A group of mothers participated in a glamorous breastfeeding photo shoot as the UK reports some of the lowest rates in the world.
Originally from Wales, Kim Howells is participating in a campaign for the 10th anniversary issue of Hunger magazine and aims to change the global discussion about breastfeeding.
The shoot is linked to the charity The Human Milk Foundation, which provides breast milk through donors to sick babies or to mothers who, for whatever reason, are unable to breastfeed.
Kim, a stylist and former fashion director, experienced the loss of her own breast milk when her son Indigo, now one, was admitted to intensive care for three weeks during the Covid lockdown.
Kim Howells, originally from Wales (pictured), wanted to change the conversation about breastfeeding worldwide as she took part in a glamorous photo shoot to celebrate
She had to replenish her milk supply for her son and eventually found help from Hearts Milk Bank.
Kim commissioned this 10-page shoot of actual breastfeeding moms to raise awareness of the issue and help other moms learn about the service.
She explained: “I was rushed to the hospital and my infant son, Indigo, was seriously ill with meconium aspiration syndrome. [trouble breathing]. It was heartbreaking to watch him fight for his life.
‘I was only able to hold him once during this entire time and I was unable to breastfeed him at all while he was in intensive care.
The group of mothers took part in the campaign for Hunger’s 10th anniversary community issue
My midwife mentioned donor milk and then we found The Hearts Milk Bank. We received our first delivery of donor milk a few days later and it was a game changer.
“It gave me time to build up my milk supply and it gave Indigo the strength he needed to get through those tough first weeks.”
The UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world – a statistic that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, leaving new parents isolated and unable to access support services.
Kim added, “Many mothers have not left their homes or seen another mother or baby since giving birth, so it’s more important than ever to talk and come together as a community to support each other.”
The 10-page photo shoot of real breastfeeding moms to raise awareness of the problem and help other moms learn about The Human Milk Foundation’s service
Kim is passionate about her goal of creating a platform where all aspects of breastfeeding can be openly discussed – stimulating conversations about both positive and challenging experiences, and helping parents find expert advice and support.
The shoot pays tribute to working moms who juggle the demands of their careers as they continue to breastfeed.
Kim said, “I want to celebrate how superhuman we mothers are, by balancing work, life and our new little ones while breastfeeding along the way!
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy and this shoot was a great opportunity to have fun and get together. I wanted mothers to meet mothers and babies to see other babies, start conversations, and build community. ‘
Kim is not alone in her initial challenges with breastfeeding and wants to help other parents get the support she found so crucial.
Leanne Elliott Young (pictured) said she was ‘proud’ to be part of the campaign, adding that normalizing breastfeeding was ’empowering’
In a study conducted by Dr. Natalie Shenker and Professor Amy Brown, 1,200 mothers with babies were interviewed about their experiences during lockdown.
One-third of mothers felt isolated, abandoned, or overwhelmed by the intensity of being alone with their baby, and 82 percent of those who had negative experiences stopped breastfeeding before they were ready, with a lack of personal support as a direct cause.
Dr. Shenker, co-founder of The Human Milk Foundation said, “It’s great to see such a wonderful, diverse group of mothers celebrating their breastfeeding journeys.
By starting a different kind of conversation about breastfeeding and creating a forum for mothers to talk about their experiences and challenges, is forming a movement that brings together voices from every culture, community and class in the UK to campaign for better support for women. who want to breastfeed their babies. ‘
The shoot pays tribute to working moms who juggle the demands of their careers as they continue to breastfeed
The shoot kicks off Kim’s new podcast series T ** S UP, where she will tackle the broader conversation about breastfeeding support.
Leanne Elliott Young, one of the mothers who took part in the campaign, gave birth to her baby Ernest-Whylder on February 3, 2021.
She said: ‘For me, empowering, sharing my moments and normalizing breastfeeding and motherhood is a story that still requires a lot of work.
It’s still very binary and still viewed through just one lens. I am so proud to be a part of this campaign and really appreciate the work Kim is doing. ‘