World Breastfeeding Week: Alyssa Milano says moms shouldn't feel ashamed and should 'stand up' for their rights
Multi-hyphenate Alyssa Milano's children may have surpassed the age where she could breastfeed them. However, she still continues to put in the efforts to normalize the stigma that many mothers face. At the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week, she shared a photo of model Ashley Graham (she too advocates public breastfeeding and documents her journey unabashedly on her Instagram page) and her son Isaac latched to her boob on her Instagram page with the caption, "There is nothing more beautiful. #normalizeBreastFeeding." Alyssa feels very strongly about mothers giving away their basic right to feed their child and for this same reason, she was also the face of two campaigns that were aimed at creating a safe space for mothers and babies.
In an interview with PEOPLE, where she detailed her experience with breastfeeding, Alyssa had said, "I loved having that closeness with them and having that alone time with them." She also added that she "loved breastfeeding more than I thought I would.” For the same reason, she teamed up with MomRising and Care2 to educate women that they needn't allow naysayers to stop them from nursing their babies. Alyssa, for the longest time, has worried about the fact that many mothers were letting go of this “natural human function” due to public misconceptions around the topic and she puts in tireless efforts to keep educating them that it's nothing to be ashamed of.
During Breastfeeding Week in 2018, she had also started a petition against formula companies who "worked to undermine women's confidence in breastfeeding, especially low-income women living in developing countries." Her goal was to get these companies to "stop Undermining Breastfeeding Moms," and "make it easier for new moms to feed their children with their bodies." About the shame that eclipses public breastfeeding, she firstly couldn't "believe this is still an issue." Elaborating on her thoughts further, she said, “When people tell a nursing mom to go in the bathroom to feed their baby, it’s like telling someone to go in the bathroom to eat their sandwich. Would you eat your lunch in the bathroom? Or under a blanket?” As a word of advice for mothers to tackle breastfeeding bullies, she said, "Don’t be ashamed. Stand up for your rights,” further adding, “Try to educate the person if possible. And just enjoy this magical time with your child.”
Milano was never shy to document her breastfeeding journey and she put it out for the world to see and learn. She also went on 'The Wendy Williams Show' in 2016 to debate with the host on the topic of public breastfeeding.
August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week and with this column, we highlight the journey of celebrity moms who advocate normalizing breastfeeding.