23 Celebrities Who've Gotten Real About Breastfeeding
Celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Khloé Kardashian are fighting the stigma.
It's hard to believe that some people still consider breastfeeding to be a "taboo" these days. But celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Khloé Kardashian are fighting the stigma by sharing the ins and outs of their own experiences. In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, here are 23 celebs serving nothing but real talk when it comes to nursing.
Ali Wong knows how to deliver the most over-the-top, yet totally relatable jokes about motherhood. The comedian literally dedicated an entire stand-up special to what happens to a woman's body during and after pregnancy. Her thoughts on breastfeeding? It's a "blast", she wrote on Instagram last year. But the selfie she shared says the complete opposite.
Leave it to Wong to always #keepitreal.
Former Victoria's Secret angel Doutzen Kroes is all about normalizing breastfeeding—so much so that Vogue Netherlandspublished a photo of Kroes and her family snuggling in bed while she nursed her little girl. The image went viral in 2015 and earned praise from fans and celebs alike.
"I really adore this picture! It felt magical having my family on the set," she wrote on Instagram at the time. " I cherish every moment I can be close to them."
Gisele Bündchen recently shared a sweet throwback photo of her breastfeeding one of her kiddos alongside an empowering caption: "One of the most special moments I've shared with my kids was while breastfeeding," she wrote. "That special look you get, that feeling of connection is unlike anything I have ever experienced."
That isn't to say feeding your baby is an easy task, Bündchen continued. "In the beginning, it can be difficult, it can hurt (the cracks, bleeding, engorgement), but no matter how challenging, I would not change that experience for anything in this world," she wrote. "I feel blessed that I was able to nourish them in this way."
Gwen Stefani posted this epic photo of herself breastfeeding her son while vacationing in the Swiss Alps in 2014. Fans absolutely loved it; several people thanked the singer in the comments section for sharing such a special moment. One person wrote that they hope stars like Stefani "continue making breastfeeding not only socially acceptable but awesome and beautiful."
If you've ever watched The Hills, you know Heidi Montag is all about the glam. So it came as no surprise when she chose this portrait-esque shot to share her opinions about breastfeeding.
"I love, support, and appreciate women more than I ever have before," she wrote in an Instagram caption. "The strength and heart it takes every day. It has been more rewarding than I could have dreamed. God truly had made women be extraordinary."
Whether she's celebrating a body part she didn't always love or sharing why she loves her shape, you can count on Hilary Duff for a much-needed dose of reality. Recently, the singer got candid about how breastfeeding is a personal decision and shared why she stopped nursing her daughter after six months.
Breastfeeding wasn't easy for Duff as a working mom, not to mention her milk supply depleted sooner than expected. Once the process started to feel "maddening", she decided to call it quits. "With all of this complaining, I want to say I enjoyed (almost) every moment of feeding my daughter," she wrote on Instagram. "(I) felt so lucky to be so close to her and give her that start. I know many women are not able to and for that, I am sympathetic and very grateful that I could. For six wonderful months."
Her post served as a powerful reminder to moms everywhere that it's okay to put yourself first.
Jaime King won't hesitate to tell you that no one has the right to judge how a mother chooses to nurse her baby. It's a personal decision—period.
King reiterated that point by sharing a candid photo of herself breastfeeding her 8-month-old while the two were cozied up in bed. "These are the moments a mother lives for," she wrote on Instagram. "Breastfeeding should not be a taboo, and bottle feeding should not be judged. It's ALL fun for the whole family."
Jenna Jameson recently shared this sweet selfie with her daughter in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. But she's taken to Instagram several times in an effort to normalize breastfeeding and has often joked about its challenges—like that time she shared a photo of her brown tank top covered in unmistakable milk stains with the caption: "Breastfeeding is so damn glamorous #inserteyeroll."
Jessica Alba is a proud mama-of-three, but she's been open about how her breastfeeding experience has been different with each of her children. "Emotionally, I know kind of what to expect," she told Motherly in an interview. "But every time, with all the hormones, it's so overwhelming." Each time, the process didn't get any easier, which is why she decided to stop breastfeeding her youngest after six months, she explained.
Still, Alba said she was proud to have nursed for as long as she did. "I breastfed as long as I could, but not as long as I wanted," she continued telling Motherly. "I had to get back to work, and I wasn't able to keep it going. But I am proud to say I did the best for my daughters and I'm proud of all of my mom friends for doing the best they can on this issue."
Liv Tyler isn't one to get overly personal on social media. That's why fans were in awe when she shared this selfie with her daughter while nursing her in bed. "Sunday morning snuggles with my baby girl," she captioned the gorgeous photo. "So grateful for this precious gift."
Fans were totally here for it when Westworld actress Thandie Newton shared this powerful photo of her breastfeeding her 2-year-old son outside of a music festival she was attending. "This is what my body is made for," she wrote on Instagram. "And the rest is my choice. #Freedom."
You might know Tess Holliday as an advocate for normalizing bodies of all shapes and sizes. But the mom-of-two has done her part to destigmatize breastfeeding as well. In 2017, she shared a powerful photo of herself nursing her son while at a Women's March in California. Unfortunately, trolls flooded her post with hateful comments, telling her she needed to "cover up."
"Those saying that I should 'cover-up,' you mean when I'm breastfeeding MY baby who was a) hungry and b) screaming because he was overly tired and the crowd overloaded his senses and it was the only way to comfort him?!" she wrote on Instagram. "I will feed my child anywhere I want. Also CA state law protects me to do so. Keep your uneducated opinions off my body."
In 2018, Chrissy Teigen shared a cute photo of herself pretend-breastfeeding her daughter's baby doll and her son at the same time. Surprisingly, the photo caused a lot of controversy. Trolls came at her, telling her to cover up, with one hater saying: "Just because it's normal doesn't mean the world wants to see it." (Insert eye-roll here.)
Of course, Teigen is accustomed to dealing with this kind of negative BS. Naturally, she tweeted at the trolls with the perfect clap-back: "You make feeding a baby a big deal because you got weird titty issues."
Victoria's Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel is not one to apologize for her post-baby body, and she won't apologize for breastfeeding either. The model has used her platform to prove that breasts aren't inherently sexual.
"Many women today are shamed for breastfeeding in public, or even kicked out of public places for feeding their children," she wrote on Instagram in 2016. "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..?"
She added: "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 [sic] on society as a whole."
Padma Lakshmi knows how to multitask. "Shoutout to all the working moms out there," she wrote alongside this photo of herself breastfeeding and applying her mascara while on the set of Top Chef.
Olivia Wilde will be the first to tell you that motherhood isn't always glamorous. She's been open with her fans about the difficulties of being a new mom and shared several raw, beautiful, sleepy-eyed selfies with her babies.
One powerful shot shows Wilde breastfeeding her newborn daughter in a t-shirt that reads: "Never underestimate the power of a woman." It really doesn't get more iconic than that.
Pink is a rockstar for so many reasons, but she's particularly incredible for being one of the most outspoken celebrities on breastfeeding awareness.
On top of sharing several photos of herself nursing, Pink pretty much nailed the only thing that needs to be said about breastfeeding while on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017: "I'm feeding my kid. Would you rather him scream?"
Back in 2012, Pink admitted to a British radio show that she's had unpleasant experiences while breastfeeding in public. "I had a cover on," she said. "And this guy walks by, and he was like, 'Ughh'. He was just disgusted." That reaction, however, hasn't stopped Pink from breastfeeding in public. When the host asked her if she did that on purpose, she said: "I do. I do on purpose. I think breast-feeding is healthy and natural and it's a comfort to my baby."
We really can't get enough of this badass celeb mama!
In case you still don't believe Kate Hudson is the definition of #fitspiration, a friend of the Fabletics founder recently posted a photo of Hudson breastfeeding her 3-month-old daughter in the middle of a workout.
"Motherhood doesn't slow us down," Hudson's friend, Erin Foster wrote alongside the pic, in which Hudson appears to be mid-lunge. Seriously, there's nothing this woman can't do.
Vampire Diaries actress, Claire Holt was over the moon after becoming a first-time mom. But despite all the joy and excitement, she struggled to breastfeed and opened up about her painful experience in an emotional selfie.
"I've had many moments like this since my son arrived," she wrote on Instagram. "My only concern is making sure his needs are met, yet I often feel that I'm falling short. Motherhood is an overwhelming combination of bliss and self-doubt."
Holt added that she tries her best to take a step back and go easy on herself during these tough moments. "I try to remind myself that I can't be perfect," she shared. "I can't be everything for everyone. I just have to do my best and take it one hour at a time."
Khloé Kardashian hasn't been one to hold back about life as a mom ever since giving birth to her daughter, True. Last year, she opened up on Twitter about her decision to stop nursing. "I had to stop breastfeeding," she tweeted, adding, "it was really hard for me to stop (emotionally) but it wasn't working for my body. Sadly."
While there's certainly a stigma around breastfeeding in public, there's also a stigma around moms who are unable or decide to stop breastfeeding their babies. The truth is, breastfeeding isn't for every woman, and stopping isn't a failure.
Since becoming a mom, Serena Williams has had to make some tough decisions to balance her personal life and her career. Recently, the tennis star opened up about her choice to stop breastfeeding her daughter, Alexis Olympia in an effort to get into better shape to compete in Wimbledon.
"I feel like everyone says, 'You're so thin when you breastfeed,'" she said in a news conference. But despite training intensely and following a strict vegan diet, Williams said she wasn't seeing the post-baby weight loss results she wanted to be able to perform her best on the court.
"What I've learned through the experience—everybody is different, every person is different, every physical body is different," she said. "For my body, [breastfeeding] didn't work, no matter how much I worked out, no matter how much I did; it didn't work for me."
Shortly after giving birth to her first baby last year, film director Lauren Paul opened up about a breastfeeding issue that isn't often publically discussed: mastitis, an inflammation of the breast tissue that Paul experienced not once, but twice in the span of just three weeks.
"I was fighting a fever that almost hit 104. It was the sickest I have ever felt," she wrote on Instagram. "For the mammas who have been there, I know you feel me. What I keep coming back to is the fact that I feel like all these very common issues that can come up immediately after having a baby are not really discussed at length and being here now, I'm feeling a responsibility to share this so that any new mamma-to-be reading this is aware of these potential issues."
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This article originally appeared on Shape.com