Ashley Graham has been nothing but transparent about her journey into motherhood, and on Tuesday, she treated us to another nugget of unashamed realness about how she’s chosen to navigate breastfeeding with her twin sons.
The 35-year-old model, who shares 3-year-old Isaac and 2-year-old twins Malachi and Roman with her husband Justin Ervin, opened up on The Daily Show about why she decided to stop breastfeeding the twins when they turned 5 months old.
After explaining to guest host Chelsea Handler that she thought she should “only breastfeed” her eldest son, Graham divulged her epiphany about breastfeeding the second time around. “I was like, ‘I’m not doing this. This is not working here,'” she shared.
She continued, “I stopped breastfeeding when they were 5 months and I gave them the best formula I could find in America. And these little guys are so strong and so happy, so I don’t think we should be telling people how they should be feeding their kids.”
It’s no secret that the breastfeeding versus formula-feeding debate is a heated one, with many people taking an adamant stance that children should solely be breastfed so they can receive all the health benefits of breast milk. This has created an air of shame around parents who choose to formula-feed or are physically unable to breastfeed.
Graham has been a proponent of the “fed is best” motto for years. She was the face of a 2021 campaign for Bobbie, an organic infant formula company backed by herself and other celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Laura Dern as investors. One of the campaign images was of the model feeding one of her twins with her breast and the other with a bottle. The slogan was “There is no one size fits all.”
For the campaign, Graham shared, “Really, there’s no one way that is better than the other. It’s not about picking which one is best, it’s about knowing what’s best for you and your family and not caring what everybody else thinks. I’m ready to end the war on feeding.”
She told Vogue in 2022, “With Isaac it was my own personal goal that I wanted to make it a year. And then I made it a year and I thought, ‘Oh, should I keep going?’ And I remember somebody saying to me, ‘You don’t want to be that mom,’ that your kids are old enough to be lifting up your shirt. And I was like, ‘Well, what if I am that mom? What does it matter to you? Thank you. Thank you very much for your input.'”
She went on, “And then I also got, when I started wanting to implement formula with the twins, it was, ‘Well, you’re still going to breastfeed, right?’ And, ‘You’re not stopping, right?’ I just try to always go back to the old saying of ‘What is better for your child?’ My mom told me this before I got pregnant with Isaac that you as mommy will always know best, and if you need help, you ask for help. But to remember that your intuition is the one to follow.”
Let this be your reminder that whatever works best for you and your family is exactly what you should be doing for your kids — fed is best, be it formula, breast milk, or a combination of the two.
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