Welcome to World Breastfeeding Week, where we celebrate the breastfeeding relationship and raise awareness of its importance across the globe. Thanks to women like Leilani Rogers, spreading awareness is easier than ever.
Rogers is the founder of the amazing Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project and is also a birth and breastfeeding photographer. “I started PBAP in 2013 as the lone photographer, but it became a worldwide effort, with now 80 photographers (including one videographer) in 2014,” she says, and the efforts Rogers and her group of photogs have put forth is nothing short of incredible.
Rogers breastfed her own four children, but she admits she was never comfortable nursing in public. “I just felt clumsy and self-conscious,” she says, and when her photography business really started to take off a few years ago, she decided to explore and document breastfeeding in public — and the reasons moms might feel uncomfortable doing so.
When she started to share photos of women nursing in public, the response from other moms was positive and overwhelming, and she began actively recruiting other photographers from around the world to help other moms feel comfortable feeding their babies no matter where they happened to be.
And the project, even though it’s been around a few years, has really taken off in the last two years. “The project went viral on HuffPost, Redbook, BabyCenter, CafeMom, has been printed in Midwifery Today, Holistic Parenting Magazine, can be seen in health clinics in New York, will be featured in an upcoming documentary with The Milk Meg, has been displayed in museums, and I was even interviewed on ABC Nightline in May,” she says. “Phew! It’s been a great year, to say the least.”
These photos are eye-opening, beautiful and, above all, very normal. Happy World Breastfeeding Week!