World Breastfeeding Month 2015 : #PBAP2015

First and foremost I need to start by saying that I do not believe there is a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ way to feed your baby.  There is only what works best for you and your baby.

For me personally, breastfeeding didn’t come easily to start with.  I am so incredibly grateful for the support I was given that allowed me, not only to reach my breastfeeding goals, but to exceed them.  It completely blows me away that my body produced everything that my boys needed at the time.  I really enjoyed the one on one time breastfeeding allowed me with each of them, and to this day it is still one of my favourite parts of becoming a mother.

This project is about not just about supporting breastfeeding women with their own personal choices but, also making those choices accepted in the wider community.  Feeding a baby is normal.  Feeding a baby when & where it needs to be fed is normal.  And if that ‘when and where’ happens to be at a coffee shop, a supermarket, the library, or some other public place – that’s normal.

Here are a few of my favourite images from this year’s sessions and the stories that go with them, I hope you enjoy them.

If you are struggling with breastfeeding please seek help.  A great place to start is the Australian Breastfeeding Association(ABA) website.  If you would like to speak to a trained volunteer counsellor, then call the ABA helpline 1800 686 268.    If you are local to the New England NSW area you can find the the local ABA support group here.   Alternatively, for down-to-earth, no-nonsense information on breastfeeding, co-sleeping/bedsharing, & attachment parenting, head to The Milk Meg (you can also find her on facebook)

Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project 2015, PBAP2015

“Throughout my pregnancy with April, I dreamed of breastfeeding. In fact, I romanticised the idea. It would be simple, natural, instinctive. That wasn’t the case. My nipples cracked and bled. Mastitis crippled me time and again. I cried night and day for the hours that she greedily attached herself to my body. It was a physical, psychological and emotional battle. And then it wasn’t. Then it was beautiful, effortless, creating such a unique bond with a little girl who thrived from the nourishing, vitamin rich liquid gold that my body produced at the perfect temperature and volume. Breastfeeding became all that I imagined and I took great pride in seeing her little body flourish, the accumulating delicious rolls and extra chins. It has been quite the journey. Sharing our breastfeeding story is so important – to inform, support and normalise something so organic and at the core of our human existence.” Elitia & April(6mths)

Armidale NSW, NERAM, Art Gallery, Art Museum, Breastfeeding in public

“We had to overcome a lot of obstacles…tongue tie, lip tie, gastro-oesophageal reflux and recurrent ear infections.  My son continued to persevere with feeding, so I did everything I could despite my own discomfort, to give him the health, wellbeing and nutritional benefits he needed.  After medication and surgical treatment we’re forever bonded by these struggles to achieve success on our breastfeeding journey.  Today we are both content to be able to enjoy our experience as easily as a stroll in the supermarket.” Angela & Jameson(26mths)

Armidale NSW, Woolys, Supermarket, Breastfeeding in public, extended breastfeeding

“I’m proud of what we’ve overcome to get where we are. The village we’ve found through breastfeeding using a supply line and donor milk has given us the most amazing support, and we’ll be forever grateful for the difference that’s made to our breastfeeding relationship.” Alex & Freddy(3.5mths)

Armidale NSW, Breastfeeding in public, supplemental nursing system, supply line, donor milk

“Breastfeeding has reminded me that, after a traumatic labour ending in an emergency c-section, my body *can* do what it needs to for my baby. I am so happy to be able to give her the best start possible.” Bree & Pippa(11.5mths) 

Armidale NSW, breastfeeding in public, ceasarean section, donor milk

“Hazel’s dad has type 1 diabetes and we were advised that breastfeeding was one way that we could reduce her chances of developing it. It was a lot of hard work at the beginning, but it was just too important not to persist.” Catherine & Hazel(14mths) 

Armidale NSW, breastfeeding in public, diabetes prevention

“I have breastfeed Savannah the longest out of my 3 children. She has FPIES(a severe food allergy) which meant that she was unable to tolerate anything other than breastmilk until she was well over 12mths old. She is now eating most foods but she still likes breastmilk best.” Samantha & Savannah(18mths)

Armidale NSW, breastfeeding in public, FPIES, food allergies, extended breastfeeding, breastfeeding to term

Please click HERE to continue in the ‘blog circle’ and see more beautiful breastfeeding images from Lacey Barratt Photography.

Armidale NSW, breastfeeding in public, public breastfeeding awareness project 2015

Chelsea & Matt | Armidale Maternity Photographer

So I met Chelsea and Matt a few years ago when they booked me for an extended family shoot.  At the time we joked that, if they ever needed a newborn photographer, they should give me a call.  Well… they gave me a call, and I couldn’t have been more excited for them!!!  I can’t wait to meet their little bundle, I have a feeling its gonna be one cute baby!

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Bree : Armidale Herbal Bath Photographer

Bree and I met online.  Ok, so I realise that sounds dodgy but, stay with me!  She applied to participate in my PBAP sessions and after chatting via email I asked whether she’d be interested in a Herbal Bath session.  You see, in our emails she told me all about her rough introduction to motherhood.

As sometimes happens, the birth of her daughter didn’t go according to plan, and Penelope was airlifted to the NICU at a hospital several hours away immediately after she was born.  It turned out that Penelope was a little fighter, and she was back in her mum & dads arms in no time at all.  To look at her today you’d never know what a dramatic entrance she had to this world!  Situations like that tend to stay with you for a long time and so that’s why I suggested a Herbal Bath to Bree.

First up we had a really nice chat all about Penelope’s birth, how Bree had coped, how her partner had coped and, most importantly, how gorgeous Penelope is!  Then we filled the bath with lovely warm water, added some lovely healing and calming herbs, scattered a few fresh flowers and Bree & Penelope hopped in and had a soak while I took some photos of the beautiful connection they have.

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Yan Yan Yan ( & Clarissa… )

I heard about this workshop thru some friends of friends of friends (in other words, it was mentioned in an online photography group I’m in).  The gorgeous Clarissa offered her beautiful studio for the Sydney workshop(& her gorgeous family as models).  Yan agreed to leave her babies at home and fly over to us from the U.S.   And so a group of us came from all over NSW(and even some from ACT and VIC) to spend the day together and learn from her.

My favourite part of the whole experience, was quite possibly the scariest part too.  Having my ‘portfolio’ reviewed by Yan.  It was amazing to have someone critique my work in such an honest but, kind way.  She really hit the nail on the head for me, and I’m already seeing the benefits from the changes I’ve made based on the advice she gave me.

I didn’t attend this workshop with the intention of ‘becoming’ Yan.  I mean, the whole point of the workshop was to ‘become yourself’ as far as your photography goes (besides, I’m not really sure anybody can ‘be’ Yan, except for Yan herself!).  But, you know the little voice in your head that says ‘I really like this…’ and the other voice that sneaks up and laughingly says ‘but, no-one else will!’.  Yeah?  Well, one of the main things I took home from the workshop was the confidence of knowing what I do like, and what I don’t like, as far as photography goes.  The confidence to tell that other voice to ‘get lost!’.  That, and the confidence to just be ‘me’. xoxo

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Rachael & Jeremy : Uralla Maternity Photographer

A few months ago Rachael contacted me about the possibility of doing a maternity session.  After a few emails back and forth we worked out a date when her hubby Jeremy would be home from work and we squeezed their session in just before their pre-natal class one Monday afternoon.  She suggested a beautiful location where they’d had their Wedding photos taken 12 months ago.

We both arrived early, eager to get started.  And as we wandered around following the light, we chit-chatted about this and that.  Then along came a guy on a quad bike who asked us what we were doing.  For those who know this area well, it will be pretty obvious where the photos were taken.  But apparently, according to ‘quad bike guy’, we were on private property and he asked us(nicely) to leave.

Well, that was kinda awkward.  But we all had a bit of a chuckle because we were already done and had some gorgeous photos to show for it!  =D

**For the record(& before anyone gets their knickers in a knot)** No we didn’t climb any fences, open any gates, or pass the ‘no trespassing’ sign.  We were just walking along the side of what we thought was a public road.

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Sammy : Armidale Maternity Photographer

I met up with Sammy late last year for a cuppa and to chat about booking a session.  It took us until now for our schedules to match up so we could get some photos before this little bubba arrives.  It was a cool and cloudy afternoon and we found a lovely green spot to meet. They told me that they weren’t very ‘posey’ people so we just chilled out and chatted and laughed and I think what we ended up with are some pretty lovely ‘forever photos’ for Sammy and Struddy  xoxo

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World Breastfeeding Week 2014 | Armidale Baby Photographer

There were teeny tiny little babies and boisterous toddlers.  There were ‘baby wearing’ mamas, and mamas who’d handmade beautiful blankets for their babies.  There were ‘first time’ mamas and ‘this is the last time’ mamas.  Mama’s who have found breastfeeding to be a breeze, and mama’s who’ve struggled every step of the way.

Thank you to each and every one of you who supported World Breastfeeding Week.  Whether you came along for a Breastfeeding Session, whether you ‘liked’ a photo on Facebook, or left an encouraging comment.  Thank you!  It has been an overwhelmingly positive experience and something I’d love to do again.

Your little ones are gorgeous and they’re lucky to have you as their mamas.  Happy World Breastfeeding Week! xoxo

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Hendrix {7days} | Armidale Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this session with you so much.  When Hendrix mum contacted me about Newborn photos we had a long chat about what she did want and what she didn’t want.  What we ended up with was a gorgeous sunny morning chilling out at home with Hendrix Great Grandma, Aunty, Cousin, big Sister, and Mum & Dad.

Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby Photographer Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby Photographer Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby Photographer Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby PhotographerWe took things slowly and moved around the house taking photos along the way. It was so nice to have several generations included in the photos, and it was made even more special by having mementos of family members who couldn’t be there included as well.Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby PhotographerArmidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby Photographer Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby Photographer Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby PhotographerAs we made plans, Lisa and I discussed the idea of incorporating a ‘Herbal bath’ into her session.  Herbal baths are an option I have been thinking of introducing for my Newborn Clients for some time now and Lisa agreed to give it a go.  Herbs & flowers are put into a lovely warm bath to give a peaceful, calming & bonding experience for both mum and baby.

Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby Photographer s well.  Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby Photographer Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby PhotographerAfter we had run the bath and added the herbs, Lisa and Hendrix hopped in.  Hendrix was so peaceful and content in the water.  We talked about Lisa’s birth experiences as she nursed Hendrix.  Towards then end of the bath, Hendrix big sister Ava hopped in too and she was so gentle with her little brother.

s well.  Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby Photographer s well.  Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby PhotographerIt was a beautiful experience and something I feel privileged to have been part of.  I hope I’m invited into many more homes like this one. s well.  Armidale Lifestyle Newborn Baby PhotographerI also wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to Gail, the most-awesome-est Independent Midwife, for recommending me to Lisa xoxo

World Breastfeeding Week | Armidale Breastfeeding Photographer

I’m so, so, SO excited to be offering FREE ‘Latch-on’ Breastfeeding Sessions!!  Yes, you heard that right – FREE!

Are you a breastfeeding mama?  Would love to have images to remember this special time with your little one forever?  Then you don’t want to miss this!

Armidale Breastfeeding Photographer, Armidale Childrens Photographer, Armidale Baby PhotographerTo celebrate World Breastfeeding Week(1-7 August), Studio 22 Photography will be holding FREE ‘Latch-on’ Breastfeeding Sessions on Saturday 02 August at 4pm.

After registering all you need to do is turn up with your baby & feed him/her! Too easy!!

You will receive 1-2 digital files.  All participants also must sign a model release to allow these images to be used online by Studio 22 Photography.

Armidale Breastfeeding Photographer, Armidale Childrens Photographer, Armidale Baby Photographer Registration opens, by email, 7am Wednesday 16 July(no earlybirds, sorry). To book, email me with the subject line: BREASTFEEDING SESSIONS.

I will return e-mails in the order I receive them.  If you do not hear back from me, it means all sessions have been filled.  Location details will be emailed to successful applicants.

Armidale Breastfeeding Photographer, Armidale Baby PhotographerYou are welcome to bring your baby’s older siblings along if you wish.  To keep it fair, I am only accepting Mama’s who haven’t had breastfeeding images taken before.  Bottle feeding mama’s are more than welcome to apply.

Mummy & Me | Armidale Baby Photographer

We met in the shade of the willow tree’s and hugged ‘hello’.  It had been a scorching day and little Hayden was thirsty.  I hadn’t seen Courtney since before Hayden was born and, as we chatted, she told me some of the ups and down she’d had during the weeks since her little boy was born.  Courtney is such a beautiful, caring mum and I was so happy to be able to photograph the special connection she has with Hayden. xoxo

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