Destigmatizing public breastfeeding. Educating Men. Empowering women.
Project: Breastfeeding began when one dad was not allowed to attend breastfeeding classes with his wife in preparation for the birth of their daughter. Hector, like all great dads, wanted to be involved in all aspects of his daughter’s life. He also wanted to be able to support, help and comfort his wife during her breastfeeding journey – and yet the information to do this wasn’t available to him. So he did what any determined person would do – he went online and he began reading and chatting to breastfeeding women and families.
In his own words -“I started to educate myself in every way I knew possible and really began to see the importance of breastfeeding. My wife’s breasts went from being a sexual object to something far more beautiful; her breasts became a natural extension of herself to give my daughter the life-sustaining nutrients that she needed. My eyes were opened and I saw breasts as what they really are, not the over-sexualized objects that we as a society have created.”
As a photographer, Hector turned his camera in to a voice for breastfeeding families. He captured breastfeeding mothers from all walks of life and captured stunning portrayals of normal, yet often criticized choices, such as extended nursing, tandem nursing and wet nursing.
P: BF gained momentum when a photo series of men holding their children in breastfeeding poses went viral. Husbands were standing along side Hector to support their wives and say “If I Could, I Would”. And the world stopped to look.
With a global audience, P: BF has three goals – all of them necessary and all of them achievable.
1. To destigmatize public breastfeeding. The law protects a child’s right to nurse. Unfortunately many women have experienced ignorance and insults from feeding their child in public. We want to change this. We need to change this.
2. To educate men. We want to provide literature and classes that include and acknowledge the important roles dads play in a successful breastfeeding relationship. Our online support group for Dad’s is a space where men can share their experiences and help other dads on the same journey.
3. To empower women. We want every woman who wants to breastfeed to be successful. We want to support women who are struggling to breastfeed by making them aware there are other ways for their child to receive the benefits of breast milk. Our online mother to mother support group is a safe space for mum’s to seek advice from other mothers and from our admin team, which includes Certified Lactation Educators and Counselors.
We want to bring P: BF to as many cities as we can, giving mothers, dads and families the opportunity to take part in a photoshoot. We want to empower women by snapping a beautiful reminder of their breastfeeding relationship. We want stimulate men to educate themselves on breastfeeding and to ask themselves – “if they could, would they?” And we want to destigmatize public breastfeeding through billboard campaigns in each city.