13 Celebrities Who Have Empowered Moms to Breastfeed in Public
Too many women feel guilty about breastfeeding or, on the contrary, feel a lot of pressure to do it without any difficulty. People may comment that the baby is too old to still be breastfeeding, or that a woman isn’t maternal enough because she didn’t breastfeed her baby. But many celebrities are challenging these prejudices by making and defending their own breastfeeding decisions. They do it because they can, because they want to, and because they know that, with their example and influence, they can support and inspire all women to do the same.
Bright Side wants to show you 13 cases in which celebrities put their biases aside and managed to take control of their lives by putting their breastfeeding decisions in the spotlight.
1. Miranda Kerr
2 months after giving birth to Flynn, the little boy she had with Orlando Bloom in 2011, Miranda Kerr was ready to flap her angel wings again on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk. Her secret? According to her statements, a little genetics and a lot of breastfeeding. And, although she says she wasn’t in any hurry to get her figure back, both genetics and breastfeeding certainly helped.
“I was focused on having a healthy baby, and I had a 10-pound baby!” she said. “I just loved breastfeeding. It was something that came very easily to me and it helped speed up my metabolism. I nursed for a year and a half, and I pumped when I was at work.” Miranda has shared more than one photo with her baby on her social media, where she looks proud of being a mom and of her breastfeeding decision.
2. Hilary Duff
On the other hand, Hilary Duff didn’t have such a good time when mixing breastfeeding and work. Like her, there are many women who are suddenly surprised to feel tremendously guilty for not being able to feed their little ones as they would like, because they have to attend to other responsibilities. For this reason, the actress shared her experience and the reasons that led her to discontinue breastfeeding, a completely valid and respectable decision:
“My goal was to get my little girl to 6 months and then decide if I (and her of course) wanted to keep going. Let me tell you. Pumping at work sucks. I had zero down time and was usually pumping in a hair and makeup trailer while 4 hands work to get me ready for the next scene with lots of other people around. Your milk supply drastically drops when you stop feeding as often and you lose the actual contact and connection with your baby. I want to say I enjoyed (almost) every moment of feeding my daughter.
I felt so lucky to be so close to her and give her that start. I know that many women are not able to and for that I am sympathetic and very grateful that I could. But I needed a break. I was going to break. I was sad and frustrated and feeling like a failure all of the time. Moms get high on feeling like superwomen... because we are! Doing too much, because we can!
I cried many times and felt so depressed while weening. Something scary was hovering over my brain and my heart. I was missing good times with my baby. But I was really missing that natural oxytocin high. Those chemicals are powerful hormones and no joke. I hope this helps anyone who is struggling! Whether you are pre- or postpartum, or just a busy mom.”
3. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde is one of those actresses and models who have openly declared their views on breastfeeding, repeatedly. Her first public statement was made shortly after giving birth to Otis, in 2014, during an interview for a prestigious magazine in which her photograph was taken: “Being shot with Otis is so perfect because any portrait of me right now isn’t complete without my identity as a mother being a part of that. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing. I don’t know; now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast,” she declared.
On another occasion, she revealed her opinion about the prejudice and stereotypes with which breastfeeding has been censured for years and years: “People should be allowed to breastfeed wherever they want, whenever they want. There should be no pressure on women to breastfeed, or they should not be made to seem like they are terrible mothers. I think that’s really unfair.”
That’s the same position she has held through different interviews, like one she did to talk about Daisy, her other baby: “It should be a choice for everyone. I don’t like the idea of breastfeeding being forced on anyone or anyone feeling guilty.” And, although it wasn’t easy for her, it’s something she enjoyed: “It’s not easy; it’s messy. Like 90 percent of the time, you are soaked in milk. It is a difficult thing. But it is, personally, for me, a great experience.”
4. Alanis Morissette
One celebrity who is absolutely convinced that there’s nothing better for a baby than breastfeeding is Alanis Morissette. On multiple occasions, the singer has tried to normalize breastfeeding in interviews and by posting several photographs of her breastfeeding her young children on her social media.
“For me, I protect his safety and his well-being and his attachment. That stage of development is a very important stage.” She also told a journalist that she’s an advocate for extended breastfeeding, as her children were who the ones who decided when to leave their mother’s breast, regardless of their age.
In addition, Alanis joined other breastfeeding advocates to produce a documentary titled The Milky Way, which centers on demonstrating that companies that sell baby formula encourage mothers to avoid breastfeeding at all costs with the intention of increasing profits for their products.
“We live in a very funny society, a society that on one hand says that we’re just sexual objects and then when this other sort of otherworldly, biological wind-in-the-hair goddess power comes out in the form of feeding our children in a very beautiful, animal way, that can actually be more intimidating,” she expressed in the documentary.
5. Alyssa Milano
Even before having children, Alyssa Milano was already defending the rights of mothers, and, more so, of babies, to breastfeed. With the arrival of her children, this “protest” became a flag with which she chose to sail. “I loved having that closeness with them and having that alone time with them,” she said during an interview, “I loved breastfeeding more than I thought I would,” she confessed.
Moreover, she also had the chance to publicly share her views regarding the usual insecurity that mothers face when breastfeeding their little ones: “I can’t believe this is still an issue. When people tell a nursing mom to go in the bathroom to feed their baby, it’s like telling someone to go in the bathroom to eat their sandwich. Would you eat your lunch in the bathroom? Or under a blanket?”
The actress decided to empower breastfeeding mothers through her social media by sharing shots of moments where she was feeding her daughter.
6. Nicole Trunfio
Model, Nicole Trunfio, empowered moms in her own way. She posed for a magazine where she was seen as calm as her breastfeeding baby, but far from romanticizing it, she talked about all the complications she had to go through to reach that level of confidence and serenity whenever it was time to feed her son — something she decided to do on her own.
“The whole process was so painful for me. I had bleeding and chafing nipples, scabbing; it was hard! And I had no idea why!” the model revealed. “I was so committed. I just really wanted to feed my child so desperately. It got to the point where I couldn’t feed him at all anymore because I was in so much pain. I had a fever. I felt like I was going to die,” she added. She also spoke about the social stigma that still happens when breastfeeding in public places:
“Everyone has their own opinions about it. Some think that it’s a private moment that you should share only with your child. Some think it’s a cultural thing. But I think mainly; it’s the sexual side of it. A woman’s body is so sexualized. So a woman can be in lingerie on a billboard with her breasts protruding out of a bra, but a mother who’s fully clothed and being discreet can’t breastfeed her child?
I think breasts need to be seen as non-sexual things. They need to be seen for what they’re there for: feeding a child. In society, we’ve made women into this visual thing that’s used to sell. As a model, I can say that I use my body for that. I use it to sell products: clothing, lingerie. But we need to find that balance as a culture. Hopefully, one day, when a woman is breastfeeding, she won’t be met with embarrassment and judgment.”
7. Doutzen Kroes
Doutzen Kroes knows that a picture is worth a thousand words. The former Victoria’s Secret model became a faithful spokesperson for the breastfeeding benefits for babies and manifested it openly and publicly through her social media. She didn’t miss the chance to post several photos that caught her breastfeeding her little one. Her words were always clear and concise in her publications: “I’m promoting breastfeeding, it’s the best for your baby when possible!”
However, she isn’t a mother who has avoided all criticism. She was questioned for having continued breastfeeding her son up to a very advanced age, and for “daring” to publish a photo of that moment. She chose to reply by uploading more of the same pictures with the intention of normalizing breastfeeding.
How do you normalize something if everyone pays so much attention to it? Pink knows the perfect way to do it: It’s not by stating you’re in favor or against it, but by embracing it and making it public, as if you were taking a selfie. For her, it’s just like that. There are a huge number of photos of her breastfeeding her son on her social media, which she posts along with encouraging phrases. She shares statements like: “I proudly post this photo of a very HEALTHY, NATURAL act between mother and child,” or “Hiking makes us thirsty!” while we see her baby in the picture breastfeeding.
On one occasion, she was pretty clear about her way of thinking when an interviewer commented: “It’s such a weird thing that people have such strong opinions about breastfeeding. It’s a child and needs to eat,” to which Pink responded: “Strong opinions about things that don’t affect their life at all. I’m feeding my kid. Would you rather have him scream? Cause he’s very capable of that too.”
9. Gisele Bündchen
Normalizing breastfeeding also means addressing it without the taboos or prejudices about the good and bad things that come with the decision to breastfeed. This is what Gisele Bündchen has talked about since she began her lactation experience.
“One of the most special moments I’ve shared with my kids was while breastfeeding. That special look you get, that feeling of connection is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Yes, in the beginning it can be difficult, it can hurt (the cracks, bleeding, engorgement), but no matter how challenging it was, I would not change that experience for anything in this world. I feel blessed that I was able to nourish them in this way. Congratulations to all the mamas out there for the effort that we put in, the ones who breastfeed, and those who could not and have had heartbreaking moments trying to,” she expressed in a post.
However, she didn’t lead everyone to believe that this stage was ideal and perfect. She also spoke of the body issues that breastfeeding generated in her:
“I was always praised for my body and I felt like people had expectations from me that I couldn’t deliver,” Giselle confessed. “I felt very vulnerable because I can work out, I can eat healthy, but I can’t change the fact that both of my kids enjoyed the left boob more than the right. All I wanted was for them to be even and for people to stop commenting on it,” she added.
10. Chrissy Teigen
As it may have probably happened to most first-time mothers, the American model, Chrissy Teigen, felt taken aback by the arrival of breastfeeding and the whole process. She confessed that, although breastfeeding is a beautiful stage, it’s not easy.
“The feeding schedule surprised me a lot. If you kind of do the math, you’re kind of breastfeeding for 10 hours a day total. It’s very loving and sweet, but it’s not easy. They just use you for your milk, and you just feel like you are a cow. It’s hard to work your entire day around getting her the nourishment she needs,” she commented in an interview.
In addition, Teigen has also been in the spotlight for normalizing the issue of breastfeeding, like when she shared this photo where she breastfeeds her little girl and her daughter’s doll at the same time. “Luna making me feed her baby doll, so I guess I have twins now,” she says in her post.
11. Kate Hudson
Meanwhile, in addition to sharing her pictures, Kate Hudson has also opened up about the complicated day-to-day life of a working woman who’s a wife and a mother at the same time:
She once said she was trying to figure out the balance between breastfeeding and work. “I mean it’s just hard, and the pumping... look I have one friend who’s like a milk machine. I wish I was a milk machine, I’m not. I need to pump.”
“Motherhood doesn’t slow us down. I’m looking to shed 25 lbs. I’d like to try new workouts and eat as healthy as I can. I wanna do all this and keep up milk production, raise my kids, work every day, make time for my man, have girlfriend time, and stay sane,” she added.
12. Karolína Kurková
The actress and model discussed the issue of breastfeeding when she posted this photograph, which caught lots of negative feedback. But she responded decisively: “It’s not like we’re doing something bad, we’re doing something beautiful. We’re giving life; we’re giving nutrients to the baby. And I think I was very discreet about it. It’s not like, ’Here I am, look at me, everybody does it.’ It’s natural.”
However, she also said that she felt happy that other women identified with her: “I was happy to give a voice to these women, who maybe are at home, and want to go out and do things and maybe it is too hard to breastfeed because you are out and you have to cover yourself.”
13. Kym Herjavec
The Australian dancer and host, Kym Herjavec, published a photo in which she showed a little bit more of the usual breastfeeding situation, a scene that’s not hidden behind the glamorous appearances of the life she’s used to.
“I never realized being a Mom was so glamorous. My Mom gave me some great advice when we came home with the babies which was ‘Keep a good sense of humor...’ Thanks @robert_herjavec for capturing these VERY REAL New Mom Moments!! I’m just a rookie at this job and learning every day but I’ve never done anything more challenging or amazing!” she wrote next to a photograph that showed her blouse wet because of breastfeeding.
Share with us what your experience with motherhood was like? What were your main concerns when breastfeeding?
Preview photo credit P!nk / Instagram