You Do You: How a Milk Bath Session Affirmed the Importance of Unapologetically Parenting My Own Way
The moment I saw these photos, I burst into tears. It was such a visceral reaction of emotion, belonging and empowerment that I couldn't control.
That is not me or my children in the photos.
No, instead, witnessing another woman embrace her choices, her children and do something for herself that may not be completely embraced by others, made me feel empowered and, for lack of better words, all the feels.
It's hard being a woman and a mother in today's society. With a wealth of information and picture-perfect posts on social media, it's easy for people to develop strong opinions on parenting and what role you should inhabit as a mother. This can be such a toxic environment that limits our ability to really come into our own as parents and as grown women.
What I've strived to do for myself, my daughter and other women stepping into parenthood, is lay out a mantra: listen to your gut, do what you need to do and be who you need to be. When you're following your own north star, you're bound to be a better parent and a happier and more confident person.
It's not easy. We're naturally inclined to feel self-doubt. But there is a freedom that comes with making your own life choices and diving in completely. As a parent, you do this regularly.
What made me feel so hopeful and happy about this beautiful milk bath session, is how I am able to see myself in the images, even though very little about us is the same. I have one child, not two. My daughter weaned herself at two and half. I didn't have the pleasure of having our nursing relationship captured. But I did see someone who is embracing who they are, passing this to their children and giving shrug shoulders to people who may not like the way she parents. I saw a lot of love, both for her babies and for herself.
Could I be getting everything wrong? Absolutely! I can't begin to know a stranger's story. But the more we see beautiful, real and raw images of parenthood and womanhood, the more we feel comfortable sitting in our own realness.
I'm so grateful that people want to capture and share their real experiences of parenting and womanhood. It can be an eye-opening experience for many and a very validating experience for others.
I'm also so proud there are photographers like Meredith who strive to capture the glorious, beautiful messiness and imperfection of life. Photos like this help us realize it's okay to be confident in our choices and ourselves and come as we are.
See more from this amazing milk bath session and other real postpartum session at Meredith Westin Photography.
Interested in a team that will not only build your confidence for birth and parenting, but also capture it? Meredith and I partner together to offer birth support and photography for an exclusive deal. Find out more here.