Nursing is Normal, 2011-2012
Zachary Stephens and Elle Stephens
Nursing Is Normal is a photographic project consisting of portraits of mothers breastfeeding their children. The premise for this project is that the more something is seen, the more normal it becomes. In the last century, breastfeeding has fallen out of practice. The advances of science pertaining to infant nutrition led to the fall of breastfeeding. Eventually, it became something that some people never saw. Slowly the breastfeeding rates are rising as we learn more about nutrition and health. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a lengthy statement on breastfeeding in 2012 and it begins with, “Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition.” Mothers are recommended to breastfeed their babies for a least a year, if not longer. Zach and Elle are working to help make breastfeeding become normal once again. New mothers need to see experienced mothers nursing their children so they can learn and be successful with their own babies. Breastfeeding should not be something that is hidden or taboo. It should be viewed as the simple act of feeding a baby. What Zach and Elle created was two years' worth of photographs that not only celebrate breastfeeding but also celebrate mothers and the incredible gift they are giving to their children.
*This project was supported by a grant from the Vermont Department of Health