Monday, September 6, 2010

Breastfeeding and Motherhood Tattoos

For those among us who celebrate our lives with tattoos (or simply enjoy body art on others), feast your eyes on some of the breastfeeding/motherhood artwork sent in by our readers!

Arkay celebrated breastfeeding her three daughters with this rendering of Picasso's  "Maternity, 1905." Arkay breastfed Maura for 4.5 years, Miette for 2 years, and Freya is still nursing strong at 3 years old.

Janet got this pin-up model breastfeeding by tattoo artist Tamara VanMeter of Wascally Wabbit Tattoos.

JoEllen commemorated Mother's Day 2009 with this Lotus Birth tattoo. Although not originally meant to represent her son, it now does. JoEllen plans to honor her four lost babies with four flowers placed beneath the lotus.

One mother celebrated her children with a Celtic Knot. A Celtic Knot is a heart within a heart, which represents a mother's love encircling her child, giving it guidance, protection, and encourage.  This design reminds one of the ancient fertility symbols carved by prehistoric people - usually a symbol with large breast and a swollen belly. This was considered a sign that the family or clan had been blessed by the gods and if their women could bare children then their fields would produce bounty crops. Many designs found in the Book of Kells are enhanced with dot-work. This artistic device may have symbolized the monks and scribes moments of prayer. This mother added a red dot for her five-year-old (January/garnet). She will add a green dot for her baby (May/emerald).

Natalie has a nursing "succubine" on her inner arm. The succubine has devil horns,
tail, and halo. The tattoo represents the many facets of a mother: nurturing and care for her nursling, while also sultry and seductive for her partner (her "devilish" side).

Kim has a beautiful picture of a breastfeeding mother.

Mama Tattoo
Natalie has her three children's names on her outer arm, along with three song birds from the Bob Marley song "Three Little Birds." In the song the three little birds sing sweet songs and give the message that everything is gonna be ok. No matter what is going on in her life, she sees her children and knows that everything is going to be ok. They are her three little birds.

This isn't a tattoo, but a rendering of a breastfeeding tattoo on a t-shirt. What a fun way to portray breastfeeding! Thanks to for this women's shirt.

Lisa got her two tattoos (this and the one below) to celebrate six continuous years of breastfeeding. She is currently nursing her youngest  (almost three years old), she's tandem nursed twice, and she even tandem nursed through three-quarters of a pregnancy. The letters represent her children's names.

Lisa's "wean me gently" tattoo is from the poem by Cathy Cardall below. Beautiful!

by Cathy Cardall

I know I look so big to you,

Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.

But no matter how big we get,

We still have needs that are important to us.

I know that our relationship is growing and changing,

But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,

Especially at the end of the day

When we snuggle up in bed.

Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.

I know you think I can be patient,

Or find something to take the place of a nursing;

A book, a glass of something,

But nothing can take your place when I need you.

Sometimes just cuddling with you,

Having you near me is enough.

I guess I am growing and becoming independent,

But please be there.

This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,

Please don't break it abruptly.

Wean me gently,

Because I am your mother,

And my heart is tender.

Do you have a breastfeeding or other tattoo that represents motherhood to you? We'd love to share it with our readers! Send us a picture and a brief description (let us know whether you want us to use your name or not): NursingFreedom (at) gmail (dot) com


Oooo! Gonna take a pic of mine today to put on my blog!

Just like we all have birthstones, we all have birth flowers. I have each of my 4 kids' birth flowers swirled around my left lower leg.

Didn't think of putting it up 'til now!

These mamas would love my photography - I"m based in Philadelphia.

@NavelgazingMidwife - we'd love to feature yours - we're going to do a second post because several mamas have sent photos in today. Email if you want yours included!
NursingFreedom (at) gmail (dot) com

I know what I want for a tattoo to commemorate my son's birth, I just haven't decided where to put it...

How gorgeous. I am fascinated by people's tattoos but have never been interested in one for myself. Until seeing these! What a great thing to commemorate that part of ones life. You've got me thinking now!

I love that poem! It expressed a lot of the feelings I had as my son got closer and closer to weaning. Even though I'd seen it coming at me from down the road for a long time, his weaning hit me like a semi.

I loved seeing the tattoos too!

I would love to send you a pict of my tatt!

I am a bf'ing mama of 11dc (no multiples AND yes, all mine) 10/11 were bf. I have been bf'ing nonstop since May 2002 and am currently tandem bf'ing my ds4 age:28mths and my dd7 age: 6mths. I have triandem bf twice in the past, with children of varying ages.

Mama Punkin

Hi! I would love to send you a photo of my tattoo. I have an armband which is made out of our two children's names. In the middle is the international breastfeeding logo. Mxoxo

Yep my stretch marks are what I call my "mummy tattoos", because they are so special, I could have only got them from having my beautiful children!!!

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