Isn't nature so perfect?
I've always known that breastmilk is everything babies need for their first 6 months, it contains all the essential enzymes, hormones and immunoglobulins that are vital for babies normal growth, development and good health throughout their whole life and it protects babies against a wide variety of illness and conditions.
Breastfeeding is an act of love 🤎
Back in Brazil I was so used to seeing women breastfeeding in public places all the time, all mothers I know breastfeed or breastfed their babies, it is natural, it is normal.
But I've learnt recently that Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world.
And I was a bit shocked.
Then I met Janelle, this beautiful mother who reached out to me looking for breastfeeding photographs as she is very proud to be breastfeeding her baby Reuben.
I fell in love with her photos, and the idea for this project was born.
The first idea was to show photographs of mothers breastfeeding their babies to encourage other mothers who might be having difficulties in their journeys or maybe are not aware of the benefits.
Then I decided to create a series of short videos, where I could show the photos and add some facts.
This is the first video, featuring Janelle and Reuben (11 months) and it is about the benefits of breast milk.
Reuben was fascinated by the sound of my camera's shutter and kept looking at me, so I got some really cute shots.
I then photographed another five mothers to support the project.
We had lots of chats about their experiences and also about uncomfortable situations they have experienced while breastfeeding in public.
And wanted to do something to help #NORMALISEBREASTFEEDING
For each mother I made a video with their photos, highlighting the importance of breastfeeding.
The second video is called "A Lifetime Of Good Health" featuring Sarah and Joanna (24 months old).
Joanna is a cute and bubbly little girl, it took us sometime to get some breastfeeding shots as she was more excited about exploring my kitchen! So I had to add that to the video.
The third one is about "Benefits for Mothers" featuring Vanesa and David (3 months old).
I love the way he looks and smiles at her while breastfeeding.
I am learning a lot with this project too, I had no idea that breastfeeding was associated with a natural method of birth control.
The forth video is about "Support for Mothers" featuring Aline and John (3 months old).
John is a very smiley baby, I love his big smile on the last photo of the video!
I know that many women encounter difficulties at the beginning and that it can be very frustrating, but there are several health facilities that support breastfeeding and make breastfeeding counsellors available to new mothers. Most countries have implemented the WHO-UNICEF Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative providing quality care for mothers and newborns.
The fifth one is about "Breast Milk and Complementary Foods" featuring Ceilidh and Noah (5 months old).
Noah is so curious and kept looking at me, his last photo reminds me of Simba (The Lion King) and that brings back some nice memories from my childhood.
According to the World Health Oraganization, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, and thereafter, they should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods, while continuing to be breastfed.
The sixth (and last video so far) "If Breastfeeding..." featuring Marina and Sarah (11 months old).
Sarah is starting to say her first words, and she calls herself "Wawa"!
If breastfeeding were scaled up to near universal levels, about 820.000 child lives would be saved every year.
Globally, only 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed.
Hope you learnt something new 🤎
All information retrieved from the World Health Organization website: http://www.WHO.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/en/
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Have a lovely day,
Read about my story with photography!