June 25, 2021

Neha Chopra creates visually arresting Breastfeeding photoseries

Meet Neha Chopra, a birth photographer in Mumbai, social media manager at a birthing content initiative, a filmmaker, mum and someone who is extremely passionate on the cause of breast feeding. Neha decided to use her skills to bring a series of breathtaking breastfeeding mums as a committed project this year.

Celebrating World Breast Feeding Week, Neha with her husband Deepak Verma,together from their venture ‘Out of Focus’- fb.com/oofpictures brought the series titled ‘Breastfeeding India Photo series’.They even won a contest at the Public Breast feeding Awareness Project.

We at Mums and Stories got the vibe that bringing out the mums’ natural and beautiful moments of breast feeding has been not only challenging but one of the creative ways of bringing awareness. We couldn’t wait further when we got to see the photographs and were eager to talk to this interesting mum.

So over a telecon, Neha shares with Mums and Stories,“ I am a birth photographer for a few years now and right from the time of the moments before delivery to the baby in the mom’s arms and beyond I capture the happiness, agony, challenges and I have witnessed the process of breast feeding to be so challenging for new mums.

I have breast fed my child until she was 4.5 years and that was full term. Luckily I had a very supportive husband, parents and I just couldn’t care for others. This was after a C –section done for me and my baby was fed formula milk at the hospital. Yet I would spend hours googling on what should be the right thing to do and the search engine more often than not gives contradicting opinions, so it was for me to decide, what’s best for my baby. I also happened to meet an amazing Lactation consultant in Mumbai and yes the decision to breast feed stuck on without any hindrance in my mind.”

(Neha Chopra the mum behind the project on Breast feeding series)

When asked on how did she handle on breastfeeding a baby who was soon growing up, Neha shares, “It hasn’t been easy- but every six months I would think, this isn’t the time to wean off. Breastfeeding has helped me nurture my relationship and build a bond with my child. Thankfully when they are a little grown up, it is easier to have them weaned too. “

Speaking on the visually arresting narrative that was shot in parks, autos, roads, cafes, among other spaces, Neha shares, “It was quite some time since we mums were speaking on this issue of breast feeding and many did give me the feedback that a strong visual narrative will help in spreading awareness. I really wanted to begin this last year itself but it didn’t fall in place. This year I was perhaps more determined to do it and actually had the support of so many mums. So we have seven mums whose photographs are highlighted and based on the warm reception we have got, we are seriously contemplating to make it a yearlong project. It was indeed about normalizing breast feeding and why not in public?

“ For the series, I had to give them the general concept, but I was very clear that it’s all about normalizing and we did let them wear what they were comfortable and the moment had to be captured in public. So we had to count on factors that would make the mums and kids comfortable.”

#BreastfeedingIndia Photoseries – a few pictures are shared here.


(Photograph by Out of Focus pictures).

(Featured mum-Khyati. As part of the series she shares, ” Breastfeeding is not easy, but it’s extremely important. For me it has been the hardest thing to do as a new mother.The biggest issue with breastfeeding in India is that people discourage you more than encouraging you to do it. It takes immense amount of fire in the mother to continue feeding.”

(Photograph by Out of Focus pictures)

( Featured mum – Deepa shares for the series, ” Somewhere along the lines of modernization and struggling with our own social and cultural hindrances, breastfeeding got surrounded by misinformation and moral policing. I don’t have to go out of the way to breastfeed in public to prove a point, but I have come to realize that just like Mumbai’s monsoons, a baby’s cry to be fed is unpredictable. Would you rather hide or let your baby cry?)

(Photograph by Out of Focus pictures)

(Featured mum- Lakshmi shares, ” I strongly believe that extended breastfeeding isn’t a crime. It is completely natural. Our culture is more tolerant about it, however with western influence, people have started to frown upon it.  Instead of labeling it as extended breastfeeding, the correct terminology for feeding your child beyond the first year is and should be full-term breastfeeding.)

(Photograph by Out of Focus pictures)

( Featured mum Nilima shares, ” I couldn’t breastfeed my first born because of lack of knowledge, doctors pushing me towards formula because of low milk supply and not having proper lactation consultation and guidance. On top of this, I was working, so formula feeding became my savior and an easy way for my family to manage and feed my baby. However, the second time around, I prepped myself with information, had support from fellow mommy friends and my baby latched on like a pro! I feel there is nothing like breastfeeding in public or in private – it is breastfeeding! I always dress and carry stuff that I may need to nurse on the go.)

(Photograph by Out of focus pictures)

(Featured mum Shubreet says, ” I have realized people pass judgments either way – feeding or not feeding, supplementing or not, too short a period or too long. Essentially that attitude towards breastfeeding is what needs to change.)


(Photograph by Out of focus pictures)

(Featured mum Vaishali shares for the series, ” The first time I faced flak for NIPing (Nursing in Public) was on my daughter’s first flight. The amount of glares, judgment and advice I got from random people before getting out would make someone think I had committed a felony! Breastfeeding has been about her nutrition and immunity primarily but it has also saved me. On extremely difficult days breastfeeding has helped me soothe her and thus retain my own sanity.)

(Photograph by https://www.instagram.com/oofpictures/)

(Featured mum Vaishnavi shares, ” We really need to work on dispelling myths around breastfeeding and help more and more mothers initiate and continue breastfeeding into toddlerhood).

We at Mums and Stories are happy to feature this interesting mum’s project that can surely many other mums in their breastfeeding phase. Remember breastfeeding is normal. Let’s talk and implement it for better health for our children.

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