Alyssa Milano is pretty proud of her breastfeeding, which is clear from a quick glance at her Instagram page.
The former Charmed star has just celebrated the first birthday of her daughter Elizabella and had a few things to say about how we as a society view breastfeeding and women’s nipples.
Posted on the Marie Claire website:
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 42-year-old was asked how she felt about the uproar surrounding her breastfeeding pictures compared to the nudity of female stars like Miley Cyrus.
‘Everyone’s fine with [Miley Cyrus’] nipples being out, but if I post a picture of me breastfeeding, it’s craziness,’ she told ET.
Alyssa is among the legion of celebrity mums who have posted pictures of themselves breastfeeding, usually while multi-tasking, and has received her fair share of criticism. But, she insists, that isn’t going to stop her feeding her daughter any way she sees fit.
‘I don’t care. I’m going to keep breastfeeding maybe even until she’s six,’ she said with a wry smile.
According to the last Infant Feeding Survey from 2010, 81 per cent of babies are breastfed at birth. However, just one per cent of mothers are still breastfeeding exclusively by the time their babies are six months old.
And from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the numbers are stronger – approximately 77 percent of mothers start breastfeeding immediately after birth, but only about 16 percent of those moms are breastfeeding exclusively six months later.
Celebs like Alyssa, Gisele Bundchen and Miranda Kerr have all shared intimate images of themselves and their children breastfeeding with mixed reactions from the public.
As a woman, who has breastfed, I can tell you from experience, breastfeeding is very advantageous to infants and if there is a public outcry – too bad, so be it! The benefits to infants far outway the public outcry! Don’t just take my word though.
Since 1956, La Leche League International has been providing breastfeeding assistance through mother-to-mother support, education and information.
From the website of La Leche League International:
Human milk provides the perfect mix of nutrients, hormones and proteins and it cannot be duplicated. In addition to being the perfect nutrition for human infants, human milk is a living substance that changes to meet the baby’s nutritional needs as he or she continues to grow and develop.
Human milk contains all the amino acids in the right proportions necessary for the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system.
Human milk contains essential fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) essential to healthy cognitive development and visual acuity.
The composition of human milk changes as the baby grows and its protection against illness is most evident during a baby’s first six months of life with many benefits extending well beyond infancy.
Let me stress it again. The benefits of breast milk from the nutrients, hormones, proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, and all the other substances present are essential and vital to an infant’s health in infancy and beyond!
Gwen Stephani doesn’t have a problem with it:
So what do Alyssa, I or the 81% other new mothers care if you don’t like that we are breastfeeding in public! Too bad! It’s a NATURAL and LOVING stage that follows giving birth and it is a God-given gift of every woman! The benefits to women and infants are so significant it doesn’t really matter WHAT you say! I breastfed all my children as infants, and I must say the two I breastfed the longest as infants are the healthiest as adults.
By the way, in case you were wondering – according to National Conference of State Legistlature:
Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.
Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.
We can do better America! God gave women the natural gift of breastfeeding, the least we can do is honor that gift!
So to Alyssa Milano and the other 81% of mothers who breastfeed – God Bless You!