Alyssa Milano made the news this week when she went on the Wendy Williams show and the topic of breastfeeding in public came up. Alyssa did every nursing mama proud when she stood up for herself, her nursing child, and every mother who has ever breastfed a hungry child no matter where they are.
Not in the car.
Not in the bathroom.
Not in a dressing room.
Ms.Williams admitted that she felt breasts were sexual, not for feeding children.
Apparently she missed that section of biology class. And has never had a newborn babe laid on her bare chest and felt that overwhelming surge of oxytocin and love all mixed together into a big ball of postpartum mush.
I have had the wonderful fortune of breastfeeding three children well into toddlerhood. And I was never given a sideways glance or heard a negative word. I have nursed at Disney World, major airports, shopping malls, and major department and grocery stores. And restaurants? I don't think I ever WENT to a restaurant without a kid wanting to nurse.
Now that my children are older, they understand the importance of breastmilk and I have no doubt that they will be supporters of breastfeeding as they enter their adult lives. My teenage sons know that while breasts may be beautiful, their main intent is to nurture and nourish children.
In a world full of disrespect for women, the last people we should be having this struggle with is OTHER WOMEN. I am so disappointed in celebrities who sexualize the body of a woman to the point that it makes feeding one's child seem outrageous. Print ads show models revealing more flesh than a breastfeeding mother. Walk into Hooters and you'll see more than I ever revealed in a combined 9 years of nursing. One look at a Kardashian's Twitter or Instagram account will show you more flesh than a whole staged nurse-in (though to their credit, both Kourtney and Kim are strong breastfeeding advocates).
It's celebrities like Mayim Bialik, who defend not only nursing in public, but child-led weaning, and Alyssa Milano, P!nk, Alannis Morissette and many more who are champions for mothers and nursing children alike.
I always tell people that when I delivered my first child, I never looked at him and said, "I'm going to nurse you until you're three." It was a one day at a time thing that turned into months and then years. Like any relationship, it just.....evolves.
So a big standing ovation for ALL the celebrities who normalize what is a purely biological norm. The more our children see us --everyday moms as well as big screen actors and singers -- nursing our children with love and care--- the more normal and natural breastfeeding will be to our next generation.
And that equals a healthier, stronger, smarter world.
Who would argue against that?