Titsection: (Re)normalizing the Nursing Mother

About Danica

Like many nursing mothers, I spend countless hours on the internet. Nursing gives me one free hand to scroll and occasionally type a short message. Pinterest, I have found, gives good nursing internet, where I can sometimes find awesome projects I will never do, and I can always find idealistic parenting ideas I can mentally unleash snark upon. Regular victims of my snark include, in no particular order: mason jars, engagement photos, baby gender reveal anything, and breastfeeding photos.

As a proud public nursing mother, it may surprise you to learn that I hate breastfeeding photos. My hatred, however, has nothing to do with exposed breasts. It's the peaceful, blissful expression on the mother's face that is de rigueur for breastfeeding pictures that drive me crazy.

For example:

I decided not to use any of the hundreds of photos of real mothers and their babies posted on the internet that exemplify this nursing moment because that just seems mean. But this Picasso number does the trick. Blissed out mama, perfectly latched baby. Lovely, stain-free nursing garment. I get that part of the Breast is Best movement is the attempt to normalize nursing as an integral part of the mothering experience. However, I think these doe-eyed nursing images serve to reinforce motherhood as a instinctual role, and nursing itself as a simple, easy extension of that role. Instead, as mothers, we all quickly learn that motherhood is not all instinctual, nor is nursing that simple. If we want to normalize the act of breastfeeding, then let's start with celebrating images of normal mothers nursing, none of this hippie bullshit.

This is what I like:

Mama Maggie Gyllenhaal having a laugh with some friends while baby does her thing. Normal moms doing normal things.