United We Feed: 11 Images That Go Beyond the Breast or Bottle Debate

caitlin domanico

It's a fact: Babies need to eat. But how moms feed their kids -- by breast, bottle, or otherwise -- is a question often fraught with struggles, stress, and guilt. That's why photographer and mom of two Caitlin Domanico (pictured above) decided to do something about it with a photo project called United We Feed.

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"This series was the result of watching friend after friend struggle with their feelings regarding their method of feeding," she says. "When you have a new baby in your arms, feeding them in everything. It consumes your days and nights -- making sure they are getting enough, checking to see if they have burped, you are recording ounces or times of feedings, and what side you nursed with, as well as washing and sanitizing bottles, pump shields, and tubes. If you are tube feeding, you are attending classes at the hospital. It can all be very overwhelming." 

In addition to this stress, many moms also struggle with guilt. "Maybe they felt guilty because they didn't want to or couldn't breastfeed," Caitlin continues. "Maybe a friend or in-law made a degrading comment about her choice to breastfeed, or maybe, due to various medical reasons, tube feeding was their option to help their child thrive and grow."

Caitlin's goal was to show the beauty of every way a mom feeds her child. "My mantra has always been the same, you do what is best for you and your child.  I support you, and you are incredibly nurturing, no matter how the milk is being delivered." 

And the response -- from the moms she's photographed as well as women who've seen these photos -- has helped break down barriers between moms and prove how we all want to nurture our kids.

"Bottle-feeding and nursing moms alike have told me the series has been a source of healing for them," says Caitlin. "I have spoken with women who tube feed their babies due to medical reasons, and they have thanked me for including them, too. I think these photos are powerful because they remind all of us that women are not the enemy. Life is so lovely when we can all feel secure in our decisions and respect one another."

Doesn't #5 capture how so many moms feel?

 

Image via Caitlin Domanico Photography

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