Photo captures sweet moment mum breastfeeds toddler during labour

The sweet moment a mother breastfed her toddler during labour.
The sweet moment a mother breastfed her toddler during labour. Photo: Facebook/Maegan Dougherty Photography

A birth photographer has shared the beautiful moment a mum breastfed her toddler during labour - and the sweet images of the multi-tasking mumma are going viral.

New-Jersey based photographer, Maegan Dougherty shared the picture of mum, Kate, breastfeeding between contractions, on Facebook and Instagram.

She wrote, "I love this moment. Big sister was so happy to see her mom and to nurse. And then contractions got longer and more intense."

"The timing ended up working out nicely," Dougherty, 37, told PEOPLE, sharing that the couple's two-year-old daughter came to the hospital for a visit with relatives, while her mum was in labour.
"Kate expected that she might want to nurse, and she was fine with that. The fact that their little girl was nursing is such a normal part of everyday life that I don't think anyone thought much of it."
 
 

Big sister came to visit at the hospital while mama was laboring.

A photo posted by Maegan Dougherty (@maegandougherty) on

 
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A mother-of-two herself, Doughtery told PEOPLE that breastfeeding can often help labour along. 
"Nipple stimulation is often recommended as a way to naturally help labour progress, because it increases oxytocin," she said. 
And in Kate's situation, it worked. Just two hours after feeding her toddler, the family welcomed another baby girl.
 

Bliss. 💞

A photo posted by Maegan Dougherty (@maegandougherty) on

While the response to her photo has been overwhelmingly positive, Dougherty admitted there have been a number of "insensitive and uninformed", comments, something she called "disappointing and sad".
"I prefer to focus on the huge number of beautiful people who are here and everywhere to support, inspire and uplift each other," she wrote on her Facebook page. "We all do our best and make the choices we believe are right for us and our families."
Dee, a Sydney mum, also breastfed during two of her labours. "Both kids enjoyed feeding and were comforted by it," she said.
For Dee, feeding during contractions also helped her maintain a sense of "normal" before the upheaval a younger sibling often brings.
"I wanted whatever could stay normal to stay normal for them while everything was happening - and then the new baby arrived."
For Dee, breastfeeding also served as a helpful distraction from the pain: "I had a reason to hold it together and forcefully calm myself down so I could sit and feed."
After a long, 50-hour first labour, Dee added that breastfeeding her toddler was particularly useful during the birth of her second daughter, helping her feel less "panicky and caught up in contractions".
"I had a reason to be still and quiet and focused," she said.
The mother-of-three admits that while feeding between contractions felt natural for her, it did, however, surprise some of the midwives, who were present during her labours.
"Apparently they learn about tandem feeding, but most haven't met someone doing it," she said.

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