This is Ahisha
Dutch, age 28
Location In a boutique in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Feeding her four-month-old child
Photographed August 2018
I don’t believe in giving children – or people – milk from cows, or any other animals for that matter. It’s just not the way it is supposed to be. In my opinion we should drink our own milk, it is made for our babies. Some people are becoming aware of what to give babies. I haven’t had any animal’s milk for four years and I won’t give any to her when she’s older either. I’ll try to give her my milk for as long as I can. I was brought up to believe that [cow’s] milk is so healthy, good for your bones and blah blah. It’s just been marketed that way – people are starting to become aware of that. You wouldn’t see a calf drinking human milk right [laughs]? It is so strange that we drink cow’s milk. It’s about our health, it’s about animal cruelty and choosing what you support. Dairy products or animal products are dead matter. You feel good when you’re eating things like fruit and vegetables because they are alive.
Formula is predominantly produced using cow’s milk. There are a few which are vegan though [such as corn and rice-protein based formulas], but they are very expensive. I did some research to see if I could find a back-up, just in case.
In 2019 I published my first book, Breastfeeding 101, which features candid portraits of 101 breastfeeding women as well their honest stories. In this blog post you see one of the mothers represented with her blurb from the book.
The idea for this book was unexpectedly sparked three years ago when I started seeing a lot of controversial social media content about breasts, nipples and breastfeeding.
Looking forward I hope my book can help normalise what is already a women’s most natural act. I would love to see the breastfeeding percentage rate in South Africa double. It came as a surprise to learn that, according to the 2018 statistics of the World Health Organisation (WHO), our country has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world.
Breastfeeding 101 features mothers from South Africa as well as around the globe and serves as a first-hand body of information – an unintentional handbook – directly from the women it captures.
Breastfeeding 101 is a book that wasn’t intended as a manual but may serve as one.
Basic info about the book:
Title: Breastfeeding 101
Publisher: Self-published via Staging Post
Format: Hardcover, 22 x 27cm, 224 pages
Available for purchase via Exclusive Books, The Book Lounge and directly from the author.