Kelly with son Austin, 2 1/2 (still nursing) and daughter Anabel, 10 (self-weaned at 2 1/2).
Another year has passed, and as my own son is moving toward self-weaning, I wanted to look back at the nursing celebrity moms for this year. I really appreciate these self-assured women going public about their decision to breastfeed. I'm happy to report that there are more nursing moms in the 2008 lineup than can fit in one blog entry. I've chosen a few that have truly inspired me (and hopefully many nursing moms and moms-to-be) through their words and actions.
Star Mom: Angelina Jolie
When I think "celebrity" and "mom", I think: Angelina Jolie. So even though Tanya discussed Angelina's beautiful W cover back in October, I think it's worthy of second mention simply because of Angelina's perspective on publicity--leveraging her celebrity for important causes. With the W cover, (photo taken by partner Brad Pitt) she took awareness of breastfeeding to a stratospheric level.
Postpartum Weight Loss Sanity: Melissa Joan Hart and Minnie Driver
After seeing pictures of new moms walking the red carpet three weeks after giving birth, looking better than, well...I ever will in my life, it's nice to get a dose of sanity from these nursing celebrity moms.
Former Sabrina the Teenage Witch star Melissa Joan Hart talked about trying to lose weight after having her second child, Braydon, who she is nursing. "I think a lot of post-pregnancy diet plans are really focused on losing the weight, but this keeps my first priority straight -- being able to stay healthy enough to breastfeed my baby." Melissa states it took 10 months to lose the weight with her first, son Mason, and she's not worried about those last 20 pounds with this one.
Minnie Driver, who nurses son Henry, also has a relaxed approach to weight loss. While she finds that breastfeeding "burns the weight off," she says her routine mainly consists of long walks with Henry.
One Fit Mother: Gabriel Reece
I've always admired Gabrielle Reece for what she's done to promote a health body image. Now, she's not only nursing mom to baby daughter Brody Jo, but also a spokesperson promoting breastfeeding for the non-profit organization Best for Babes. (She also nursed daughter Reese Viola, now 4, for 23 months.)
During her exclusive interview on Celebrity Baby Blog, Gabriel discusses how women can set themselves up for success with breastfeeding, and avoid common pitfalls (which are cleverly referred to as booby traps.) She evens dispels the myth of the older nursing baby."People have this perception that your one and a half year old is always on the boob, when really they may only be on at night before bedtime, for comfort, and to continue to boost their immune system."
To be Continued: Salma Hayek and Kelly Rutherford
I am pleased to report two nursing moms in the "extended nurser" category for 2008.
Mom to nursling Valentina Paloma, 13 months, Salma Hayek says she doesn't want to stop nursing her daughter anytime soon. Nursing, says Salma, is "a very powerful thing" and she's committed to it. "I don't care if I cry, I don't care if I'm fat" she says, "when I see how much good it is doing her, I can't stop."
Actress Kelly Rutherford is expecting her second child this summer and breastfeeding two-year old son Hermes. Kelly seems unfazed by societal pressures to wean. "I'll just do it as long as it feels right for my son." As I don't even know any non-celebrity moms who are pregnant and nursing, I'm impressed with Kelly's commitment!
Be My Guest: Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie
The Ellen Show seems to be the venue of choice for celebrity nursing moms. Christina was discussing nursing baby Max on the show earlier this year. I love when Ellen asks her if she's nursing. The moment (1:02) is adorable!
Nicole Richie is the most laid back, nurturing mom in the public eye. I love how she lit up when she talked about her daughter Harlow recently on the Ellen show. And while I can't relate to her jet-setting lifestyle, I can appreciate her commitment to nursing her daughter. Discussing boyfriend Joel's plans to go to Africa to promote their charity foundation, Nicole explained. "Joel, actually, is leaving next week. I wish that I could go, but I'm still nursing." Making sacrifices for our children; that's something we all can relate to.
And recently, the two moms have forged a friendship with their babies being close in age.
No Doubt, She's a Great Mom: Gwen Stefani
Last year, Gwen was still nursing son Kingston. This year congratulations are in order for new baby son Zuma. I'm a little apprehensive about mentioning Gwen because she hasn't officially discussed breastfeeding Zuma, but was snapped nursing him on a park bench by an intrusive pap.
While I appreciate that celebrity moms open up about their personal experiences nursing their children, I feel funny about observing a private moment between mother and child. So, instead of a link to that park bench shot, here's a picture of mom and baby authorized by Gwen for public use (taken by her father Dennis Stefani).
Have a blessed new year. Enjoy your babies!