With the way breastfeeding mothers are often treated in public, one would think that nursing a baby is some sort of taboo, new age practice. But as this empowering Instagram account shows, that couldn't be further from the truth.
The images posted on Breastfeeding Art serve as an important reminder that nursing is a totally normal phenomenon that has been part of motherhood throughout history. From centuries-old paintings, sculptures and tapestries to contemporary photos and even edible art, each image is meant to provide "inspiration and cultural and historical context for breastfeeding moms," the account description states.
Artist and mom of three Leigh Pennebaker launched Breastfeeding Art in February and in its 3+ months in the social media sphere, the account has gained over 7,500 Instagram followers.
"Collecting artistic representations of breastfeeding has long encouraged and inspired me personally as a breastfeeding mom, and sharing these images with the world is my way of standing up for mothers and babies and saying, 'look, we will not be marginalized in 2015!'" Pennebaker told The Huffington Post. "Women, and lactating women in particular, have been celebrated, honored, and deified in art throughout human history," she added, noting the abundance of Nursing Madonna iconography and earlier depictions of lactating goddesses like Isis and Hathor.
"I wanted to create a space online that would highlight the historical/cultural context of breastfeeding and convey the extent to which modern-day mothers fit into a long, powerful lineage."
Ultimately, Pennebaker hopes Breastfeeding Art will help moms feel "powerful, beautiful and supported" she said, adding, "I hope people who see it who don't breastfeed will absorb some of the scope of the work and have a greater understanding of the normalcy of breastfeeding."