By Liana Jacob
MEET THE British photographer who posts captivating pictures of her tandem breastfeeding her two sons online despite being called a ‘PAEDOPHILE’ for continuing to breastfeed her autistic FOUR-YEAR-OLD but says it comforts him.
Stunning pictures show photographer Yakaly Di Roma (31) who lives in Wales, UK, breastfeeding her son, Hans (4) in various poses including at a laptop, with him sitting on her lap and in the middle of a Bull Ring.
She can also be seen posing in a Maleficent costume while breastfeeding her eldest son and another picture shows her tandem breastfeeding both of her sons, including her month-old son, River.
Further pictures show her with her husband, Christian O’Reilly, with her son Hans breastfeeding and sitting on her lap.
Despite receiving cruel comments from internet trolls calling her a ‘paedophile’ and ‘disgusting’, Yakaly has made it her mission to normalise breastfeeding and doesn’t intend to stop breastfeeding her sons until they are ready.
She has been breastfeeding Hans, who is autistic, since he was born in April 2014 and is now also breastfeeding River who was born in January 2019.
“Breastfeeding for me, is so special. It has created an unbreakable bond that I am able to share with my children,” Yakaly said.
“Hans is autistic, and this is the one thing that comforts him the most, it makes him feel safe. Nothing else comes close to being able to calm and soothe him, the way I can when I feed him.
“He looks to me for security and love, and it makes me so happy that I am still able to do this for him. There are many benefits to breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding.
“It is the most natural thing in the world; it should be normalised, celebrated even. It isn’t easy, it’s actually very difficult, it is exhausting, and it can be painful, but all the sacrifice that comes with it, it’s completely worth it.
“I’m a professional photographer and photography is all about capturing special moments, celebrating milestones, documenting lives, capturing the bond we share with our loved ones.
“Getting to Hans’ fourth birthday and knowing he still takes comfort from breastfeeding, is a milestone.
“Giving birth to River and having the experience to breastfeed both of my boys together is a milestone, these are moments that I will cherish forever.
“I will document it and create my art; one day we will get to look back on my images and remember that amazing bond we shared.
“When I feed my babies, that is our time, it is the one thing I share with them that nobody else can, that is worth capturing, posed or un-posed.
“I have received many negative and hurtful comments when I have shared my photos, it can be upsetting sometimes, but I try not to let it get to me.
“I know I am doing the best for my boys, and I will continue to do so for as long as they need. I share my portraits to try and help normalise breastfeeding, to normalise something that is actually completely natural.
“I encourage all breastfeeding mothers to do the same, capture these moments while you can, enjoy every ounce of your time feeding your babies.
“Create memories that will last a lifetime and help to normalise it. Seeing a mother in public breastfeeding or a photo of a breastfeeding mother shouldn’t be a ‘shock’, it shouldn’t be something that causes controversy, or attract negative comments, it should be normal.”
Yakaly has received harsh comments from strangers online due to her pictures, people have even called her a paedophile, but this hasn’t stopped her from sharing her posts to show it is a completely natural thing to do.
“I will continue to breastfeed my sons for as long as they need, I love them both with all my heart and I will keep doing what is best for them,” she said.
“I will keep sharing my photos and I am extremely thankful for all the support and love I receive. Breastfeeding was very difficult in the beginning; I had mastitis, all kinds of problems because I didn’t know what I was doing but it got better with time.
“Hans eats normally like any other four-year-old and he breastfeeds mostly for comfort, to feel safe. I breastfeed him once or twice a day now before taking him to school and at night before he goes to sleep.
“I don’t breastfeed my eldest in public anymore but if my youngest needs to eat, I feed him wherever we are.
“I never planned to breastfeed longer than one year and here I am almost five years in. I’m hoping to breastfeed my youngest for at least one year or two if possible.
“I’ve been called a paedophile for breastfeeding my son, I’ve also been told I do child porn photography because breastfeeding a child of my son’s age is ‘disgusting’ and ‘disturbing’.
“Most people are nice; some others find it uncomfortable and there’s always a few that say nasty things but luckily most people are nice to us and see breastfeeding as the natural thing it actually is.
“I find it more of a mental health benefit. He feels safe when he’s breastfeeding, it helps him calm down and sleep.
“I hope to normalise breastfeeding by sharing my posts. The more people see breasts as baby food and not something that’s used to sell a product, the more people will understand that breast is best and a breast’s main purpose is to feed babies.”