Bridesmaid Pumping Breast Milk In Her Friend's Wedding Photos Is Normalizing Breastfeeding

The photo recently went viral—and with good reason.

For many new moms, breast pumping or feeding can happen anywhere, anytime—even during a bridal photo shoot. And that's exactly what's on display in a now-viral post currently circulating Facebook.

The photo, shared by wedding photographer Amber Fletcher, shows recent bride Rachel Downs surrounded by her bridesmaids—one of which, Alison Hepler, is using a breast pump during the shot. While other bridesmaids posed with bouquets, Hepler, Downs's matron-of-honor, posed with her motorized breast pump with the top of her dress rolled down, holding her pump's white motor.

Downs recalled what led to the photo, which took place in October 2019, in an interview with TODAY. "The groomsmen finished their pictures early so I went to get Allison and she was like, 'I just need to finish pumping,'" Downs said.

That interaction sparked the idea in Downs and Fletcher to ask Helper if she wanted to pose with her breast pump—and of course, she thought it was a great idea. With more than 2,000 comments and over 5,500 Facebook reactions, clearly, the rest of the internet thinks so too. "I love this. Support for the bride by being present and support for the bridesmaid by not making a fuss over her having to pump" wrote one commenter. Another added: "This is motherhood, friendship and girl gang at its best!" One person even proclaimed it the "Best. Damn. Thing. On. The Internet."

Downs, who told TODAY that she actually pumped at Helper's wedding previously, said she's happy that the photo generated so much attention, and that she could help send a positive message about motherhood and breastfeeding in public. "There's still a big stigma around it, especially in the South," Downs told Insider. "But you can't help where you happen to be when your baby's hungry or when you need to pump."

"You shouldn't feel like you have to go hide in a corner to feed your baby," Downs said—only bringing home the point that, once again, breast feeding (and pumping) is just a part of life. "So you gotta take it as it comes."

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