Written by RAK staff member, Monique Seleen.
Alicia Samone, a Glendale-based photographer and mother of three, is hosting her sixth annual free “gASP I’m Breastfeeding” event for Arizona moms at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8. It’s an effort to help support breastfeeding moms that culminates in a stunning group shot of local women breastfeeding their babies with an Arizona backdrop.
Samone started the event after receiving a lot of negative feedback while breastfeeding her own children. “With my first child, people would tell me to go breastfeed in the car or to cover up. I was really young, and didn’t stand up for myself,” she says. “As I got older and had my third child, I started advocating for my rights.”
Arizona laws protect a mother’s choice to breastfeed in public and stipulates that indecent exposure cannot include an act of breastfeeding by a mother.
Samone’s event started as a simple gathering of women who posed for a group photo while breastfeeding. This year’s West Valley event will include a variety of vendors, gift bags for each woman, a reading by a children’s book author, a lactation specialist, individual photo opportunities, and, of course, the large group photo.
Each year, the event has grown. “Last year we had 236 moms, even during COVID!,” Samone says. In 2019, 171 moms and more than 150 babies showed up. Attendance is free, but moms can opt to have additional custom photos taken for $25-$75. Find out how to attend the August 8th event here.
“I hope by doing this that the moms know they have the right to stand up for themselves,” says Samone. “Everyone in the group supports each other, and it’s okay to breastfeed no matter what they’re being told from other people.”
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