All photos courtesy Jen Pan Photography
Singapore-based photographer Jen Pan is using a set of stunning photos to empower working moms who breastfeed.
The photos are part of a three-part series, “The Magical World of Breastfeeding,” and aim to take a stand for the “many nursing mothers [who] face issues at their workplace but fear backlash and being outcast,” she tells Cosmopolitan.
In the photos, Pan features “super mom” Audra in the bustling Central Business District of Singapore. On her website, Pan writes that Audra, who used to be a “key personnel in a U.S.-based company,” was a “competent woman at the peak of her career and also known as a workaholic to many.” A couple of years ago, she called it quits to concentrate on her children.
“Much as she misses the freedom and independence that she once possessed, she shared that it was truly worth it and fulfilling to be able to take care of her kids and be there for them,” Pan explains.
According to Cosmopolitan, Pan, a mom of two, was inspired to do the photo series after hearing horror stories from other breastfeeding moms about “pumping in toilets, hiding in storerooms, being threatened about wasting time on the job, and being told to stop pumping as its ‘distracting to others and should only be done before and after work.’"
“One mom was told to stop expressing milk in the office as it was affecting her work efficiency. She was put under probation for assessment of her performance bonus,” she writes. “Another mom did not have a place to pump at work and asked for permission to pump at her own cubicle discreetly. Instead of encouraging her, she was told to consider to stop expressing milk as it was distracting to other colleagues.”
Her advice for working moms?
“Do not be guilty or ashamed. You are in charge of your baby’s nutrient intake. No one has the right to tell you to stop your breastfeeding journey before you or baby are ready,” she says. “You are beautiful.”
We’ll toast to that!
Scroll through the gallery to see all the photos from the series, and check out Pan’s website for more.