There’s a new craze in town, the Tree of Life Brelfie, where mum’s are taking to the internet to post breastfeeding selfies in the hope to normalise breastfeeding, and what a fantastic thing it is. The people at PicsArt are helping mum’s to create the Tree of Life photo by uploading a photo of themselves breastfeeding, they then edit it with one of the stickers in the theme called “Tree of Life”. Next they put a “magic” theme over the photo, popular ones include “midnight”, “rainbow” and “flare”.
The photos created are truly beautiful, and above all else women coming together to support each other in breastfeeding is a wonderful thing. When I started breastfeeding Lily I didn’t know anyone else who at that point in time was breastfeeding too, I felt like the majority of people bottle fed, people at baby groups or friends of friends who had recently had babies all seemed to be bottle feeding. Through women sharing these “brelfies” they can feel supported and encouraged (something I don’t think happens enough with breastfeeding).
Not only are the photos stunning, and the community of mum’s coming together fantastic. The image of roots going from the mother’s breast to the baby to create a beautiful blossoming tree shows the mother giving the baby all that nutrients and magic mummy milk. I hope this doesn’t start causing a debate on bottle feeding/breastfeeding because it isn’t about that, it’s about celebrating breastfeeding for all its beauty. And lets face it, as well as beautiful it can also be blooming hard!
The thing that I think is also being challenged here is the taboo that comes with breastfeeding. That a photo of a breastfeeding mother can be seen as shocking. There are stories about of breastfeeding mothers having their photos banned from Facebook for indecent content. I think a lot of people if they are honest do feel uncomfortable around breastfeeding mothers in person too. As a society we really need to get over this, breasts are there to feed our babies, that is their purpose, yet some people are shocked at the sight of it? This is why the hashtag that is being shared with the photo: “normalise breastfeeding” is so great, and something I would love to try to help to do, let’s get boobs out there and get people used to it!
I never felt confident enough to post a brelfie prior to this campaign, I would breastfeed in private given the option or under a scarf or muslin and I did feel self-conscious. I consider myself to be a fairly confident person and yet I still felt nervous breastfeeding in public. I must say though I never had any negative comments about breastfeeding in public, as I write about in an earlier post: here I had a very positive public breastfeeding experience. However wouldn’t it be great if breastfeeding became so normal that to see a photo of a mother breastfeeding was not looked at as shocking to anyone, and if it was just as common to see someone breastfeeding a child as it is to see someone eating their lunch, as after all that is all the baby is doing!
I hope the campaign helps encourage and support breastfeeding mothers, and helps in some way to normalise breastfeeding… so I guess you might want to see what one of these looks like, well here is my Tree of Life Brelfie: