While we all know that “fed is best” when it comes to a baby’s health, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies for at least the first year of life, as long as they’re able to do so. And considering babies need to eat often (read: every couple of hours), it shouldn’t be surprising then, much less frowned upon, when women feed their infants out in the open. After all, even Beyonce was reportedly sighted breastfeeding Blue Ivy at eight weeks in a New York City restaurant, according to Us Weekly.
But even though public breastfeeding is totally natural, there is still a stigma surrounding it. Many women, including celebrity mamas, are still shamed for public breastfeeding. New moms endure everything from dirty looks or comments, to even being asked to leave a restaurant or store.
Luckily, plenty of women are speaking up, and working to normalize public breastfeeding. Here, a list of famous mothers—actresses, singers, models, and a politician—who have advocated via social media for their right to breastfeed whenever and wherever the hell they want.
Olivia Wilde has never been shy when it comes to breastfeeding. She posed for Glamour in 2014 while nursing her 3-month-old son, Otis. Olivia said, “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,” she said. “Breastfeeding is the most natural thing. I don’t know, now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast.” Two years later, Wilde openly supported nursing yet again by posting this sweet selfie nursing her daughter, Daisy, in a t-shirt with the message “never underestimate the power of a woman.”
Supermodel Gisele Bündchen gave some insight into multi-tasking as a mama when she posted a photo to Instagram where she’s breastfeeding her daughter while getting glammed up—literally, hair, makeup, and nails—for a photo shoot. All after a 15-hour flight and three hours of sleep. We. Are. Not. Worthy.
Jumping on the public breastfeeding bandwagon, Jaime King posted this photo on Instagram of herself nursing her son James with the caption, “#JamesKnight is now 8 months old! These are the moments a mother lives for. Breastfeeding should not be a taboo—and bottle feeding should not be judged—it’s ALL fun for the family :)”. Almost a year later, Jaime posted a family photo to Instagram welcoming her second son into the world. And, take notice. The proud mom is breastfeeding in that picture, too!
— Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) June 5, 2013
During the 2013 CMT Awards, Kristen Bell tweeted this photo of her “backstage beauty routine,” embracing and showing off her ability to multi-task as a working mom.
A strong advocate of public breastfeeding, Kristen told Babble in an interview, “When it comes to breastfeeding your baby, if you are too nervous to do it in public I think you are a part of the problem. Women should own the fact that we are superheroes for the first however many months of your child’s life. It is your opportunity and your duty to feed your baby should you choose to breastfeed and be proud of it. If somebody is uncomfortable, that’s their problem. If someone sees an inch of your boob or areola and they can’t control their disgust or shock or sexual desire that’s on them.”
The hilarious and refreshingly honest Chrissy Teigen, a known clap-backer and generally one of our fave human beings, has always been very open about her decision to breastfeed, posting Snapchat videos and photos of herself nursing daughter Luna. Two months after Luna was born, Chrissy shared this LOL-worthy Instagram where she’s clutching her breasts while going down Disneyland’s Splash Mountain, captioned “MY MILK.”
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Thandie Newton, Westworld’s “freedom fighter” Maeve, posted a glowing selfie breastfeeding her 2-month-old son, Booker, at a music festival in England. Thandie captioned the photo, “Perfect happiness @latitudefest This is what my body is made for. And the rest is my choice. #Freedom.” Preach, Thandie.
Model Nicole Trunfio was photographed breastfeeding her son, Zion, for ELLEAustralia‘s June 2015 cover. The proud mama captioned her correlating Instagram post, “I obviously don’t look like this while I am breastfeeding but this stands for all women out there, whether you breastfeed or not, we gave birth, we are women, we are mothers.”
In an interview with ELLE Australia, Nicole also said, “You know, everyone has their own opinions about [breastfeeding]. 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 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 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 I use my body for that. I use it to sell products: clothing, lingerie. But we need to find that balance as a culture.”
Gwen Stefani is #travelgoals with this beautiful breastfeeding photo she posted to Instagram in 2014, complete with a stunning backdrop of the Swiss Alps. The No Doubt singer took a pit stop during her travels to nurse her third son, Apollo, and documented the moment for mommies (and the rest of us) everywhere.
Scroll through Doutzen Kroes’s Instagram and you’re more than likely to find a few pro-breastfeeding photographs. In April 2015, Doutzen posed with a breast pump, captioning the post, “Daily routine! I’m promoting breastfeeding, it’s the best for your baby when possible!” Two months later, the former Victoria’s Secret Angel followed up the post by sharing a split-photo of her modeling a bra and of her nursing her daughter, highlighting the taboo of breastfeeding in public by quoting feminist and political theorist, Iris Marion Young, “Breasts are a scandal because they shatter the border between motherhood and sexuality.”
In the first weeks after Liv Tyler brought her daughter Lula Rose into the world, the actress posted a breastfeeding selfie on Instagram captioned, “Sunday morning snuggles with my baby girl. So grateful for this precious gift.” You know what another precious gift is? The ability to produce milk and feed your child with that milk. Amen.
Brooklyn Decker shared this selfie showing her skipping the 2016 Golden Globes to spend the evening with her 3-month-old son, Hank, and we don’t blame her for choosing a date with her precious babe over the red carpet.
A few months after the post, Brooklyn was away from her son for the first time since he was born, and was on a delayed flight in which the passengers were told they could deplane and return, reports People. Brooklyn got off the plan to pump privately in an airport bathroom, and when she returned to the plane, she was told that the flight was closed. She live tweeted the sequence of events with a hilarious string of “trying to keep her cool” thoughts, concluding with “Crazy thing is I got off to pump thinking ‘I don’t want to offend the guy next to me’ But why? He probably sucked a boob too.”
Talk about mommy superheroes! Top Chef host and author, Padma Lakshmi, shared this throwback photo on her Facebook of her breastfeeding her daughter all while swiping on mascara, which is hard enough without a baby on your breast! She captioned the photo, “This is a shout out to working Moms everywhere!! #TBT”
— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) May 9, 2017
In May 2017, Australian senator Larissa Waters motioned to help coal miners after a resurgence of black lung disease, all while continuing to nurse her 3-month-old daughter, Alia Joy. Larissa became the first federal female politician to breastfeed in Parliament, even though parliamentary rules had been changed the previous year to allow mothers to feed their children in the chamber. Larissa told the BBC in an interview, “Well I think it’s slightly ridiculous that feeding one’s baby is international news—women have been breastfeeding for as long as time immemorial. But in another sense, this is the first time this has happened in our Parliament in 116 years, so it’s definitely world history-making.” The moment was not just about feeding her baby, “but also to send a message to young women that they belong in the Parliament, and that they can be both Parliamentarians and be moms.”
As cliche as it sounds, celebrities are actually… just like us. Karolina Kurkova opened up to followers in her 2016 Instagram post about how breastfeeding was no walk in the park for her in the beginning (many moms find it difficult), and she encouraged other women to tag their nursing girlfriends, or share their own breastfeeding selfies.
Reality star Masika Kalysha caught some heat after sharing a sweet photo showing her breastfeeding her newborn daughter on Instagram, despite covering her areolas with an enlarged heart emoji. So, what’s a mother to do? Masika slammed social media critics by posting a follow-up photo, captioned: “I’m terribly sorry if I offended anyone with my last post breast feeding my daughter. Next time I’ll be sure to cover up like this nice young lady in this photo. SIKE I feel sad for those of you who find breastfeeding uncomfortable or inappropriate. I thank God that I can breast feed my child after having 2 breast augmentations and nipple rings for 5 years. It’s taking a lot of work and dedication to do this right. If you have a problem with it click unfollow and go be mad elsewhere #breastisbest”
Find out what it’s like to breastfeed with implants:
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week 2016, actress and mother Alyssa Milano posted this “brelfie” to promote her campaign to #normalizebreastfeeding.
In January of the same year, Alyssa defended a mother’s right to nurse in public during her appearance on The Wendy Williams Show. Alyssa and Wendy discussed the sexualization of breasts, prompting Wendy to call them “sexual things” when they’re not being used for breastfeeding. Alyssa respectfully argued, “Yeah, but they weren’t—biologically they’re not made for sexual things. That’s what we’ve done to them.” Solid point.
In 2014, Canadian singer Alanis Morissette shared a throwback photo to Instagram in which she’s breastfeeding son Ever while on the road back in 2012.
The rocker also joined experts like Dr. Jay Gordon and lactation expert Jennifer Davidson in the 2014 documentary The Milky Way, a film that sought to demystify the taboo surrounding breastfeeding, while empowering women to trust their bodies, their babies, and themselves in their journeys as mothers.
Candice Swanepoel clapped back at internet trolls for shaming her and other mothers for nursing in public, by posting an up close black and white photo showing her breastfeeding 2-year-old son Anaca. The Victoria’s Secret model shared a very powerful message, “Many women today are shamed for breastfeeding in public, or even kicked out of public places for feeding their children. I have been made to feel the need to cover up and somewhat shy to feed my baby in public places but strangely feel nothing for the topless editorials I’ve done in the name of art..? The world has been desensitized to the sexualization of the breast and to violence on tv…why should it be different when it comes to breastfeeding? -Breastfeeding is not sexual it’s natural- Those who feel it is wrong to feed your child in public need to get educated on the benefits breastfeeding has on mother and child and intern on society as a whole. #mothernature”
Model Tess Holliday and her husband, Nick Holliday, were a few of the estimated 750,000 people who took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles for the Women’s March in January 2017. While out in the march, the mom needed to feed her 7-month-old son, Bowie, and her friend photographed the family’s special moment. Tess shared the photo to Instagram with the caption: “Breastfeed anywhere ✊ Thank you to my friend @jessicalouiseimagery for capturing this moment during today’s @womensmarchla #normalizebreastfeeding #womensmarchla.” Later, after receiving negative comments to cover herself (among all the praise, of course), she felt the need to edit the post by adding, “Those saying that I should ‘cover up’ You mean when I’m breastfeeding MY baby who was a) hungry & b) screaming because he was overly tired & the crowd overloaded his senses & it was the only way to comfort him?! I will feed my child anywhere I want. Also CA state law protects me to do so. Keep your uneducated opinions off my body.”
Leave it to Amber Tamblyn to break the stigma around breastfeeding by posting a photo to social media of herself in a t-shirt, with her own breast milk leaked all over it.”Who Wore It Better? Left tit or right tit? #MilkLife #StarsTheyreJustLikeUs”. The actress is here to show you that leaky breasts happen whether your’e breastfeeding or pumping, and that’s totally nothing to be embarrassed about.
Okay, not only is this just the sweetest photo, but also Pink’s caption SLAYS us: “Hiking makes us thirsty! #happybaby #hotpocket #normalizebreastfeedingyo #arewethereyet”. Bowing down to Pink for being a tired mama and still getting outside for some fresh air and physical activity with her little meatball. #Motherhoodgoals.
Several months later, the singer appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and cracked open the public’s perception of breastfeeding. “It’s such a weird thing that people have such strong opinions about breastfeeding. It’s a child, and it needs to eat,” Ellen said. “Strong opinions about things that don’t affect their life at all,” Pink responded. “I’m feeding my kid. Would you rather him scream? Because he’s very capable of that, too.” After their convo, Ellen gifted Pink a special Ellen-branded breast pump system, and we want to know where we can get ours!
Source: Women’s Health Mag