The Gift of Breastmilk- Feeding Baby Charlie


Portrait : Erica Livezey

I started documenting some portraits for World Breastfeeding Week 2020. I meet many new moms along with several who have had me attend their births over the last few years. Once I made my first post on Facebook of the sessions I received a message from a high school classmate of mine Erica Livezey who is in need of breastmilk donation and was hoping that through the moms I had been photographing that maybe she could find a donor.


Portrait : Erica Livezey

There was some specifics to the breastmilk , it had to be dairy free and it was preferable that it was also soy free. While finding someone that is vegan and has an oversupply of breastmilk would be very difficult, I was able to locate one right away as she was at my breastfeeding portrait session. How amazing is that! With only a little bit of coordination , 150 ozs of dairy / soy free breastmilk was on its way to Kentucky.


Portrait : Erica Livezey

Charlotte (Charlie) was born just a little over 3 months ago , she was born with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) and has been home but has required multiple admissions to the hospital . As a parent myself that has experienced a newborn spending a lot of time in a hospital I can relate to the stress that she was experienceing and time consumption that was related to the hospital trips. Charlie was also not able to breastfeed at birth due to vocal card issues and this in combination to the other time and emotional issues this caused her mom to stop making enough breastmilk.

While different feeding options are available they have been finding that she has a very sensitive stomach which has caused her to not take formula well at all, ending in vomiting and overall lack of nutrition. Due to the CHD , she is requiring diuretics , which  is causing her to experince negative shifts in her electrolytes which just further increases her need for breastmilk that she can tolerate.


Portrait : Erica Livezey

On my first night of breastfeeding portraits I met Tatiana for the first time. Beautiful portraits were made of her and her son. After the session and sending out messages to everyone who attended to see if anybody was diary/ soy free, Tatiana was a vegan and best yet she had an oversupply of breastmilk frozen as her son was starting to take much less breast milk, it was a perfect situation to be a donor.


Portrait: Timothy Clopp


I felt like me being a part of this circle to help a mother and baby in need was so special and it had an amazing impact on these breastfeeding sessions. While I am all about creating beautiful images that mothers, children, and families can enjoy for many years to come – having connections with families who have found other benefits from them as well is a perfect way to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2020.


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