Second Class Citizen

Where do I begin?

I’m not going to educate you on the facts of breastfeeding or pretend like I’m going to sway your opinion in any way.

I was literally about to list a few examples of comments I have seen regarding the good ol’ breastfeeding debate. But that would be a waste of my time.

I am advocating for the normalization of breastfeeding and eliminating the stigma between bottle and breast feeding parents.

I have been apart of two (soon to be three) breastfeeding photo shoots with my son Felix. The Feed Your Baby Project By Rachel Brencur and now Second Class Citizen By T. Lee Kindy. The two are literally night and day.

The Feed Your Baby Projected showed a variety of mom’s and babies and toddlers of different ages breast and bottle feeding. This is meant to eliminate the stigma between bottle and breast feeding parents.

Second Class Citizens will feature one of four photos of Felix and I. Please keep in mind this is art and meant to illustrate the struggle that some breastfeeding women go through.

His message is this,

“Many breastfeeding women feel like second class citizens, often told that this natural act is somehow disgusting and should be out of sight.”

I say, do what’s best for your family, let’s support each other in raising happy and healthy babies.

It takes a village.

➡ T. Lee Kindy Photography Facebook Page

#feedyourbabyproud #supportallthemamas #yourfamilyyourchoice

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I was fortunate enough to have no trouble at all breastfeeding. Felix didn’t lose much weight. He has a favorite and it’s really noticeable but I don’t care. He’s started biting when he’s tired (recently got teeth) so I say OW and unlatch him for a minute and he doesn’t do it again – that day.

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I’ve never been publicly shamed for breastfeeding which is why I believe these opportunities have popped up for me. They say when your cup is full you are able to help others – so this is how I’m standing up for every parent who has been shamed for a choice they have made (provided it does not compromise the happiness and health of the child). This is for the bottle feeding parents who have been repeatedly told that breast is best.

These photos illustrate and focus on the shame breastfeeding women have felt, the locations and situations they have found themselves in while trying to nourish there child. For making a choice that was best for their baby, and their family.

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Felix will be one in February and I’ve always promised myself we would stop by then. This is my endeavour to normalize breastfeeding. To encourage feeling okay with yourself in acknowledging that seeing a human nourish another human is beautiful. To let us learn to be parents on our own. We know you like your way of doing it, and we are quite fond of our way. Everyone is so beautifully unique and it should be celebrated.

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It should be celebrated that we have the ability to sustain human life should a breastfeeding attempt be unsuccessful. Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s it’s even attempted. It’s the parents choice! You do not know what these people have gone through or what brought them to their choice.

Every family has a story. If you want to get to know someone or have an excuse to walk up to a cute baby then start at page one, ask how they are.

No one likes to feel like they made the wrong choice. Everyone understands this feeling. Yet this need for conformity is still so prevalent. It’s 2016 folks. We have so many choices and access to valid research from all over the world. We are going to be fine.

Breast is Best or Bottle fed. A happy healthy baby is truly all that matters. Don’t feel ashamed of feeding your baby publicly, cover or no cover. Dont feel ashamed to not be comfortable breasfeeding your baby outside your home – thats who you are. Don’t feel ashamed giving your baby a bottle when your new mom playgroup all breastfeed. Don’t feel ashamed if anyone is ever negative about a choice your making for the health and happiness of your baby (obviously don’t hurt others in the process 😉).

– V.

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