By Rebecca Drew
AN INCREDIBLE series of intimate photographs celebrating the beauty of breastfeeding in public has been taken by one London-based photographer who hopes to break the taboo surrounding the natural act.
The stunning pictures show the women as they proudly feed their children in busy cafés and restaurants, at bus stops and in train stations across the capital city.
The images were taken in London by photographer, Nitin Sachania (40) who is from the city. Nitin was inspired by his wife who had just given birth to their second child, he discussed the project in depth.
“I was thinking of ideas for a personal project I wanted to do and after speaking with my wife, she suggested that breastfeeding in public places could be something I could look into. She had just given birth our second baby and the idea seemed like a good one,” he said.
“After researching a bit more, I came to realise that there is an issue in this country that women are less likely to breastfeed, especially in public. Also, that breastfeeding in general was at an all-time low. So, I thought it would be awesome to photograph these women in a public place and ask them to tell me about their breastfeeding journey.
“In these images I am trying to show mothers doing something so powerful and natural and is a huge benefit for their children. I am trying to show they are giving their children the best possible nourishment and a great start in life health wise.
“I want to show them and strong women who are standing up for what they believe in and defying what society has set as being ‘not normal’.
“Breastfeeding is a beautiful act. If a woman wants to breastfeed in a public place, she should be able to do it without feeling uneasy and it is the most natural thing a mother can do. A mother is feeding her child she is not doing anything disgusting or out of the ordinary. These women should be shown the upmost respect.”
In the UK, only around 40 percent of babies are breastfed at six to eight weeks of age, whereas in Norway up to 70 percent of babies are still breastfed at six months.
Nitin captured his pictures using a Canon 1DS Mark 3 camera and was joined by his wife on shoots who would help to put the women at ease and make sure they felt comfortable.
He explained how it felt to be involved in such a special bonding moment for mother and child and what he loved most about completing the project.
“It felt amazing. As a father of two myself and having been through all the issues with my wife and helping her try and deal with it, it has made me appreciate what these women go through every day,” he said.
“I am in admiration of all these women, because this is something they have to do alone, yes partner can help in some ways, but to have that mind set and determination, it is all down to the mother.
“To see the child feeding is such a natural thing, why would anyone think otherwise?
“They all had issues with breastfeeding. Blocked nipple ducts, leading to mastitis, leading to fever. They all have had a tough time breastfeeding, but they have stayed strong and not given up as they know it is the best for their children.
“I get to interact with likeminded people, be it the mothers, sometimes their partners, who would come along for the shoot and moral support.
“I would be able to get to know their thoughts and feelings on the subjects and would be pleasantly surprised they have similar ideas to what my wife and I have.
“Although it has not happened to my wife or to any of the women while I have photographed them, however during my research, I have read about times where women breastfeeding, have been made to feel like they are doing a bad thing, ‘exposing’ themselves in public, getting weird looks and even being told they should not feed in public.
“All the women I have photographed are from the London area.
“I am trying to photograph women of all race and religion, as I want to show that race and religion should not matter and what society thinks should not matter when it comes to the welfare of your child.”