1) looked for Kelly Preston’s picture in “Star Tracks” and a mention of Best for Babes and Healthy Child Healthy World in connection with the celebrity event she hosted with Jenna Elfman and Laila Ali on April 14th . . . it was on page 20! Squeee! Yay for getting positive messages about breastfeeding and non-toxic living under the eyes of 3.5 million readers!
2) read the article about Beyoncé to see whether there was any mention of breastfeeding. Although I hunt for breastfeeding mentions in any expecting and new mom celebrity stories I read, I was particularly eager to see if Beyonce mentioned anything because of the huge media storm she set off when she was sighted nursing Blue Ivy in public, a topic that became so hot it made Time magazine. We’ve also been secretly hoping we could get Beyoncé to breastfeed on Sesame Street so that it can be seen as a normal and natural part of educating and raising children.
Sure enough, on page 71, Beyoncé credits breastfeeding with her ability to lose her pregnancy weight. We also learn that she breastfed until Blue was 10 weeks old. There goes our hopes for a Beyoncé breastfeeding gig on Sesame Street.
On the bright side, we think it’s great that Beyoncé breastfed AT ALL, and we love her for breastfeeding in public and being a positive role model to millions of moms who admire her glamor, talent, and business savviness. I’m sure some advocates are disappointed that she didn’t make it to 3 or 6 months, but we’re focusing on the fact that she made it through the first few days (most moms encounter huge Booby Traps in the hospital), and through the learning curve of the first 2-6 weeks. So many moms give up during this period (and it is not their fault!) because they are being undermined by a multitude of insidious cultural and institutional barriers to breastfeeding. African-American women face even greater barriers to breastfeeding, so the fact that Beyonce lasted as long as she did makes her double the hero to us! When 100% of the moms who want to breastfeed can make it past the first 6 weeks, we’ll know that 3 and 6 months is within reach.
So let’s congratulate Beyoncé: Every ounce counts, and you did us proud, girl! And let’s also congratulate celebrities like Kelly Preston, whose story of “still” breastfeeding her son for 16 months was viewed 250,000 times in 48 hours, effectively making it a public service announcement. (We love what she shared with Best for Babes, too). No matter how long celebrities breastfeed, the fact that they are doing it, showing it off, and sharing about it, is something for us all to celebrate! All celebrity breastfeeding stories have inspirational and educational value for mainstream America, whether they breastfed for 2 days, 2 months, or 2 years.
Do you get disappointed when celebrities stop breastfeeding?