Can we cool it with the breast vs. bottle debate already? This photographer gives props to bottle-feeding mamas and says yes.
If there's one thing Florida-based photographer Natalie McCain hopes to achieve with her Honest Body Project is helping mothers to fall in love with their bodies. With one recent project, 'No Mother Should Be Ashamed: A Bottle Feeding Series', she captured many beautiful images of moms feeding their babies—sans boobs.
With her signature black-and-white images, moms share their struggles with breastfeeding, how they made the choice to bottle feed and how they feel about this often negative stigma. Though McCain breastfed her children, she can relate to women who didn't get that same opportunity or decided against nursing. "My daughter was born early and had a very hard time latching. I pumped, but my body didn't respond well to a pump, so I had to supplement with formula as well," McCain said. "After two months she finally latched and I was able to nurse her and continued until she was a toddler. I feel very strongly that all mothers should be supported and that no mother should ever feel ashamed for how she is feeding her child."
And though it's not quite as common, there are some life-threatening, serious reasons why some women can't breastfeed their children, even if they want to. One special story from McCain's story stuck out in her mind (see the picture above): "She fought and beat cancer and lost both of her breasts, and yet, felt guilt over bottle feeding," McCain told Fit Pregnancy. "Her story struck me hard because she had breastfed her older children and struggled with not being able to do the same with twins. No mother should feel that way."
And with this series, McCain hopes to give bottle-feeding mamas the same spotlight that breastfeeding moms receive. "I hope that this series will open the eyes of those who have been judgmental towards bottle-feeding mothers," she says. "I want to help end the 'mommy wars' and help spread the message that all mothers deserve support, no matter how they choose to feel their children."
After all, as she says, as long as our children are safe, happy and healthy, does it matter how? We think not.