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
 

LLL of the Treasure Coast 2018 Calendar - Treasure Coast Breastfeeding Photographer

This spring I did a thing. I took it upon myself to photograph a breastfeeding calendar. Why, oh, why would I donate 13 portrait sessions when I already had a full plate? I swear this was going to be the year of no freebies. BUT. I felt very strongly about this. I am passionate about documenting real nursing relationships. Diversity of families in shape, color, nursing history. I set out a model call and found breastfeeding mommas from all over the Treasure Coast. From Vero Beach to Hobe Sound. All different stories. Twin mom, tandem nursing, SNS mom, part time custody. And at each session I listened to stories about how La Leche lifted them up. Gave them support, encouragement, tips. In the darkest days for some. Without hope, without home. Let me tell you, photographing with tears in your eyes is not easy.

The images I documented serve to lift these women up. They can share them and say, "look how far we came," or, "this was only just the beginning," or even, "I am proud of who I am and I want the world to know that I breastfed my child."
 

So here we are, a few weeks away from World Breastfeeding Week. The calendar is now available to purchase and all proceeds go to the La Leche League of the Treasure Coast. Where will you hang your calendar? <3

LLL of the TC 2018 calendar - Treasure Coast Breastfeeding Photographer - Ebb and Flow Photography
LLL of the TC 2018 calendar - Treasure Coast Breastfeeding Photographer - Ebb and Flow Photography