The Parlour


The Parlour website has now gone live, with it's first podcast on the subject of the magic of motherhood by Reena Bondada. This short interview looks at the wider benefits of breastfeeding: not only for nutritional, but also emotional and mental well being for a child. Reena elected not to be photographed in the act of breastfeeding. Her insight and passion is difficult to resist.


Podcasts will regularly appear on the Parlour site, along with portraits of breastfeeding mothers, written interviews and a blog. Podcasts are more commonly shared online than papers as they can be easily consumed on smartphones.  Starting with social media, we can penetrate many of the forums used by mothers who may otherwise be immune to traditional Health based media formats such as leaflets, etc. Bypassing the traditional routes and reaching women where they are congregating online we can have more success in overturning women’s unconscious preconceptions about breastfeeding.

The Parlour is an experimental collaboration designed to permanently break the cultural stigma surrounding breastfeeding. Growing out of ideas formed in the inception of my photography project,  Holding Time, it is an organisation set up to create a space for women to comfortably discuss breastfeeding. By combining a broad program of documentation and discussion through web streamed talks, social media and a body of shared images it is a political intervention, both real and virtual.


Bethania and Luna, 2016

Working together with Sociologist, Lucila Newell I hope The Parlour will open up debate around breastfeeding from the rather polarised discussions around nutrition and public displays of breastfeeding into the deeper ideas of motherhood and time, breastfeeding as a social practice, motherhood as conscious activism. Ultimately our aim is to produce a large body of observation, photography, video discussion and conversation online. This is a short-term project designed to experiment and study outcomes for a long-term solution. 

There are approximately sixty newborn babies born at Sussex County hospital each week. Of these, a high proportion will be new mothers with no experience or understanding of breastfeeding. Much funding for Health Visitor run baby groups and drop ins throughout the city has been cut in the past two years due to budget constraints. This has lead to increasing social isolation of new mothers. There is a wide disparity between the emphasis on breastfeeding in culture and the support for mothers attempting to breastfeed for the first time. Young mothers in particular may not have ever encountered another breastfeeding mother, given that the last generation was largely encouraged to bottle-feed.



You can visit The Parlour at www.the-parlour.org

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© Lisa Creagh 2017