Australian photographer Suzie Blake decided that most breastfeeding photo projects were pretty staged — and in fact, most are, with gorgeous backdrops and ethereal imagery. This provides breathtaking visuals of those tender moments when a mother nurses her child, but Blake decided she could add to this conversation by showing what it’s really like — messy house, bedhead and with your older kids flipping over your couch while your baby pinches your boob flesh.
“I was tired of seeing images that fail to show the realities of breastfeeding for most women,” she says. “This project is about portraying breastfeeding in all its beautiful messiness. This is about tired eyes and no make up. This is about milk leaks and ratty hair.”
And it is. These stark (yet warm) black-and-white shots are so real you can almost feel those tiny baby fingernails scratching your chest.
Blake currently has an IndieGoGo campaign set up so she can take this project next to the U.K., but in the meantime, take in the beauty of these photos, and see what memories they bring back — or marvel at their ability to paint breastfeeding like the messy, gorgeous labor of love it truly is.
A family affair
Breastfeeding is often a family affair.
When you have older kids, you’re always on call.
Two babies? You might nurse them one at a time.
Two at a time
Or maybe they nurse together.
Nursing allows moms to relax, but that may not be what’s on her other children’s minds.
But it’s often when we’re most comfortable.
There’s nothing more beautiful than a nursing mom.
On the floor
No matter where she has to plop down to do it.
Lena breastfeeding photo
How lovely is this mother?
Many moms learn pretty quickly how to nurse lying down so they can rest too. Divine.
While the chaos of your house surrounds you, a breastfeeding moment can reconnect you with your busy toddler.
Breastfeeding takes place everywhere and anywhere.
They’re all hungry
And your older child may have a snack too.
While not Photoshopped or airbrushed, these moms are still beautiful.
Even as their babies are totally distracted and popping off.
Moms often have a little nest they like to sit in to nurse their babies at home.
All strewn about
Surrounded by items they need or need to later find a place for.
Drop everything and feed
You usually have to drop everything to nurse a hungry infant, and these photos convey that perfectly.
Breastfeeding a baby is a gorgeous labor of love.
Out and about
No matter what sorts of crazy is surrounding you.
In the park
Or where you breastfeed your child.
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