So, we’ve come a long way when it comes to attitudes about public breastfeeding and pumping, extended breastfeeding, and formula feeding. Fed is best, and parents should be able to decide how to get that done. Still, there’s no shortage of people (often strangers) eager to share their opinion on where, how and for how long you should nourish your kid. That’s why we’re so grateful that a number of celebrity moms are out there using their fame to help normalize nursing, and sharing glorious breastfeeding and pumping photos to boot.
Every time someone like Katy Perry or Ashley Graham posts a pic of themselves doing the hard work of feeding their babes, that visibility helps other moms who need to whip ’em out at the store or take frequent breaks in their workday.
Here’s why this is necessary: A 2019 report by Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California’s Hastings College of Law showed breastfeeding discrimination in the workplace is so, so real, and thousands of women have lost pay or even their jobs because of it. The battle to normalize breastfeeding continues, and these famous breastfeeding moms are definitely doing their bit.
Though Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are keeping pics of Daisy Dove private, Perry has been eager to make pics of her in full-on breast-pumping attire very public. She even used her pumping time to help Jane Fonda’s get-out-the-vote effort.
Olympic Track and Field star Alicia Montaño was about to go on the air (remotely) with Tamron Hall when her almost-1-year-old came into the room, crying to be fed. A PA tried to tell her she couldn’t breastfeed during the interview, but when she stood her ground, Hall and her producers were happy to go forward. Hungry toddlers rule the world, after all.
The model mom manages to make pumping at work look glamorous. Then again, she has 17 packs (?!) of hair on her side.
Bella (and her twin sister Brie Bella — the sisters gave birth in 2020 one day apart) did not hold back sharing any of the, er, naked truths of her pregnancy, so it’s no surprise she shared a birthday pumping pic to seal the celebration.
Mila Jovovich welcomed her third child, Osian Lark Elliot Jovovich-Anderson, in February 2020. She also shares 12-year-old Ever and 5-year-old Dashiel with husband Paul W. S. Anderson. She recently opened up on Instagram about how meaningful breastfeeding Osian has been for her.
“So grateful for these quiet moments with my rainbow baby,” Jovovich wrote of Osian — a “rainbow baby” because she followed the loss of Jovovich’s previous pregnancy, which required an emergency abortion at four months along. “Nursing her are some of my favorite times of the day. That sweet little cupcake looking up at me with her soulful eyes, her tiny hands, her incredible scent, that fluffy hair. I treasure this period of our lives so much. Such a short blip in my life, but one that will bring the sweetest memories when I’m looking back.”
Dewan welcomed her second child — and first child with boyfriend Steve Kazee — in March 2020. The little guy is adorably named Callum Michael Rebel Kazee, and it didn’t take long before Dewan was showing him off on Instagram. She posted a pic of the fresh-out-the oven baby breastfeeding, with the text “So. Happy.” across the photo.
Dewan told US Weekly back in 2014 that she was “still breastfeeding” her daughter Everly (dad is Channing Tatum), who was 9 months at the time. “It’s kind of the most amazing thing in the world,” Dewan told the publication about the breastfeeding process. “Because you’re giving your baby so much nutrition, but you burn so many extra calories a day… I do want to have more kids if it’s in the cards for us.”
Well, the “us” may be different, but Dewan certainly got her wish.
Hadestown actor Amber Gray was breast-pumping (via hands-free dual electric pump, naturally) backstage during intermission last year while reapplying her makeup, because moms gotta multitask, when photographer Emilio Madrid-Kuser snapped this now-viral shot, among other pics.
“I realized he wasn’t planning on submitting them to his editor as pieces to actually put into the world and I was like, ‘This is what I do every single intermission, and have done since 2016,’ ” the Tony Nominee told People. “‘You can put this into the world, and this is just working motherhood.’ Lots of people do this. There’s nothing weird here.”
Gray added that she “would love a moment when that photo does not go viral — when it’s not empowering to people, it’s just normal. And people were like, ‘What’s your agenda?’ I’m like, ‘There’s no agenda. A quarter of the world are working mothers. It’s just normal life.’”
Kat Von D
Since giving birth to her first child, son Leafar Von D Reyes, in November 2018, Kat Von D has been open about her breastfeeding ups and downs. In one candid Instagram post, she revealed that while she and her newborn were still in the hospital, she had to boost his low blood sugar levels by feeding him with donated breast milk from fellow new mom and doula, Morgan Campbell. (Von D’s own milk hadn’t come in yet, which is normal for some moms.) “True sisterhood,” Von D wrote when paying tribute to Campbell — and she’s part of that sisterhood herself for sharing wonderful pics of her “magical boobs.”
It’s true that most moms don’t breastfeed wearing Versace and Bulgari diamonds, but Rachel McAdams’ breast-pumping photo shoot certainly got people talking. Taken by photographer Claire Rothstein for the cover of Girls. Girls. Girls. magazine, and later shared by Rothstein on Instagram, it shows McAdams wearing a breast pump six months postpartum. But it was more than a unique accessory; Rothstein revealed that McAdams was actually pumping between shots.
“Breastfeeding is the most normal thing in the world and I can’t for the life of me imagine why or how it is ever frowned upon or scared of,” added Rothstein. “I don’t even think it needs explaining but just wanted to put this out there, as if it even changes one person’s perception of something so natural, so normal, so amazing then that’s great.”
In 2018, Teigen shared a cute photo of herself “breastfeeding” baby son Miles and daughter Luna’s baby doll at the same time, which caused a somewhat surprising amount of controversy. Of course, that’s something the famous mom is more than used to, and as ever, she took it in stride — responding to haters with the perfect clapback. “You make feeding a baby big deal because you got weird titty issues,” she tweeted. Amen, lady. Also, doll babies typically come with little plastic bottles filled with plastic formula, so why shouldn’t they be “breastfed” too?
We can always count on Alanis Morissette for a stellar World Breastfeeding Week photo. This mom has caused controversy for her views on extended breastfeeding, telling Good Morning America, “I know some children who have weaned naturally at two years, [and] some kids wean naturally a couple of years later. I mean, it’s up to every child.” She also told Access Hollywood, “I’ll breastfeed, and I’ll be breastfeeding until my son is finished and he weans.”
Jenny Mollen Biggs
Jason Biggs shared a photo of his wife, Jenny Mollen Biggs, breastfeeding their first son in the back of their car in July 2014. But she wasn’t just sitting in the back of the car — she was leaning over the car seat to get her boob in the right position to feed the tot in transit. Which requires contortionist moves, patience and a sense of humor. In other words, the ultimate postpartum toolkit.
Lakshmi’s throwback “working moms” post, showing her breastfeeding her daughter Krishna while putting on mascara on the set of Top Chef, went viral in May 2018. Proof that even the rich and famous have to multitask, and when it comes to breastfeeding, plenty of moms are facing the same daily struggles and triumphs.
Pink has been one of the most outspoken celebrity supporters of nursing. The mom of two has shared many photos of herself breastfeeding — and she pretty much nailed the only thing that needs to be said about the practice (during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017): “I’m feeding my kid. Would you rather him scream?” Try offering that clapback the next time someone questions your right to breastfeed in public.
And if that doesn’t silence the hater, here are some more wise words from DeGeneres, proving that you don’t need to be (or have been) a nursing mom to understand why breastfeeding is kind of important: “It’s a child, and it needs to eat.”
Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk’s kids are well beyond their baby days, but Today host Wolfe was fighting the corner of breastfeeding moms long before #brelfies were an actual thing. During maternity leave with her first child, daughter Harper Estelle Wolfeld, Wolfe wore a hidden camera to capture people’s reactions to breastfeeding in public. Overall, it was a positive experience, but unfortunately that’s not the case for all moms. “Before I had a child I had no idea breastfeeding could be such an emotional topic,” said Wolfe. “If I’ve learned anything so far it’s that while it’s not always easy, most of us moms are just doing our best.”
Celebrity moms can get a bad rap for sharing their nursing experiences, but they’re in a great position to help normalize breastfeeding. So keep the selfies, the discussion and the clapbacks coming. The nursing moms around the world don’t need to be pumping in Versace to appreciate your efforts.
A version of this story was originally published in March 2019.
Want more? Check out these beautiful breastfeeding protest pics.