THE BREAST PLACES TO FEED YOUR BABY IN PORTLAND: In 2015 a woman shopping at a Marshall’s in Portland, Oregon was told she could only breastfeed her baby in the bathroom. The photo she took of herself nursing her baby on a toilet went viral and dozens of mothers organized a “Nurse In” at the store to protest and educate the public on the rights of breastfeeding women. It is legal to breastfeed your baby anywhere in Oregon. ANYWHERE. I took my son to this event — it was his first peaceful protest and it was indeed peaceful and beautiful. All the babies nursed and the mamas smiled and shared their breastfeeding experiences with each other and the reporters that showed up to cover the story. Since then it’s been hard to ignore this surprising truth: breastfeeding in public is controversial. I read an article on BBC news that generated shocking responses on Facebook. I’m especially hurt when women feel that they have the right to tell other women to cover up and that they think breastfeeding is inappropriate in public places. One person on Facebook said it’s not our right to breastfeed in public. But it is. Here is the link to the article:
And here is a link to a local news story done about the controversy and this project:
I have a hard time understanding why people get so upset about seeing women breastfeed in public. Perhaps it’s because women’s bodies have been over sexualized in the media. Perhaps it’s because we don’t see it enough and therefore when we do see it, it’s shocking and not “normal”. Perhaps there are just too many people that feel they have the right to dictate what women do with their bodies. We see that a lot these days. Whatever the reason, as a nursing mother of two and a photographer I feel the need to create positive, “normal” images of women breastfeeding in public to help change our cultural response. And I want to show what a truly breastfeeding friendly place like Portland looks like. I know I’m lucky to live in such a place. Many women are not and there are women across the country contributing positive images to this cause.
Please follow me on Instagram @alionhorse to see the newest photos from the project and to find other women photographers also working to #normalizebreastfeeding! Also please email me if you’re interested in sitting for a photo. I don’t charge for the photography session. If you’d like a high resolution digital file of the photo for personal use including printing then I charge a small fee for that.