By Sarah Francis
A brave burns survivor has shared candid breast feeding photos to help other mums who have trouble nursing.
Schamica Stevenson, 34, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA was just two years old when she was severely burnt in a house fire and required numerous skin grafts.
At the age of 20, when she became pregnant with her first child, Schamica worried her scarred skin would stop her from breastfeeding and resorted to formula.
However, when she gave birth to her son August nine weeks ago, she was determined to try again – and after battling with the boob he finally latched.
Schamica, who is also known as Mimi, said: “My cousin posted a photo to the a Facebook group and a photographer got in touch with me.
“I was excited and I was nervous about being naked.
“Growing up I didn’t have good self-esteem.
“I wore long sleeves and always covered up. But as I got older, I thought, just forget about it.
“I have good response I’ve been getting a lot of mail about the photos and I’ve had a really good response which makes me really happy.
“I wanted other woman to know it’s worth to keep trying.
“It was a difficult to get my son to latch at first and I thought about giving up. I thought maybe I was too damaged from the burns, but in the end it worked and it was painful at all.”
Schamica was approached by photographer Ivette Ivens after she posted on a photo of her breast feeding on a parenting forum.
Ivette said: “I saw Mimi’s photo of her breastfeeding and thought to myself – this woman deserves to have a piece of art that screams ‘strong, devoted, warrior.’
“She also wanted to inspire people with her story.
“Humans tend to stop themselves from reaching their goal because of insecurities, tragedies, illnesses.
“Mimi did not have it easy, yet she shines confidence, self love, fearlessness.
“All of these words are synonyms, but also compliment each other so well. Each one of them we are born with, but society might take some of it away.
“Mimi is a great example of how to fight it back. A true, humble warrior.”
To see more of Ivette’s work visit here.