KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s something many mothers do, something many people experience, but something that doesn’t get talked about a lot. August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, and one metro photographer gave moms the opportunity to feel empowered and make memories.
It’s a different kind of family photo, but photographer Courtney Staton of Stag + Bird Photography says it can be a very important one. Moms posing with their children in what is usually a private moment. Staton held a series of mini photoshoots in Loose Park on Saturday to create what she calls a piece of heirloom artwork. A moment frozen in time for their breastfeeding journey.
“It’s just something that people don’t talk about a lot,” Staton said. “The more that we talk about it. The more that we show moms nursing in public. The more that we show moms that as long as they’re feeding their baby they`re doing a good job.”
Staton wanted to give moms like Christy Hall from Independence and Taylor Turner from Lee’s Summit this unique photography experience.
“I really enjoyed it with my first,” Hall said. “I nursed through ties. I cried a lot of tears, but it was such a passion for me to do just because it was such hard work – I wanted to be able to say I did it.”
Both women say breastfeeding wasn’t an easy experience, but one they are lucky to have.
“Stressing out about it every day. Is she getting enough?” Turner said. “I went back to work, and so, just dealing with that change of being at home with her, and knowing that she’s getting what she needs, and then going to work and making sure that I’m still producing enough. For something that’s so natural it’s very stressful, I’ve found.”
However, the connection they feel with their children through time together and feeding is worth it. The women hope the photos not only give them a special memory, but empower women in their family for generations to come.
“My daughter, I just want her to know it’s not shameful to breast feed. It’s very empowering and it’s the best thing you can do for your kiddo,” Hall said.
“I hope it encourages her to do it as well. I know families go formula or breast milk. Either way is fine, but I just hope she at least tries it out, and I hope she has a great experience, too,” Turner said.
This event is part of Staton’s “Mother” series of photos. She captures mothers and children in their breastfeeding experience to help end the stigma of breastfeeding, and normalize it. If you are interested in participating in Staton’s project you can find more here.