be counted as virtual participant. We had latching issues for months and I wish I had broken through my social anxiety at the time to find a La Leche League meeting or other form of support. My second BLO, I nursed my daughter in a carrier while photographing the event. So so different than two years prior!

world breastfeeding week - breastfeeding portraits - ebb and flow photography

This year may be my last year nursing during WBF and being counted at a BLO - my daughter is 2.5 and is partially weaned. It's more than likely she's my last child. So I want to do something really special and offer mini breastfeeding sessions for parents wishing to commemorate their own breastfeeding relationships. The more breastfeeding moms I meet, the more important I realize support is. And any breastfeeding relationship - short term, extended, re-latched, bottle fed with donor milk, tandem, SNS, any number of struggles or joys we face when nourishing our children - they are ALL worth celebrating.

There are a limited amount of slots, so grab your nursling and save your spot!