Sunday, February 22, 2009

LIFE Photo archive

Did you know that Google is hosting a photo archive from LIFE magazine? The archive contains millions of photographs, stretching from the 1750s to the present day. If you haven't seen it, please go take a look.

This afternoon I did a search for some historical breastfeeding pictures and look at what I found.

1937, Moms breastfeeding their children at a rural hospital, Greenville, MS

1937, Mom breastfeeding her baby as she waits to see a doctor at a rural hospital, Greenville, MS.

1956, Mother feeding her baby, Myanmar

1960, Kurdi mother nursing, Israel

1968, Fruit vendor nursing baby, Mexico

These photos are amazing in their ordinariness. Breastfeeding was just a part of life in the past, and no cause for anyone to bat an eyelash, even if a man is photographing you for a magazine as you nurse your baby. Amazingly, Time magazine chose this photo for its April 12, 1999 cover to illustrate the crisis facing ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia..

1999, Mother nursing while fleeing Albania with other refugees

Yet seven years later, this cover of baby talk magazine caused an uproar

What are we doing wrong? Why do we seem to be moving backwards?

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