A Photographer's Giving New Meaning to the Term "Fed Is Best" With an Inclusive Photo Shoot

Anna Poteet, a photographer from Chattanooga, TN, recently took a unique approach to the "fed is best" conversation by staging a shoot that centered on babies who need to be tube-fed. Her now-viral photo series is making its rounds on social media, and yes, it's incredibly powerful.

"The idea was to gather moms together and show the world that no matter how your baby is fed — whether moms breastfeed, use formula, or their children are tube-fed — they should be accepted. I wanted to break through some of the negative stereotypes that are used when mom-shaming takes place," she said.

"I wanted to break through some of the negative stereotypes that are used when mom-shaming takes place."

"How you feed your child is something I recently became passionate about, as my almost 4-month-old has had troubles of his own eating and gaining weight," Anna explained. "Additionally, one of my very best friends Brianna, who participated in the shoot, has a 2-year-old who just got his tube. She has to pay out of pocket for his food, as his insurance will not cover it due to his age."

Now, Anna is simply trying to highlight the fact that feeding sessions don't look the same for every parent. "My heart goes out to these parents who deal with this lifestyle daily, and I am so thankful to be able to bring some awareness to this," she said. "I see so many people genuinely asking questions on my post and it is bringing a new understanding."

Scroll ahead to get a look at this beautifully inclusive photo shoot.

Anna Stacy Photography

"Her name is Hailey, but we call her Bug. She's a delightful little 5-month-old! She was born full-term, but from the get-go had issues with nursing and even taking a bottle. Weeks led into months of her not eating correctly due to an improper swallow, dairy, soy, and coconut allergies, and reflux issues. She failed a swallow study and then had a severe case of oral thrush so she had a nasal tube inserted. She has an Nasojejunal Tube, meaning she gets fed by pump continuously into her intestine rather than stomach because she has a history of aspirating. Since then, she's failed a second swallow study; in fact, the second one was worse than the first, and she no longer takes anything by mouth.

We're working with Vanderbilt hospital to do tests in order to find out the cause of her swallow problems. We're also working with feeding therapy to encourage her to learn how to eat and drink eventually, and will be adding physical therapy to the list, too. Our journey is just beginning and we have a long way to go, but she's a fighter!"

Anna Stacy Photography

"Katherine is 6 months old! Since birth she has had difficulties with swallowing and severe reflux. She struggled with constant vomiting, leading to poor weight gain. When she was 3 months old, the doctors placed a feeding tube through her nose, down into her small intestine. At this point, Katherine was taking no food by mouth. For the next two months she was fed at a slow rate over 20 hours a day. She began to gain weight and we focused on how to manage her reflux and improve her swallowing abilities.

After many doctors visits and a second opinion, we ended up having her treated at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, TN. With an amazing medical team, we have made huge strides in her health. Thanks to Nissen Fundoplication surgery her reflux is now managed and she is off all medications! This was a very intense procedure with life long side effects, some of which being the inability to vomit or burp. She is now thriving with her G-tube and is going to be mobile before we know it! Her swallow reflux is improving and she is loving being able to eat baby food! She is definitely the happiest baby I know!"

Anna Stacy Photography

"Bellamy is an ordinary 2-year-old spunky dude, who is about the size of the average 1-year-old. Bellamy is considered failure to thrive, due to being an overly-picky eater. His food choices are limited to fruit, chicken nuggets, Nutella, and breastmilk — plus some various other options — and he doesn't get enough calories orally. He also has allergies and acid reflux, which make his tummy hurt after eating. After trying food therapy, calorie drinks, and many other methods for many months, he ended up needing a G-tube. In just 3 weeks, he has already gained 3 pounds. He is now thriving instead of surviving."