Category Archives: World Breastfeeding Week

[Photos] B&W Historic Photos of Public #Breastfeeding in the US #WBW2014

Long ago in Internet years (about seven years ago) I was a staunch breastfeeding advocate and researcher (still am!). Back then I wanted to get to the bottom of why nursing in public was such a big issue in the United States. So, I started digging in the photo archives of the Library of Congress for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours and discovered through black and white, historic photos that breastfeeding in public hasn’t always been a problem in the United States.

Last week I was reminded about all of my research when during the #EveryNewborn Twitter chat Kenyan Social Good Moms correspondent Maryanne Waweru Wanyama mentioned that Kenyans do not have a problem with public nursing. It’s true. The many, many times I have been to Africa I have never witnessed a problem with women breastfeeding in public; no disgusted glares or reprimands. And yet, here in the United States public breastfeeding always draws controversy.

For World Breastfeeding Week I wanted to revisit the historic photos I found years ago in the Library of Congress archives that show nursing in public hasn’t always been an issue like it is today.  When public perception about breastfeeding changed in the United States, I still don’t know. It’s definitely an issue worth pursuing.

a) Part of Social Hour audience at Shafter Camp (handwritten on reverse); b) Todd’s favorite picture of an “Okie Family” in Shafter F.S.A. Camp. Nursing babies was the usual thing at camp “Socials.” (typed and attached to reverse)
Part of Social Hour audience at Shafter Camp (handwritten on reverse) b) Todd’s favorite picture of an “Okie Family” in Shafter F.S.A. Camp. Nursing babies was the usual thing at camp “Socials.” (typed and attached to reverse)

 

Drought refugees from Oklahoma camping by the roadside. They hope to work in the cotton fields. There are seven in family. Blythe, California. LC-USF34- 009666-E
Drought refugees from Oklahoma camping by the roadside. They hope to work in the cotton fields. There are seven in family. Blythe, California. LC-USF34- 009666-E.  Lange, Dorothea, photographer
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Colored mother and child, Little Rock, Arkansas. Note: I am keeping captions as they appear in the Library of Congress archives. LC-USF3301-006023-M5; Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969, photographer
Colored sharecropper family living in Little Rock, Arkansas (same woman as above). Note: I am keeping captions as they appear in the Library of Congress archives. LC-USF33- 006023-M4; Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969, photographer
Colored sharecropper family living in Little Rock, Arkansas (same woman as above)
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This is a mother who is traveling from Louisville, Kentucky to Memphis, Tennessee on a Greyhound bus. Here, she is waiting in the Chattanooga bus terminal and breastfeeding in public in September 1943. Photographer: Esther Bubley, a pioneer in female photojournalism, who chronicled people’s daily lives for the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Collection (FSA-OWI).

 

Coal miner's wife and child. Pursglove, West Virginia. Wolcott, Marion Post, 1910-1990, photographer. LC-USF34- 050320-E
Coal miner’s wife and child. Pursglove, West Virginia. Wolcott, Marion Post, 1910-1990, photographer; LC-USF34- 050320-E

 

Scene in New Orleans, Louisiana; Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969, photographer; LC-USF33- 006099-M2
Scene in New Orleans, Louisiana; Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969,  LC-USF33- 006099-M2

 

Location:Greenville, MS, US Date taken:1937 Photographer:Alfred Eisenstaedt Time Life Magazine
Location: Greenville, MS, US
Date taken: 1937
Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt
Time Life Magazine

 

Migrant mother and child in tent home. Harlingen, Texas; Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, photographer; LC-USF34- 032200-D
Migrant mother and child in tent home. Harlingen, Texas; Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, photographer; LC-USF34- 032200-D

This post will be updated from time to time. There are more photos I have found from the archives and I will share them here. 

Also, see a recent post I wrote: [Photos in Black and White] Historical Look at Child and Newborn Health in the US.

 

Sharing Moms’ Stories for #WorldBreastfeeding Week: Jennifer #WBW2014

If there is one thing that is certain about breastfeeding it’s this: breastfeeding for every mother is different. Some mothers experience breastfeeding without any issues and others have difficulty getting their babies to properly latch or have problems producing enough milk at first. That’s why we believe it is important to share the stories of fellow breastfeeding mothers. At 1 AM in the morning when a mom is near tears because she feels alone, we hope this series of stories will provide some comfort for moms on their breastfeeding journey.

Jennifer, a mother from Nova Scotia, blogs about breastfeeding her baby, Victoria, who had a cleft lip and whether there was even the possibility of breastfeeding her.

I was determined to breastfeed Victoria if her cleft lip would allow it. Until she was born we were unsure of the severity. As it turned out she only had an incomplete cleft lip and a notch in her gum line, while her palate was completely intact. That being said it was still no easy feat trying to breastfeed her. Nova Scotia is very pushy (and not always in a helpful way) when it comes to breastfeeding, that is until your baby has a cleft anything…

Read Jennifer’s story at Battle for Breastfeeding – Part 1. The second part of Jennifer’s breastfeeding story will be published on August 6.

When in doubt take a deep breath, grab a (11)

Sharing Moms’ Stories for #WorldBreastfeeding Week: Bri #WBW2014

Even though some mothers want nothing more than to breastfeed their babies, sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise that make nursing difficult. In Bri’s breastfeeding story she discusses the issues she had when breastfeeding her first-born, Roree, and how breastfeeding eventually became easier and easier for her and her daughter.

From the time she was 3 months old, until now, (she is a couple of weeks away from her 2nd birthday) breastfeeding has been a breeze

Better than a breeze, it has been amazing.

I wouldn’t trade a THING, not even the sleepless nights and the epic nursing sessions, for the breastfeeding relationship I’ve had with her.

Read Bri’s story at My Breastfeeding Roller Coaster – The Best Ride of My Life.

Moms' Story

For World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 – 7) we will share moms’ breastfeeding stories from around the world. If you would also like to share your story, get in touch at info@mombloggersforsocialgood.com.

Sharing Moms’ Stories for World Breastfeeding Week: Lauren #WBW2014

Lauren, who writes at the Milky Way, shares a beautiful story about loving her son and nursing him to feel a closer mother and son bond. Lauren is open and completely honest about new motherhood. We love Lauren’s breastfeeding story for its raw emotion that many fellow mothers will connect with. Read Lauren’s story, Why I Chose to Breastfeed.

“I didn’t breastfeed to be better than anyone else or to be more natural. I breastfed because I NEEDED the skin-to-skin. I NEEDED to have a way to bond with my child, because I don’t think I would have been able to otherwise.”

When in doubt take a deep breath, grab a (9)

Sharing Moms’ Stories for World Breastfeeding Week: Alex #WBW2014

For World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 – 7) we will share moms’ breastfeeding stories from around the world. If you would also like to share your story, get in touch at info@mombloggersforsocialgood.com.

While there are many mothers who want to breastfeed and can think of no other way to feed their babies, sometimes there are unexpected breastfeeding challenges experienced by mom and baby.

Alex, one half of the UK mummy blog Lamb and Bear, wrote about the challenges she experienced with her baby and how midwives helped her overcome them. Read Alex’s story at Breastfeeding Challenges.

Alex's Stories