'Elle' Puts Breastfeeding Mom on Cover in Big Win for Working Moms

elle magazine australia breastfeeding cover

Mother and child -- it's a beautiful sight; it touches us in a way deeper than any fashionable clothing item could, or any makeup trick or windblown hair effect. It's pure beauty, magical and profound. And for the first time ever, Elle Australia has featured a breastfeeding mother on the June 2015 subscriber's cover of their magazine. Model Nicole Trunfio had her son Zion on set and it was time for him to eat, so he did.


Things could have turned out differently. With her son on set, Nicole could have felt pressure to have Zion with a caretaker in another room, far away from his working mother. She could have given that caretaker a bottle of pumped breast milk and asked that she not be disturbed during the shoot. Elle magazine could have told her that children weren't allowed on the job. But none of that happened.

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For many working moms in America, the idea of taking a break from work to feed your baby is unheard of. Most jobs do not have on-site child care. Many jobs don't even have a proper place for mom to pump breast milk when she is away from her baby 8, 9, 10 hours a day. The set at Elle welcomed this mom along with her child at her job ... and what resulted was unexpected and wonderful. Without intent, Elle has set an example of how we should treat working mothers. (Though I will say I wish it was on all of the covers, not just the subscriber version. Still ... progress.)

Elle Australia's editor-in-chief Justine Cullen said of the photo, "This wasn’t a contrived situation: Zion needed a feed, Nicole gave it to him, and when we saw how beautiful they looked we simply moved her onto the set. It was a completely natural moment that resulted in a powerful picture."

Support. That is exactly what all parents -- not just breastfeeding mothers -- need.

Nicole shared the photo on her Instagram along with these words:

There is nothing more powerful and beautiful than motherhood. The last thing I want to do is be controversial, so please take this for what it is, let us #normalizebreastfeeding there is nothing worse than a mother that is judged for feeding her hungry child in public. #weareonlyhuman I'm so proud of this cover and for what it's stands for. I obviously don't look like this while I am breastfeeding but this stands for all women out there, whether you breastfeed or not, we gave birth, we are women, we are mothers. Thank you to ELLE for being so bold and making such an encouraging, positive and healthy statement. #womenunite

She also said, "When I saw the [subscriber] cover of me breastfeeding, which was unplanned and just natural, I teared up and thought, 'Wow this is such a special moment where my worlds have collided'."

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Worlds have collided. The world where we are a working woman and a mother. All jobs should be more open to the working mother and working father.

This isn't just about breastfeeding (though it is very much about that and we are celebrating that) but it is also about mothers who are juggling work/life balance. More companies should be open to accommodating all that encompasses a working parent's life. 

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What I see when I look at this gorgeous cover is a beautiful mother and child moment (dad is musician Gary Clark Jr. by the way). I see breastfeeding normalized. I see a mom balancing work and life the best she can. I see a company embracing the moments we have to take as a mother to be with our children. I see hope.

Let's hope more companies follow this example by being open to accommodations being made for all parents. 

What do you think of Elle Australia's breastfeeding cover?


Image via ELLE Australia/Instagram

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