Photographer Fights to Prove 'Bottlefeeding Is Beautiful Too' (PHOTOS)

Judy Dutton | May 26, 2015 Baby

mom bottlefeeding

Plenty of pictures highlight the beauty of breastfeeding ... but bottle feeding? It's much photographed -- but rarely celebrated. Photographer and mom of three Nikke Whitman thinks it's time that changes -- which inspired her to begin a photo series called Bottle Feeding is Beautiful Too.

Let us be clear: She is not bashing moms who breastfeed, not by far. She just feels that bottlefeeding has been getting a bad rap and needs some positive PR.

"Both breastfeeding and bottlefeeding are incredibly beautiful, but I felt in photography the bottle side had not been portrayed that way," says Nikke, who lives in Graham, Washington. "I wanted to help change that, as well as educate people on why a mom would choose to bottlefeed."

By photographing gorgeous images of babies bottlefeeding, Nikke hopes to curb the disappointment moms may feel in a society where they constantly hear the message "breast is best."

More From The Stir: 15 Good Reasons for Formula Feeding Every Mom Can Agree On

"I don't want a mom to feel shame for nourishing her baby via bottle," Nikke says. "My hope is that as moms and a culture we would encourage one another in doing what is best for our babies. Whether bottle or breast, it comes down to doing what works for baby and mom."

And the heartfelt response she's gotten from these photos has made her efforts all worth it. "I have had such amazing positive feedback and it has blessed me tremendously," says Nikke. "Many moms have shown me their own beautiful pics of bottlefeeding their sweet babies. The stories are countless out there, and those stories matter. I see so many moms that bond with their babies in various ways."

Photo #4 reveals a surprising benefit of bottle feeding we'd never thought of before!

 

Image via Nikke Whitman Photography/Facebook

  • Amelia

    1

    This first photo is of Nikke's youngest, Amelia, "milk drunk" and passed out. "I breast and bottle fed all my kids," says Nikke. "My supply doesn't last long, but I have always tried to go as long as possible for the health benefit and the financial benefit. While I enjoyed breastfeeding, I will be honest: When it came time to switch to the bottle, it was great having my body back and I was happy to be able to share feeding duties more often with my husband and family."

  • Sarah & Louis

    2

    "Sarah is a mom of seven, five biological," says Nikke. "Her youngest, Louis, was breastfed exclusively and then Sarah began to have frequent bouts with painful clogged ducts. Raising six other kids and dealing with clogged ducts posed a difficult challenge. Ultimately, they decided that bottlefeeding was the wise decision to make. Their bond is evident in their photos."

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  • Brittnae & Mason

    3

    "Brittnae had her heart set on nursing before she ever knew she was pregnant," says Nikke. "After nursing Mason and realizing he was dropping weight rather than gaining, her doctor diagnosed her with IGT (Insufficient Glandular Tissue). Brittnae then began supplementing and found that donated milk was the way for them. Mason is successfully bottlefed on breast milk donated by other moms."

    More from The Stir: 'Fearless Formula Feeder' Wants Moms to Know It's Okay Not to Breastfeed

  • Rachel

    4

    "Sarah began breastfeeding Rachel and realized she was having a hard time with production, and also felt isolated," says Nikke. "She then began supplementing and realized she loved the team effort that her family put into bottle feeding, and eventually switched to bottlefeeding only. Her bond grew with Rachel as she felt more supported and no longer so alone."

  • Jill, Isaac & Ellie

    5

    "Jill has three children, and they are an adoptive family," says Nikke. "Isaac and Ellie are very close in age, so Jill wanted to breastfeed Isaac to give him that special time with her. But Jill suffered from clogged ducts that consistently made it very painful to nurse and more difficult to keep up with two babies. This is what brought Jill to the decision to have Isaac bottlefeed alongside Ellie. As you can see, it is a family experience."

    More from The Stir: Formula Feeding Saved Me as a Breastfeeding Mom

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