Sometimes you have to take care of business, even when you don't want to. No one knows this better than a breastfeeding mother.
When their babies are hungry, breastfeeding moms have been known to feed her chid in the middle of graduation ceremonies, while shopping for groceries, and in Brandi Hargette's case, as you're getting your makeup done before your wedding ceremony.
The 26-year-old recently married her husband, Chris Francis (27) in Maryland on Jan. 9. While she was getting dolled up for her special day, her one-year-old baby, Zora, got hungry, and of course Brandi had to take care of business. The result? An extremely beautiful moment between mother and child that was captured on camera.
Brandi told the Huffington Post that "breastfeeding her baby girl, Zora, while getting her makeup done on her wedding day encapsulated the perfect combination of self-care and motherhood." She feels that it was important that her daughter be part of their ceremony, whether she was breastfeeding, or even to just cry. She had this to say about the heartfelt photo,
"Zora’s a part of us... wasn't worried about her messing up the moment."
For many new mothers, breastfeeding during a special moment can feel confusing. Many people find pushback from others when they do something as natural as use their breasts for feeding their child. But not Brandi. Xonecole.com caught up with the loc'd beauty, and she told us that she's way more carefree about breastfeeding, and it's part of how she liberates herself was a woman.
"I'm not operating in fearlessness, I am intentional about being brave. I'd say that liberation is a daily practice. Not necessarily something I came to and then acted on."
Brandi is very brave, and loves to share her bravery on her social media accounts. She has words of vulnerability sprinkled across her Instagram photos as captions that highlight who she is–a mother that will breastfeed openly in Nike stores; a woman that brazenly discuss her body post-baby, and someone who isn't afraid to address the challenges of both woman-and motherhood.
This is probably why her wedding photo is being met with such warm reception. In the past, the young mother has shared photos of herself breastfeeding her child on Instagram with the hashtag #NormalizeBreastfeeding. Even though breastfeeding is natural, Brandi finds it interesting that people are taken aback by such a natural act. She tells xoNecole:
In all sincerity, the fact that questions like this still need to be answered is exactly why I chose to share it. It wasn't a matter of necessity as much as it was a matter of sharing an everyday experience. With all the foolishness that is consistently shared on social platforms without so much as the blink of an eye happening in response, my child eating should be no more eye raising or controversial.
On a more soapbox'y note, the way society sexualizes the female body in parts but refuses to praise it as a whole for what it is literally created to do is beyond me. My body is capable of not just creating life BUT sustaining it. Instead of being amazed by how miraculous that is, folks want to focus on a boob that's not being displayed for their perverted pleasures. I reject that entirely.
But just because Brandi is more carefree about breastfeeding doesn't mean that she hasn't felt the sting of stares from people who disapprove of her breastfeeding in public. Fortunately, her husband has supported her, and is a champion for breastfeeding, and he hopes that society will be more accepting of women who have to breastfeed in public. Via Huff Post:
"I guess because the way society has conditioned our minds -- the same applies to breastfeeding as it does with other things...I want people to be more open to the fact that this is natural."
Brandi advises breastfeeding mothers to talk honest and openly with their partners about breastfeeding, and to tell their partnesr how exactly they can help assist them with safely breastfeeding in public.
If you're in a relationship, I'd also say be really intentional about the conversations you all have to set the boundaries for your experience. Conversations with Chris made it clear that I needed his support but also his protection in a sense, should something go wrong. I have friends who have had hostile confrontations with people for nursing in public. We both know that I'm the more confrontational person between us two, but should someone confront me (which has thankfully, never occurred), it's important that I not be that "crazy mom" without having his backing. His presence and passion about my being able to nurse publicly needs to match my own.
In the meantime, Brandi reveals that her carefree attitude toward life is something she hopes will be a characteristic that her daughter adopts as she grows older. Huffington Post reported:
[Brandi] wants Zora to live and make decisions "consciously" throughout her life but to also enjoy being a "carefree black girl" -- despite living in a society where black lives are still marginalized.
"I feel carefreeness in itself is a revolution," Chantalle said.
As Zora grows into a big girl who is learning to potty train and wean, Brandi looks forward to the day Zora learns to soothe herself. But like any mom, she's going to miss the precious bonding time she had with Zora. Looking down into her eyes, she gets to see her beautiful daughter's smile as she's satisfied by the sweet nectar of her mother's milk. What mother wouldn't miss that?