Every day since 2010, I spend a couple of hours reading and responding to posts in a Facebook group of physician women who are breastfeeding/pumping/advocating called Dr. MILK (www.drmilk.org). And in the last 72 hours our group’s feed of 5200+ international physician mothers has exploded with dozens of deliciously gorgeous #brelfie pics of themselves nursing or pumping for their kids using the concept of the #treeOfLife breastfeeding selfie.
I completely derailed my entire Sunday evening of finishing newborn nursery charts and billing to create my own “Tree of Life” photo with dazzling filters, and I wanted to give credit to the person who came up with the idea. So I did some serious journalistic Googling and found Cassie @keeponboobin (Instagram, Twitter) and tagged her in a series of posts of my own kids from 2012. She wrote back in admiration of my edits (feigned blushing) and reposted my pics to her own account (as is customary in social media etiquette). I asked her to be interviewed for this blog to explain how this viral campaign came to be and how it has changed the landscape of women fearlessly posting bare-breasted nursing photos.
The following are excerpts from our dialogue of her inadvertent campaign to #naturalizeBreastfeeding and give women confidence to share with the world their pride in making milk for their children.
How did this Tree of Life concept unfold?
“After celebrating my 12 month anniversary of nursing my daughter, I wanted to commemorate with a nursing photo that I could hang on the wall. I had recently learned about how breast milk was considered a living organism and that having fascinated me, I chose to try and incorporate that into our photo. We had a rough beginning when we started nursing, so this was something that was truly special to me. I came up with the idea to use Photoshop and create a flower, with the vines going from my breast to her brain. A metaphor for her ‘blossoming’ into this beautiful child. While nursing her one day, I took a photo of her on my cell phone and decided to play around with it, kinda work out the idea I had come up. “
“I was able to add a flower to the photo but didn’t really like the way it looked. That is when I decided to try a tree instead. I gave it a kind of artsy look through the app’s many filters they offer and just fell in love with it. I had originally intended to take a professional photo with my camera and do this all on the computer but I really loved what I had created.” Read the rest of this entry »