From Beyoncé to Laila Ali, celebrity moms talk nursing their babies
Ask Tomiko Fraser Hines, and she’ll tell you without much hesitation: Breastfeeding her newborn twin babies was a given.
The model-actress shared details of she and her husband’s fertility struggles—they ended up using a donor egg—and finally she was able to give birth to two healthy sons. It cemented her choice to breastfeed her babies.
Had she not gone through the years long struggle of trying to conceive, breastfeeding would have been an option anyway. Given that Fraser Hines, who also heads up Tomiko Fraser’s Goddess Gathering, a women’s empowerment and support group, she knew that many of the mothers in her group all breastfed their babies.
Because her sons were conceived using an anonymous donor egg, she says she “wanted more of a bond with them via breastfeeding, so it was very important to me that they are breastfed. I was working with a lactation nurse who was applauding me for my stick-to-itiveness, like, ‘You really want to do this!’ It’s harder with two. But I was determined.”
Breastfeeding, for all of its good health benefits, also is a bonding experience for women. “It is the most amazing thing ever,” Fraser Hines says. “They’re kind of nestled into your bosom and it’s very organic, very primal, it’s just so natural and it’s soothing. I am amazed at my breasts. I’m amazed at what they can do and the feeling I am experiencing being a mother. My body is doing what it was made to do, and producing milk is insane. I’ve got milk coming out of me … and this milk is all that my children need. They could have nothing else, they just have breast milk and they’re more than healthy.”
The good news? Fraser Hines isn’t alone. Black women can look to plenty of African-American celebrity moms who are speaking out about the benefits of breastfeeding their babies.
Here’s who else is doing it:
It was a moment when it was reported that the pop superstar publicly breastfed baby girl Blue Ivy in a New York restaurant. The singer also has shared that she breastfed her daughter for 10 weeks before switching over to formula. “I lost most of my weight from breastfeeding, and I encourage women to do it; it’s just so good for the baby and good for yourself,” she gushed to People magazine.
The athlete had a natural birth for her daughter Sydney, and she’s said that not only was breastfeeding the best choice for her, it also helped her get back to a healthy weight.
The former “American Idol” judge shared with Barbara Walters in a “20/20” interview that she nursed her twin babies, Monroe and Moroccan, for three months.
In the making of video of her track “Fall In Love”—released two years ago—we saw Badu breastfeeding her daughter, Mars, on several occasions.
The former VJ gave birth to a baby boy, and following his birth, she constantly tweeted out her new daily life of breastfeeding woes.
Tia and Tamera Mowry
The twins embraced everything about motherhood (they even hired doulas), including breastfeeding. Now they are launching a new product to help moms who are having difficulty lactating. “Many women don’t know there is scientific backing for a certain natural supplement to increase breast milk—but there is!” the twins wrote on their blog. Their product, Milky, contains the natural supplement fenugreek.
After a Christmas delivery of her son, Varro, the actress talked with Essence about how quickly her son latched onto breastfeeding. She’s joked about being back at work—on the set of “A Haunted House” with Marlon Wayans—and how she was breastfeeding and lactating and felt like she would explode. She also tweeted out that she once stopped her car to feed her 15-week-old son.
The soul-singing mama—she’s a platinum-seller who also has three children—told Momlogic.com that she’s a big believer in breastfeeding. “I breastfed my oldest for nine months, my second for six months, and I plan to breastfeed my new baby girl for at least six months. At the end of the day, you have healthier kids. Plus, while I was breastfeeding, a lot of the baby weight just dropped off.:
Since health-care providers are the public’s first line of defense against widening health disparities, and breastfeeding is one of the best early ways to combat many of these conditions, the National Medical Association has formed the Breastfeeding Alliance. This task force, supported by a grant from the Kellogg Foundation, is designed to educate physicians about the importance of breastfeeding and encourage them to start the dialogue about the practice with new moms.