angelcandices/instagramAs much as we'd love to believe that breastfeeding in public is totally acceptable these days, it unfortunately still isn't for many people (and if you've ever tried to do it, you know what we're talking about!). That's why we appreciate the efforts of pro-breastfeeding celebs like supermodel Candice Swanepoel to normalize this already completely normal and natural act -- even if that means nursing in a couture dress in the middle of a Vogue Brazil photo shoot!
The 28-year-old mom took a break from her shoot in Rio de Janeiro to breastfeed her 5-month-old son, Anacã, and the photo below is one every nursing mother can relate to:
That's right, mama! We've all been there -- though, to be fair, most of us are pulling down a decidedly less glamorous spit-up-covered T-shirt to give our little ones a snack as we stagger uncomfortably about trying to get things done. What we won't do for our kids, right? (Including giving ourselves back problems; oh well.)
Seriously, though, while this photo could be dismissed as a funny "Stars: They're Just Like Us" kind of moment, it's actually an important statement. Swanepoel has been a vocal breastfeeding advocate since giving birth, posting a close-up photo of Anacã nursing back in December with the following message:
Many women today are shamed for breastfeeding in public, or even kicked out of public places for feeding their children. 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..? 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 on society as a whole.
Swanepoel is exactly right: Breastfeeding is not sexual, it's natural -- and we do need more education to fight this ridiculous stigma. There is absolutely no reason any mom should ever be made to feel uncomfortable about nursing anywhere, anytime. Babies need to eat, and they shouldn't be forced to take their meals in a public bathroom stall or with their heads stuck under a blanket. Anyone who can't stand the sight of a nursing infant needs to take a long, hard look at why they feel that way ... and then take steps to change their point of view.
More from CafeMom: 23 Celeb Moms Openly Breastfeeding Like It's NBD (Because It's Not)
Breastfeeding mothers need and deserve support, not shaming (and, yes, in this case, shaming includes criticizing Swanepoel's baby boy for being naked -- really?) -- as do all parents who are trying their hardest to take care of their children in the best way possible. Kudos to Swanepoel and others like her for using their position to spread this very important message.