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When women could breastfeed anywhere: Victorian women pose proudly while nursing their babies, decades BEFORE it became taboo in public


And while breastfeeding selfies might still divide opinion, it turns out the yummy mummies of Instagram were far from the first to pose for this kind of picture.

These photos were taken in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries show new mothers proudly breastfeeding their children in front of the camera. 

It's thought that, as photography became more widely available, it sparked a fad for Victorian mothers using the new technology to pose for portraits while nursing their newborns.

While wealthy families in the UK and the rest of Europe hired wet nurses, American mothers at the time were proponents of the 'breast is best' approach, it seems.

The trend died out in the 1940s as breastfeeding became something of a taboo following the invention of formula, which doctors then encouraged over breast milk.

Scroll down to see striking portraits of the turn of the century women breastfeeding their babies over 100 years ago...  

As photography became more widely available women would pose for pictures breastfeeding their children
The pictures show new mothers eager to embrace the new technology by capturing the special moments between them and their new babies
This busy mum fed her baby while her other child stared unconvinced at the camera lens
Time out: This mother sat down outside while she nursed her baby with her breast
Proving nothing's changed, this exhausted looking mum took a rest while she fed her baby
Vintage: An impeccably dressed woman enjoys the sunshine while she breastfeeds her baby
Pose: This woman posed for a formal portrait while feeding her young child
The earliest breastfeeding selfies: In a very old photograph this glamorous looking woman wears a white lace veil to feed her child
Way back when: This mother looked totally engrossed in breatfeeding her baby
A mother's love: This intimate-looking picture shows the special bond made by breastfeeding
This mother and baby duo shared a happy moment as they paused for a feed
Breastfeeding didn't become taboo until the 1940s, when women started to cover up during feeds
Retro: This woman looked content as she paused to feed her baby in a vintage photograph
A stern looking woman embraces the new trend for breastfeeding photographs
Glamorous: The old photos show that times and styles may have changed by the bond between mums and babies has always been strong
Busy mum: This mother posed with her affectionate elder child as she breastfed the new baby
Throwback: The pictures also show how fashion and hairstyles have changed over time
This mother looks on proudly as she feeds her baby in an old Victorian photograph
The Victorian era saw developments in different technologies, including in photography
The women would dress up in their finest clothes and pose for very formal photographs while breastfeeding
This woman posed with a hand on hip as she sat for a photograph with her feeding baby
This woman posed with a hand on hip as she sat for a photograph with her feeding baby

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