To nurse is to hold closely and carefully, to harbor, to suckle, to nourish, to govern, to give special attention; if only we could learn to nurse each other maybe women would more eagerly nurse their children.
It's no secret that I'm a huge breastfeeding advocate. I tandem nursed twice and through two pregnancies and for 7 years straight, Oh my! I'm once again nursing my sweet Claire and am trying to cherish every moment. I do however, understand the up and downs of breastfeeding. I understand that some women can't nurse, don't get enough support from family and friends, and may not have access to a lactation consultant. I understand low and high milk supply, mastitis, and the feeling that your body is not your own. I understand not wanting to nurse all night and feeling dehydrated and unable to lose weight. I understand how women fire out against each other and forget that the nursing relationship is best when it is peaceful and nurturing and that being gentle with each other and our bodies and our babies is oh so important. That a class, or a friend, or a doula, can help you. And that even when you want to cry and give up, you will be oh so grateful for this bonding time with your baby.
But as I photograph women nursing their children. I'm reminded of those who themselves need nursing, need care, need to be held and protected and helped. I think about the directions God is leading me and I'm oh so grateful for his nourishing love.