The nipple instinct

Alina Gross



The nipple instinct

"Wenn newborn babies are placed on the mother's stomach, they find the way to the breast by themselves. But what instinct guides them to the right place? Italian researchers report in the journal "Acta Paediatrica" that the temperature of the nipple plays an important role.

The researchers found that the nude area after birth was about 35.22 degrees Celsius warmer than the rest of the breast. At the same time, the temperature of the baby's lips was about 33.3 degrees cooler than on the forehead. The temperature difference of almost two degrees, the relatively cool lips of the child after birth lead to the chest, it says in the study" (die Welt, Wissenschaft, 25.07.2017)

When I put my baby on my breast for the first time, it followed a key lock principle. The midwives in the clinic helped me at the beginning. What happened after, that was not as idyllic as you know it from books and TV.

What came next was a big challenge.

Flaring nipples, piercing chest pain and bruises on the nipple. I had too little milk at the beginning and my baby was hungry and cried. The pain in the chest got worse. I got a chest infection, everything was swollen and hurt.

Months later everything was healed and breastfeeding became the best thing i could imagine in the world, after I went through the hell.

My work "the nipple instinct" shows different sides of breastfeeding. It is beautiful as the touch of a butterfly and painful, which is a bleeding body part at the same time.

I work with self-staging and use the staged photography to tell my own breastfeeding story. The pictures show the ambivalence of my feelings in such a sensitive and vulnerable part of a female body.

Alina Gross, 2018

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