19 Works Of Art That Show Breastfeeding Has Always Been Beautiful

05/19/2015 03:21 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2015

With the way breastfeeding mothers are often treated in public, one would think that nursing a baby is some sort of taboo, new age practice. But as this empowering Instagram account shows, that couldn't be further from the truth.

The images posted on Breastfeeding Art serve as an important reminder that nursing is a totally normal phenomenon that has been part of motherhood throughout history. From centuries-old paintings, sculptures and tapestries to contemporary photos and even edible art, each image is meant to provide "inspiration and cultural and historical context for breastfeeding moms," the account description states.

Artist and mom of three Leigh Pennebaker launched Breastfeeding Art in February and in its 3+ months in the social media sphere, the account has gained over 7,500 Instagram followers.

"Collecting artistic representations of breastfeeding has long encouraged and inspired me personally as a breastfeeding mom, and sharing these images with the world is my way of standing up for mothers and babies and saying, 'look, we will not be marginalized in 2015!'" Pennebaker told The Huffington Post. "Women, and lactating women in particular, have been celebrated, honored, and deified in art throughout human history," she added, noting the abundance of Nursing Madonna iconography and earlier depictions of lactating goddesses like Isis and Hathor.

"I wanted to create a space online that would highlight the historical/cultural context of breastfeeding and convey the extent to which modern-day mothers fit into a long, powerful lineage."

Ultimately, Pennebaker hopes Breastfeeding Art will help moms feel "powerful, beautiful and supported" she said, adding, "I hope people who see it who don't breastfeed will absorb some of the scope of the work and have a greater understanding of the normalcy of breastfeeding."

Keep scrolling and follow the account on Instagram and Facebook for a look at some gorgeous representations of breastfeeding in the art world.

"Peaceful Snack" by @ivetteivens 💖 #breastfeeding #breastfeedingart

A photo posted by @breastfeedingart on

Photo dated 1898, found via Pinterest ❤️

A photo posted by @breastfeedingart on

"Maternity (Women on the Seashore)" by Paul Gauguin, 1899.

A photo posted by @breastfeedingart on

"Mother and Child" by Henri Lebasque. #breastfeeding #breastfeedingart #henrilebasque

A photo posted by @breastfeedingart on

Detail from "Milk" by Helene Knoop (b. 1979, in Drøbak, Norway). This is a self-portrait, of which the artist has said, "The eternal image of a woman and child has always fascinated me; but not until recent years has it struck me so directly as when I myself transformed into the motif. This is a painting of my first son and me. Actually, I was painting as I was breastfeeding. The color of the background had to be the color of the feeling; a bright greenish white in contrast with the pulsating skin. It is such a bodily condition, this is why there is a lack of other objects in the image." Read more at #breastfeeding #breastfeedingart #heleneknoop #painting #selfportrait #motherandchild

A photo posted by @breastfeedingart on

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