If you are already a member of the Mama Bean Facebook community, you'll know that every day, I share the breastfeeding photographs of real moms.
These are pictures of moms just like you and me, and each one tells a unique story.
Yesterday, I shared a picture that was sent to me by a mom named Marina, and it has captured the hearts of so many. Just take a look at the thread for yourself...
Mama Marina says:"We had photographs taken to celebrate making it to two years nursing twins. After struggling with...
This particular picture tells one mighty story. A story of struggle and triumph, a story of tandem nursing, a story of natural-term breastfeeding and, poignantly, a story of support.
Marina told me:
We had photographs taken to celebrate making it to two years nursing twins. After struggling with low supply, tongue ties and several nursing strikes, I would not have been able to make it that long without the amazingly loving support of my husband.
These words tell a simple truth -- that support is so important for any breastfeeding journey. Because breastfeeding can feel like the biggest mountain to climb, and a little kindness, encouragement and support can go a very long way.
Too often, I hear from moms who have been shamed for "still" nursing at two years, even though the World Health Organization recommends the continuation of breastfeeding for up to two years of age or beyond.
Too often, I hear from moms who are pregnant with twins and have already been warned against even attempting to breastfeed... Too many of us are taught to question our bodies -- can we ever be enough?
It is time that support -- unconditional support, no less -- becomes the norm. Because let's face it, breastfeeding is normal.
Marina, the mom in the picture, states: "Nursing my boys holds such a special place in my heart... [I'm] so glad I had a village of support to nurse my babes."
And where better for that invaluable village of support to begin, than at home? Because a partner's support really can make all the difference to any breastfeeding mother.
This image, captured by Melissa Anthony Photography, speaks volumes, and I would deem it essential viewing for the partners of all breastfeeding moms.
Because connection, unity and support can really never be underestimated.
Thank you to mama Marina for allowing me to feature her picture and story in this piece. For more photos in celebration of breastfeeding and motherhood, join the Mama Bean village on Facebook!
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This post originally appeared on Mama Bean Parenting.