One best-friend duo is coming together to normalize breastfeeding in an unlikely scenario. At Alabama nurse Rachael Downs’s wedding, her matron-of-honor Allison Hepler took a moment to pump breast milk, but they never anticipated that the moment would garner so much attention.
Hepler grabbed her pump during some downtime between wedding photos, but when it was the bridesmaids’ turn, she wasn’t quite finished. Florida-based photographer Amber Fletcher and Down decided it would be epic to shoot some pictures while Hepler finished pumping.
"I always do a photo like the Bridesmaids movie cover, so this seemed like the perfect time to utilize not only that photo in a humorous way but to show the realness of the specific day,” Fletcher told Parents Magazine. “In turn, it brought light to what a day looks like for a bridesmaid who is currently breastfeeding/pumping.”
The photo from the October 2019 wedding features Down in her white wedding gown surrounded by her five bridesmaids all holding bouquets — except for Hepler, who’s holding her pumping machine.
While the photo was taken last year, Fletcher recently shared the empowering picture on Facebook writing, “‘It’s time for the bridesmaid photos!’ ‘I’m still pumping’ ‘Even better’”
And the response to the photo was overwhelmingly positive. The post has since gone viral, with almost 6,000 likes and over 2,000 comments on Facebook in support of the mom and the understanding bride.
“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,” one user wrote. Another one commented, “This bride is absolutely fantastic. What a treasure of a friend! I see way too many stories in my breastfeeding groups about bridezillas throwing fits over the party leaving for any reason or “inconveniencing” the wedding in any way.”
"It has been amazing to read through the comments and see how many other women relate to going through the same thing or are able to joke about possibly going through that in an upcoming wedding,” says Fletcher.