Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

When Johanna King, a Dublin-based photographer, set out to document breastfeeding moms, she came across a family with an extraordinary story.


In 2017, King photographed around ten breastfeeding moms and their families in their natural environments. Such a family was Cliona and Sue, a married lesbian couple that both breastfeed their toddler daughter and infant triplets ― a boy and two girls.


A breastfeeding mom herself, King came across Cliona and Sue’s heartwarming story through a parenting and breastfeeding support group called Cuidiu. When she suggested to photograph them in their house, they were delighted to participate.


As King told HuffPost, photographing the family was a relaxed experience. “I felt instantly welcome when Cliona opened the door, and I believe they felt at ease too.”


The photographer documented the family while Sue rotated their then-six-month-old triplets to nurse two simultaneously.


“Cliona and Sue’s session wasn’t really different from any of the other sessions apart from the fact that their family is quite extraordinary,” King remembered. “I don’t think you will come across many families of two mothers feeding simultaneously four children with four boobs!”


Sue was the mother of their triplets, and Cliona gave birth to their first daughter, Aoife. Both mothers struggled at the beginning of their breastfeeding journeys. When Aoife was born, Cliona turned to formula because of latch issues. Once they found out the baby had tongue tie, lactation consultants helped Cliona face the problem and re-lactate.


Their triplets were born two months earlier and spent approximately a month in the hospital. “Doctors and nurses wanted to establish a routine and know exactly how much the babies were getting,” Cliona said. “Sue expressed around the clock, despite the fact that she was exhausted, recovering from a C-section, suffering from serious nipple damage, and at one point got mastitis.”


All of the triplets also had the issue of tongue tie. However, eventually, Sue managed to nurse the three babies.


Having another breastfeeding mother in the family can be an asset for Sue, although she does almost all of the triplets’ feedings.


“It is great that I am able to help out now and again ― for example, if one of them has a hospital appointment, I can bring them in and know that I can breastfeed them if they get upset, and we don’t need to bother bringing a bottle of expressed milk with us,” Cliona said. “Sue has also fed the older child a few times, although she doesn’t show much interest as she says it is ‘too spicy!’”


On the day of the photoshoot, King spent two hours documenting the family. She told HuffPost that she was struck by Sue’s methodical approach of rotating between all three babies while she nursed them.


“It was quite amazing to see how much she cared that they all got enough, even if it meant no break for her. The babies were six months old and exclusively breastfed. I don’t think Sue got more than 30 minutes a day (and night) without a baby latched on.”


As a sleep-deprived mom herself, King felt for Sue but added that she was glad to see how much support Sue gets from Cliona and her own mom too.


The couple loved the finished pictures of their family. “I think they reflect what our house is like ― the madness and sheer chaos of it,” Cliona said. “Like I said to Johanna, it is easy to forget with all the stress and exhaustion that there are beautiful moments too. I am so happy that we will have these gorgeous photos to remind us what it was like when the gang was so young.”


Cliona hopes people who see their photographs learn that it is possible to breastfeed triplets, although it might take perseverance.


“There is no easy way to feed triplets ― when they were on bottles it was a nightmare doing all the cleaning and managing feeds ― but this is the best way for our family,” Cliona said.


“I also hope that people see the happiness in our family, even if the house is messy and our hair hasn’t been washed in days!” she continued.


The photographer reported that she felt delighted to cooperate with Cliona, Sue and their family. “I love taking breastfeeding photos because of what it means to the mothers,” she explained, adding that she hopes people feel the love in their home. And as with her other breastfeeding photo sessions, she wants to help other nursing moms feel empowered.


“I think every breastfeeding journey is different, and every mum faces different challenges,” Cliona told HuffPost “I don’t think either of us were prepared for how life-changing and empowering it would be to breastfeed our babies. Before we had children, we just viewed it as ‘food,’ but it is so much more than that.”


Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

Cliona and Sue both nurse their toddler daughter and infant triplets.


Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

“I felt instantly welcome when Cliona opened the door, and I believe they felt at ease too,” she the photographer.


Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

Both women struggled at the start of their breastfeeding journeys.


Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

The triplets were born two months early and spent about a month in the hospital.


Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

“It was quite amazing to see how much she cared that they all got enough, even if it meant no break for her," the photographer recalled.


Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

Sue and Cliona have supported each other through their breastfeeding challenges.


Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

"I am so happy that we will have these gorgeous photos to remind us what it was like when the gang was so young," Cliona told HuffPost.


Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children

“I don’t think either of us were prepared for how life-changing and empowering it would be to breastfeed our babies," said Cliona.


Reference: Huffingtonpost

Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children Heartwarming Photo Series Of Mothers Breastfeeding Their Four Children Reviewed by Katerina Pap on 3:23 PM Rating: 5

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