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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 7 August, 2020

9 breastfeeding celebrity mums who can inspire you in the face of Trump's anti-breastfeeding stance

Feminists, like Chrissy Teigen and Mila Kunis, are advocating it as a woman’s right issue.

FORTY YEARS OF scientific research says that breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed an infant along with lowering the risk of breast cancer for women. An in-depth study from 2016 found that:

‘universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield $300 billion in savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.’

Really a win-win situation to encourage breastfeeding then, no?

Well, not if you’re Donald Trump.

Trump Source: Carolyn Kaster

News broke this weekend that Trump’s delegation to the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly tried to sabotage a breastfeeding resolution.

The news was shocking. But then you remember that this was directed from a “sexist, misogynistic admin(istration) that objectifies women and seeks to deny us control of our bodies’.

Preventative healthcare means less money is spent on healthcare.

For example breastfeeding is proven to lower the risk of having asthma, so if more people were breastfed than less inhalers would be sold.

Also, remember that breastmilk can’t be taxed like formula can.

The World Health Organisation recommends that babies be fed breastmilk exclusively  for six months and then breastfed alongside eating other foods up until two years of age. However, only 15% of Irish babies are exclusively breastfed to six months, one of the lowest in the world.

The average worldwide is 38% and the European average is 25%.

Many factors contribute to low levels of breastfeeding, including not enough information prior to birth, not enough support after birth in hospitals and at home after being discharged from the hospital.

Another factor is seeing breastfeeding as ‘gross’ or ‘vulgar’.

Here are 9 mums to remind you that breastfeeding is completely normal.

1. Chrissy Teigen

Luna making me feed her babydoll so I guess I have twins now

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Chrissy is a huge proponent of breastfeeding and is currently breastfeeding her second baby, Miles, who was born in the middle of May.

Someone called her ‘narcissistic’ for posting this picture of her breastfeeding her ‘twins’ and she shut them right down.

2. Mila Kunis

Zoe Saldana Honoured with Star On The Hollywood Walk of Fame - USA Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Actress Mila Kunis spoke out passionately about the weird culture that western society has with breasts – perfectly fine to display them for advertising and marketing purposes, but as a source of essential food for your child? Forget it.

In the States and in our culture, we sexualize the breast so much that there’s an aspect of it that people just don’t know how to wrap their head around the idea of showing your breast in public.

The actress found the reactions she got to breastfeeding her daughter really strange:

It always made my husband and I feel a little weird. It took us a little back because people actually looked at us in a shameful [way], and we were like, ‘Oh my God,’ because it’s so not a sexual act.

But she didn’t let the looks stop her:

It didn’t matter to me what other people thought. That’s what I chose to do, but I think it’s unfortunate that people are so hard on women who choose to do it and do it in public.

3. Thandie Newton

Thandie took a selfie at Latitude festival in 2016 showing her feeding her 28-month-old (that’s 2 years and 4 months). She captioned the photo with a lovely pro-choice feeding message:

Perfect happiness @latitudefest This is what my body is made for. And the rest is my choice. #Freedom

4. Liv Tyler

Sunday morning snuggles with my baby girl. So grateful for this precious gift.

A post shared by Liv Tyler (@misslivalittle) on

Omg how cute and peaceful does this look?

5. Gwen Stefani

#Switzerland !!!!!🍼

A post shared by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) on

Stuck on the side of a road in Switzerland with no bottle heating facilities?

Just whip out a tit and go á la Gwen!

Breastfeeding allows you to be out and about with your baby in nature, instead of stuck to facilities where you have electricity and kettles and clean water.

6. Kristin Cavallari

The glamorous side of the #BalancinginHeels #BookTour 😂

A post shared by Kristin Cavallari (@kristincavallari) on

When you’re breastfeeding a 0-3 month old baby, they typically need to be fed every 3-4 hours. So if you’re away from the baby, your breasts will get full and sore, and can leak milk.

Sounds gross, but it’s actually the female body being an unbelievable efficient built-in alarm clock to remind you to go find your baby and keep it alive.

However, if you’re away from your baby you can’t feed them.

But there’s plenty of pumps you can buy or rent so you can empty your full breasts. Freeze the milk and it keeps for months on end to be used in the future.

7. Gisele Bundachen

If only maternity hospitals came with this level of service.

8. P!nk

P!nk calls the act of breastfeeding ‘healthy and natural’.

Some people can get their knickers in a twist as soon as you mention the ‘b’ word, so calling it ‘nursing’ might help you talk about it to your friends and family.

9. Salma Hayek

Source: LatinBuzz/YouTube

In 2009, Salma Hayek breastfed a baby that wasn’t hers whilst visiting Sierra Leone.

Of the experience, Salma said:

“The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother didn’t have milk. He was very hungry. I was weaning Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk that I was pumping, so I breast-fed the baby. You should have seen his eyes. When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying.

But now I’m crying.

Side note: Choose whatever feeding method works for you, but research shows that breastmilk is the best way to feed an infant, that donated breastmilk is the second best way, and that formula milk is the third option. Women should be supported so they have the full range of choice, but at the moment Irish women are not fully supported to breastfeed, IMHO as a mum to a 28 month old breastfed toddler. Over and out!

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