About 17 years ago, my husband and I were at wedding when, in the middle of the dance floor, the bride realized her baby girl was hungry. Acting on instinct, she took her daughter, cradled her to her chest, and started breastfeeding—all without missing a step. It was a beautiful moment, and the crowd—a room full of family and friends—erupted in spontaneous applause.
This was way before a little thing called social media came along, however, so the heartwarming scene remained a private one. But even without photographic proof, I've never forgotten the feeling of love and support that surrounded my friend Meredith that day, and it was the first thing I thought about when I saw these stunning pictures of bride Christina Torino-Benton nursing her baby at her own wedding.
It was about midway through the ceremony when the bride heard her 9-month-old daughter Gemma start to cry. "It's happening," she told her husband-to-be. Then her mother handed her the baby, and she sat down on a church pew in her strapless gown and started to breastfeed.
According to The Huffington Post, no one in the church batted an eye as the proud mama breastfed her daughter. In fact, the priest simply carried on with the ceremony. "The people at my wedding were not surprised with me feeding Gemma mid-ceremony because I'm always feeding her at some point or another in front of them," Christina said. "I made it work... I had to!"
Gotta do what you gotta do, right?
"That moment when you're getting married and your baby gets hungry," she wrote in the caption. "Feeling SO proud of myself! Fighting that good fight!"
Fist pumps all around! Because let's face it—the sad fact is that public breastfeeding tends to spark controversy. It's one of those hot button topics that everyone seems to have an opinion about, whether they're a parent or not.
Which is why it's pretty amazing that the response to Christina's post has, for the most part, been extremely encouraging. In fact, it wasn't long before several other breastfeeding brides began showing the love by sharing pics of themselves nursing during their own nuptials in the Facebook post's comment section.
"I'm feeling nothing but positive vibes from the public," the beaming bride told Huffington Post.
Now Christina says it's her hope that the photo—which, by the way, she had no idea was being taken—will help normalize public breastfeeding and get women to feel more comfortable saying "I do" to nursing—even if it's at their own wedding.