January 15, 2020

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t – why do we shame mums for feeding, either way, in Scotland?

Lynn Bartlett, 39

In Scotland, we have some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. As a mum who chose to breastfeed my children, I have often hid and always covered myself to feed my baby. I don’t think we should shame mums either way, whether they breastfeed or not, however, I have found many people have commented and judged me on how I have fed our babies. I feel our society’s values and expectations, often force mums and dads to give up on their natural instinct for their children. This issue is just the beginning of all the pressures and shaming that, as a society, we now put on parents in Scotland. Perhaps if we really supported and encouraged parents, we would solve many other issues in our society. This self portrait wistfully, and perhaps with rose tinted glasses, gives a nod to much older days when family was supported. This is captured with the use of a traditional baby shawl and old painting techniques. The composition and awkward hands are our, very British, stiffness to the relationship shown.

Uncovered, 2016Acrylic on canvas500x750mm