Stop. Get out your phone RIGHT NOW. How many photos do you have of your kids on your camera roll? How many pictures do you have of your kids and your significant other? Now, how many do you have of yourself and your children that aren't Snapchat filtered selfies?
That's what I thought.
I was talking to a friend the other day, and he casually asked how my Mother's Day sessions were going. I confessed that I still have plenty of spots left. Why? Because men are typically the ones buying gifts for Mother's Day, and they don't usually consider purchasing portrait sessions. To most men, it isn't something they themselves would want, so it just doesn't cross their radar as a potential gift. You might understand what I'm talking about if you're a mother who wishes you had more pictures of yourself with your little ones. You probably have plenty of photos of your kids with everyone else in the family: grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins...but when you're always the one behind the camera, you tend to miss out on being part of the moments captured.
There's no end of potential portrait sessions you can schedule to ensure you have beautiful photos captured of you and your little one. However, my favorites are absolutely breastfeeding sessions.
Breastfeeding can be a tricky path for a new mama to navigate. It can be exhausting to feed or pump every couple hours, difficult to manage that schedule if you're back at work, or just plain stressful if you feel you and your baby aren't quite "getting it." In the United States, just over 80% of mothers start breastfeeding their babies from birth. But by the time they're six months old, just 51% of infants are still being breastfed.
No shame here; there are a lot of reasons why a mother might begin breastfeeding and not continue that journey. I'm fully team #fedisbest, however that is happening. But those statistics do tell us that many US mothers want to breastfeed their children, but for many, that time doesn't last long. The moment passes by in what seems like an instant. I remember waking up at night with painfully engorged breasts and thinking, "ugh, when is my body ever going to be my own again?" And now I miss those days of late night feedings so much. Just me and my daughter, in the dimly lit room, getting to know each other through the silence.
Breastfeeding sessions capture that special bond between mother and child, and give you a chance to view the task in another way. You've probably seen your baby gazing up at you adoringly at some point during their feeding, but have you ever seen the radiant glow in your own face as you smile back? It can be hard to feel good about yourself when you're leaking from places you don't normally leak, but breastfeeding portraits give you an opportunity to see just how lovely motherhood looks on you...whether you feel it yet or not.
The hard days might feel long, and some moments may seem like they'll never end...but they do. And far too fast. Don't postpone capturing them forever.