Breastfeeding Our Toddlers: A Full Term Nursing Series
By Hannah Schenker
Loving our postpartum bodies isn’t something that comes easy to everyone. Such huge changes in our physicality as a result of growing and birthing a baby can be difficult to integrate, especially in a world designed to promote and celebrate the lithe, sexy, toned bodies of celebs and other famous people. Photographer Natalie McCain created The Honest Body Project specifically to help women learn to love their bodies and share their stories, and since then has created another project, this time celebrating the breastfeeding of our toddlers.
The Honest Body Project as a whole is about showing women how beautiful they are, exactly as they are. “As a family photographer, I was constantly being asked to Photoshop the women I photographed,” McCain says. “It always broke my heart. I saw their beauty as they were, yet women struggle to see it within themselves. I wanted to help women learn to have a healthy body image and self-love.”
Back in 2015, she had an idea and vision for The Honest Body Project, but needed a willing participant to kick things off. She asked a good friend to come over to her house, and let her photograph her in her underwear. Immediately, she knew there was a huge amount of power and beauty in the portraits.
“After I photographed her, I wept while going through her images,” she says. “I saw her beauty, strength and soul. I didn’t see any imperfections. I posted the images on social media and suddenly had hundreds of women wanting to take part. Every woman has a story to share and I am honored to share them.”
After she photographs the women, she has them write to her to tell her their stories.
“I ask them to speak from the heart, no limitations,” she says on her website. “The raw stories they provide are the backbone of this project. The portraits show their joy, their beauty, their imperfections, and their love for their children. Paired with their stories, it paints a beautiful, honest picture of motherhood.”
Since then, she has turned her lens toward breastfeeding, and more specifically – breastfeeding toddlers.
See next page for more amazing photos and stories…