It may be hard to believe but in 2017 breastfeeding in public still creates controversy. In this post, we explore some famous breastfeeding mothers who’ve faced their critics and along the way, showed the world there’s nothing shameful about breastfeeding in public spaces.
A teeny tiny little girl made history in the Australian political arena recently for doing something that came completely naturally to her and her mother – breastfeeding.
Greens co-deputy leader Larissa Waters returned to parliament in early May this year after giving birth to her second daughter, Alia Joy. While in the Senate, she breastfed Alia during a vote. In doing so, her little girl officially became the first baby to be breastfed in chambers in the houses of Australian parliament. Before this time, parliamentary members who were breastfeeding had to vote by proxy.
It’s a quite a momentous step for working breastfeeding mothers and an important example of how to breastfeed in a very public space.
Jamie Grumet was your everyday, average breastfeeding mother. But that all changed when she was asked to grace TIME magazine’s cover as the face of their story on attachment parenting and extended breastfeeding (or breastfeeding beyond 12 months).
The cover photo of her standing next to her three year old son perched on a stool and breastfeeding caused all sorts of mayhem. But it also brought out a lot of support for her decision, inspiring other mothers to talk about their experiences with extended breastfeeding and why it was their right to make that personal choice.
Salma Hayek is famous for being the beautiful Mexican bombshell who burst onto our screens in the late 90’s in a string of hit movies. But she made headlines of a different kind in 2009 when a video surfaced of her breastfeeding a starving baby boy in Sierre Leone. She said she wanted to do it to raise awareness of breastfeeding in African nations where there is a shockingly high infant mortality rate, mostly due to malnutrition. The images had a two-fold effect: one to raise awareness and promote breastfeeding (whether in public or private) and two, to spark debate about why Western countries are so quick to donate infant formula to needy countries rather than donate breast milk. Needless to say, Salma is a big proponent of both viewpoints.
Kourtney Kardashian is not shy about doing much in public including breastfeeding. The fashionista mumma said she was comfortable to breastfeed wherever, and whenever, she needed to from shoe shopping expeditions to take-off and landing on airplanes. She’s also known for her love of extended breastfeeding, encouraging her son to self-wean when he was ready.
Another very recent example of a celebrity mother not afraid to nurse in public is actress Mila Kunis. She was quoted in Vanity Fair mid-2016 saying she often copped stares and comments from people about her breastfeeding in public. But she shook it all off knowing she was doing what was best for her child, telling people ‘if it’s not for you, don’t look’.
There’s a host of other celebrities who aren’t afraid to breastfeed their precious little ones while on the job. Pink does while she’s on tour, Angelina has while shooting the cover of W magazine as has Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen as she preens before hitting the catwalk. Even our Aussie girl, supermodel Mirada Kerr, has proudly breastfed in public. She’s been very vocal about it in the past and encouraged mothers to do the same while shunning any social stigma attached to it.
As all these famous identities show, there should be no shame in breastfeeding in public. In fact, you have a legal right to do so.
If you’re still unsure about it and need some breastfeeding tips, our guide on how to breastfeed in public is packed with information on this topic. Our online store also has a great range of breastfeeding clothing designed to help mothers feed discreetly. We hope you find something of interest there and continue to enjoy the beautiful breastfeeding relationship you are developing with your little one.