"She is a beauty in an ancient mural. A powerful miracle in the snow. A golden ray on the shore. A Breastfeeding Goddess."
Lithuanian-based photographer and mom-of-two Ivette Ivens admits breastfeeding can be "messy, uncomfortable, and even painful at times." But she believes how a nursing mother feels during this extraordinary bonding opportunity with baby is an entirely different experience. Inside, Ivens says, all moms, no matter how much they have struggled to breastfeed, how many times they felt discouraged, or what bodily wounds nursing has inflicted upon their bodies, are still "Breastfeeding Goddesses."
In fact, that is the title of her new book that showcases images of mothers feeding their babies in ethereal settings. Ivens, whose true passion is photographing mothers, told The Asian Parent that the stunning photographs are meant to convey "the way each woman feels while nursing: pure, beautiful, saintly, celestial."
In the pictures, we see women wearing beautiful flower crowns, poised beneath breathtaking waterfalls, lying in intimate gardens, and relaxing in fields of lilacs—all while calmly breastfeeding their babies.
The locations not only reflect the serene sense of tranquility moms feel as they breastfeed their babies, but also the many places they can—and should—nurse. About her own kids, Ivens says, "I nursed them both anywhere I wanted. From church to parties, from farmers' markets to high-end designer stores. I believe that mothers should nurse their little ones whenever they want to."
And Ivens also believes breastfeeding should last as long as a mom and her little one want it to, no matter what anyone says. "Children know when it's time to wean off," she explained. "Mothers do, too. Strangers don't know, so they shouldn't care."
Each mother's story is different, and Ivens thinks all deserve to be told. She says of her subjects in this book: "She is a beauty in an ancient mural. A powerful miracle in the snow. A golden ray on the shore. A Breastfeeding Goddess."
What's your reaction to these stunning photographs?