A group of unapologetic Black Alabama moms are bringing awareness to the beauty of breastfeeding.
With the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reporting low breastfeeding rates among African-American moms, several of them joined together for a photo shoot about the common and natural practice. Nine moms, dressed as goddesses in Black gowns and adorned with gold accessories as well as crowns, posed topless while feeding their babies in the photos that have made a splash across social media recently.
“This photo was for awareness, for all the women who don’t have support in breastfeeding,” Rauslyn dams, 26, a first-time mom that participated in the shoot, told Yahoo Lifestyle. “This photo is also for women of color because breastfeeding is considered taboo in our community. To breastfeed, it takes strength, patience, and poise. We utilized the photo as a tool to bring awareness that it’s OK to feed your baby the natural way.”
Another mom, Charity Moore, also 26, spoke up about the mothers’ motivation in sending their message.
“…We have to erase the stigma amongst the black community as it relates to breastfeeding,” Moore said.
A Facebook open call posted by one mom, Angel Warren, helped unite the ladies for their common cause. Their inaugural photo shoot was deemed as a public service announcement organized during Black Breastfeeding Week in August. Now, their second shoot has gone viral.
The shoots held a special meaning for the moms, who became friends and started a support group dubbed the Chocolate Milk Mommies of Birmingham.
“We wanted to do something to capture the essence of how natural breastfeeding is,” Moore said. “We used to remind each other that we are queens and to keep one another lifted. We chose to come together to normalize breastfeeding.”
The photos are tools to promote positively around breastfeeding. Photographer Lakisha Cohill was taken aback by all the praise.
“I had no idea it would go viral, I just wanted to spread a beautiful, positive message through art, because these images are so powerful, and tell so many beautiful stories,” Cohill said.
Moore wants women, whether they see the photos or not, to exercise their legal right to breastfeed in any manner: covered, uncovered, in private or public.
“Stop treating breastfeeding like it’s some dirty shameful act that people should keep hidden and stop doing as soon as possible,” Moore stated. “Breastfeeding is an amazing part of life and should be celebrated, not treated like some dirty little secret.”