More than 150 breastfeeding moms plan to meet in downtown Wichita on Friday to promote World Breastfeeding Week.
The free event will include a large group photo and individual photos of moms with their babies.
“It’s taking a stance on normalizing breastfeeding,” said Tiffany Schmidt, owner of T.Marie Photography, who specializes in maternity, birth and newborn photos.
“Breastfeeding is not glamorous. It’s hard work and it’s neat to have proof of your nursing journey. It’s a selfless act.”
With her first child, Schmidt wasn’t able to nurse successfully.
“I felt like a failure,” she said. But with her second child, she was able to.
A lot of postpartum mommies have hormones and feel alone.
Tiffany Schmidt, owner of T.Marie Photography
“A lot of postpartum mommies have hormones and feel alone. This is kind of a fun way to bring a bunch of women together.”
Breastfeeding has benefits for both moms and babies, according to the National Institutes for Health,
Some of those benefits include protection against common childhood illnesses, better nutrition and a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
This is the second year Schmidt has organized a group breastfeeding photo. In last year’s photo, more than 60 moms and their babies wore white and were drenched in sunlight in a south Wichita sunflower field.
But this year, Schmidt wants to do a more urban-style photo, so they’re gathering at 7 p.m. Friday near Union Station downtown, 801 E. Douglas.
So far on Facebook, more than 150 moms said they plan to attend, and another 220 said they’re interested in going.
Amanda Mogoi, a nurse who participated in the group photoshoot last year with her son, Conner, said no one in her family breastfed, so having a group of other moms to talk with was supportive, she said.
You might not agree with things that every single person does, but you just support them.
Amanda Mogoi, mother
“There’s people that are breastfeeding older kids, there’s people that have new babies, there’s people that are tandem breastfeeding where they have one that’s 3 years old and they have a new baby or twins. There’s all kinds of different experiences and people just get through it all,” Mogoi said.
“You might not agree with things that every single person does, but you just support them, and let them parent the way they want to parent. It’s important these days to let people have autonomous nature and do what they feel is right for their family. We have too much judging in today’s society.”
The photos will be emailed to participants and will be free. Schmidt said two other photographers will be helping with the portraits.
World Breastfeeding Week is an event by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, which advocates breastfeeding as a way to increase sustainability, and for supporting breastfeeding moms in the workplace, according to its website. World Breastfeeding Week has been held since 1992.
World Breastfeeding Week photoshoot
Who: Open to all breastfeeding moms and babies
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5
Where: Next to Union Station in downtown Wichita, 801 E. Douglas
What to wear: Ivory, navy, mustard, coral