The description touts the Facebook page as a place of “Sharing the Beauty and Normality of Breastfeeding.” The page does do that but it offers so much more. It’s an online support group for breastfeeding on which you can get the instantaneous feedback from thousands of other women.
That’s what I come away with after visiting the Beautiful Breastfeeding Facebook page. The owner, a woman by the name of Cherie, constantly posts questions she receives from women around the world and, almost immediately, dozens of the page’s nearly 13,000 members immediately begin offering advice or words of support.
For example, this query from a woman named Marcy was recently posted:
I need help my ten month old bites me almost every time he nurses. I love breast feeding but it’s very discouraging he even drew blood the other day. I need some positive advice so we can continue.
Within minutes, dozens of women weighed in with encouragement and their own personal stories. This happens, sometimes, several times a day. Which means if you’re a breastfeeding mama who has “liked” Beautiful Breastfeeding, you’re bound to find encouragement and inspiration from those who frequent the page. Not only that, but the photo collection Cherie has amassed is, in a word, stunning.
Cherie tells me she started the page to celebrate breastfeeding. “After coming across a lot of beautiful artworks and photographs that emphasized the emotional and loving side of breastfeeding, I thought the images would definitely benefit and encourage mothers through their own breastfeeding journey.”
I must admit, the images you’re about to see left me in awe. I felt empowered as a woman and mother. It’s the photos from around the world that really struck me. Powerful, unapologetic women giving life to their children (and a few other characters). Here a mother sits on a mountain top, surrounded by animals she is charged to herd, and breastfeeding her baby. There a mother strolls through a market with a basket delicately balanced on her head and, of course, breastfeeding her baby.
The photos are what prompted Cherie to start the page, never imagining it would turn into a place where nursing moms turn to for support.
Mothers on page then began sharing their own images and asking for breastfeeding help. There were a lot of supportive, knowledgeable and experienced people on the page willing to offer advice or encouragement. So the page then became a thriving supportive community as well as a place to celebrate breastfeeding.
Cherie never imagined how successful the page would be and credits it all to the women who frequent the page. “Most of all I get a warm fuzzy when I see the empathy, encouragement, and great advice people offer to other mothers on the page seeking help. I’m really proud of the members on the page; they’ve made the page a supportive community.”
From the diverse, encouraging community to the power contained within photos featuring hundreds of women from around the world, this Facebook page is amazing. Capable, strong women of all ages in the most interesting locales showcasing breastfeeding is as it should be: natural, life affirming, wondrous. It’s too bad the Western culture often takes such issue with such an undeniably significant part of motherhood, instead revering breasts provocatively encased in teeny bikinis or contained within the pages of Playboy.
Brazil 1 of 26Quote from Beautiful Breastfeeding... "This mother and child are members of the KayapÃ³ community in Brazil...currently they are being bullied from their ancestral lands by Brazil's new president. Please, share this message from Chief Raoni, and this link, around the world. "...Earlier this week Chief Raoni sent a message to all KayapÃ³ community: - "How Marechal Rondon taught me, I pass it all to my warriors: DIE IF NECESSARY, DO NOT KILL. I want my land to be demarcated and my people respected and do not want any conflict or fights with non-Indians."
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Brandilynn Slayton)
Alaska 2 of 26Inuit woman nursing two babies,1903-1908
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Lomen Brothers, Dobbs, B.B. ww2.glenbow.org.
Location Unknown 3 of 26I'm guessing India? We drink cow's milk like nobody's business, so what's the big deal?
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Pamela Rossi).
Africa 4 of 26Maasai Woman & Child. This photo takes my breath away. The expressions on each face, the casual power with which she holds her child... If she was breastfeeding at Applebee's I don't think anybody would ask her to finish in the bathroom. Simply amazing.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Herb Ritts)
Uganda 5 of 26Ruwenzori mother nursing.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Luca Gargano/Flickr)
Bangladesh 6 of 26Woman and Child, Modhupur, Tangail, Bangladesh. "I was confused at 1st looking at them, then someone told me that she is the grandmother of that kid. In the village, sometimes grandmothers breast feed just to bond, or just to stop the baby from crying."
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of ShabbirFerdousPhotography)
China 7 of 26Yi minority mother nursing her baby while herding cattle, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Szechwan Province, China.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Tao Images)
Pacific Islands 8 of 26Mother breast-feeding, Tanna Island, Vanuatu, Pacific Islands.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of James Strachan.
Sudan 9 of 26'Black Madonna with Twins'
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Vanessa Beecroft.com.
Tibet 10 of 26Mother and Daughter, Yushu to Serba Road, Tibet.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Raul Gutierrez) .
Location Unknown 11 of 26There was no info found on this photo.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding.
Ethiopia 12 of 26Bodi tribe baby breastfeeding.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Eric Lafforgue, Flickr).
Ethiopia 13 of 26Mother and twins from the tribe of the Surma, in the Valley of the Omo of Ethiopia.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Giordano Cipriani
Mother With Child In Vietnam 14 of 26Mother breastfeeding her baby and smiling for the picture, photo taken in a small market in a remote area of North West Vietnam.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Photography (courtesy of Boaz Images and Flickr.
Uganda 15 of 26
New Guinea 16 of 26Dani mothers breast feeding their infants, Baliem Valley, Irian Jaya, New Guinea, Indonesia.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of photographersdirect.com.
Location Uknown 17 of 26Bush mother and baby
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Miranda Miranda Photography)
Vietnam 18 of 26Breastfeeding at the market in Sapa, Vietnam
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Martien Van Asseldonk, Flickr.
Location Unknown 19 of 26Breastfeeding meeting.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Luca Gargano, Flickr.
Grenada 20 of 26La gitane du Sacro Monte, Grenade, 1951.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Jean Dieuzaide).
Uganda 21 of 26
Peru 22 of 26
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of Photographers Direct.
Senegal 23 of 26
Unknown 24 of 26
Democratic Republic of Congo 25 of 26A mother's comfort.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of babasteve on Flickr)
Mozambique 26 of 26Woman with large bundle breastfeeding her child while interacting with friends in a village, Masangena, Mozambique.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Breastfeeding (courtesy of photographersdirect.com.
All captions are from Beautiful Breastfeeding.
Click here to check out Beautiful Breastfeeding on Facebook.
You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.