Interviews & Conversations Projects Women I've Shot

An Interview: Breastfeeding101 – A portrayal of the pleasures & pains of breastfeeding

This is Kristin

South African, age 27
Location- at the Christ Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town.
Feeding her 19-month-old child
Photographed October 2019

My son was born at 31 weeks at 1.1kg after I had severe preeclampsia. I really struggled to get him to latch, he was so little and sleepy. So, I started pumping full-time and bottle feeding, it was such a mission! I pumped at three-hour intervals throughout the night. I offered my breast to my child each day and eventually got to full-time  breastfeeding at 4,5 months.

It was such a lifesaver for our bonding, I finally felt like he was my son, it was so healing. Ive really struggled with my confidence, I feel like the culture around me is anti-breastfeeding. I really treasure my friends who are breastfeeding – we can share our journey together.

I know now that breastfeeding has been my greatest tool to comfort, put to sleep and nurture my son and I hope more mothers get to experience this special bond.

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 a short personal blurb about her breastfeeding journey.

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
Price: ZAR385
Available for purchase via Exclusive Books, The Book Lounge and directly from the author.

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