Everywhere you turn, be it on the internet or in real life, somebody is snapping a selfie. In the gym, at concerts, at the coffee shop. There are even countless selfie-related products for sale (we’re looking at you, selfie stick!). Whether it be to make a statement or just for fun, you can’t escape the selfie.
Mothers all around the world are taking to an app called PicsArt to turn their beautiful breastfeeding selfies (also known as brelfies) into meaningful works of art. The images are almost ethereal, colorfully depicting the nurturing and grounding bond of mother and baby as they connect in a beautiful, nourishing embrace.
Cassandra E. is one of the moms who sparked the movement. She told Babble that she made the piece of art to commemorate the milestone of nursing her daughter for an entire year– something worthy of celebration!
“I had just learned about how our milk is considered a living organism. Being a professional photographer, I thought, ‘That’s it! I will edit a photo of my daughter nursing that I can get made into a canvas for our home.’”
When Cassandra shared the photo with some of her online breastfeeding groups, the idea caught like wildfire. Now, the shares are in the tens of thousands, with women joining the movement every day. There are even multiple women on threads relating to #TreeOfLife who will volunteer to create a customized brelfie for you, if you’d like.
The cool thing about #TreeOfLife, Cassandra says, is that it has not been limited to exclusively breastfeeding photos. There are edited photos of women pumping and bottle-feeding, too, which proves that #fedisbest, period. It’s a place to encourage moms everywhere for nourishing their babies, and a way to encourage the strong mother-child bond.
Not only does the #TreeOfLife movement continue to normalize breastfeeding, it helps moms everywhere to celebrate the beautiful, life-giving power that their bodies are responsible for when they feed their babies. And, interestingly enough, the pictures actually closely mimic the physiology of a mother’s breast, milk ducts and all, as she nurses.
Want to see thousands of examples of Tree of Life brelfies? Head on over to Instagram using the hashtag #TreeOfLife now!
Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.