Celebrities breastfeeding: From nursing twins to public feeding, mums busting taboos

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·10-min read
Ashley Graham photographed in Cannes in May 2022. (Getty Images)
Ashley Graham is among a host of celebrities who have opened up the conversation about breastfeeding. (Getty Images)

This World Breastfeeding Week is a great time to look at the many celebrities, from Ashley Graham to Emily Ratajkowski, who have helped to normalise the natural way to feed a baby by sharing their own journeys of nursing their little ones.

From opening up about their struggles to knowing when it might be time to move on, battling mastitis to being shamed, a whole host of A-list parents are using their platforms to document their own experiences and help start the conversation surrounding breastfeeding.

Read more: What is the painful breastfeeding condition mastitis? From symptoms to treatments

American model Graham, 34, who gave birth to twin boys Malachi and Roman in January, is arguably one of the most well-known faces who happily shares updates about all stages of motherhood, most recently postpartum.

For example, she recently shared an image of herself tandem breastfeeding both her sons. "Tired. but we’re here," she captioned the photo.

Fans flooded the comments to praise her for highlighting the realities of breastfeeding twins.

"I have twins and getting them both latched and all 3 of us comfortable was exhausting several times a day. People have no idea. You’re doing great!!," wrote one.

"I did this for over a year with my 2 daughters. It's VERY hard. But I understand the motive very well. Bless you!!! And your lucky babies," said another.

Watch: Ashley Graham reveals her twin son’s names

In another similar image where she also detailed her nursing journey, she jokingly captioned the snap "Double fisting (peep the wacky tan lines)."

Fans echoed the admiration of her confidence to give an insight into what motherhood can really be like.

"Yes, Mama! You go, Mama! Really refreshing to see a celeb post stuff like this. This is what real motherhood looks like folks!, one commented.

She has also admitted that it took "a few weeks" and "lots of tears" to get better at the tandem feeding position.

But Graham isn't the only celebrity mother getting real about breastfeeding. From highlighting their difficulties to celebrating the feeding wins, an entire collective of celebrity mums have also added their voices to help normalise nursing.

Read more: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' baby in intensive care for 100 days after birth

Halsey

After welcoming their first child, Ender, with boyfriend Alev Aydin, in July last year, singer Halsey shared two black-and-white photographs of them breastfeeding their newborn.

"Gratitude. For the most “rare” and euphoric birth. Powered by love. Ender Ridley Aydin," the accompanying caption read.

Later the 26-year-old, who uses she/they pronouns, marked World Breastfeeding Week by sharing images of herself nursing the newborn in a park.

Following the share, many of the star's fans offered thanks for "using your platform to normalise breastfeeding."

"[There's] not enough representation at all and it really is an incredibly hard yet beautiful journey," another comment read.

The Bad At Love singer also highlighted the juggle many mothers face breastfeeding when they return to work, sharing a mirror selfie showing them breastfeeding in the process of getting their hair and makeup done.

"Welcome to the jungle," they captioned the image.

Speaking to Extra, the 27-year-old said: "It's definitely difficult to find balance. I think that’s a common thing working mums share no matter what your job is. I want to work really hard so he’s proud of me, but I also want to spend every single second cuddling him."

Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski has often shared her breastfeeding journey on social media. (Getty Images)
Emily Ratajkowski has often shared her breastfeeding journey on social media. (Getty Images)

Emily Ratajkowski has proudly shared several photos of herself feeding her child, Sylvester, since his birth in March 2021.

"If it seems like I'm always breastfeeding it's because I am," she wrote in one post's caption.

A further scroll through the model's Instagram will show you a host of breastfeeding pics, highlighting intimate moments between mum and baby and challenging the idea that nursing has to be hidden.

In a further attempt to tackle breastfeeding taboos, she shared an image of her and a friend breastfeeding side by side, proving that feeding can also be a social experience.

Read more: Woman shares tip for testing baby name out before settling on it

Millie Mackintosh

Millie Mackintosh has opened up about her decision to stop breastfeeding, pictured in March, 2022. (Getty Images)
Millie Mackintosh has opened up about her decision to stop breastfeeding, pictured in March, 2022. (Getty Images)

As well as deciding whether breastfeeding is right for you and your baby, many mothers wrestle with the decision about when to stop nursing.

Earlier this year, Millie Mackintosh opened up about opting to stop breastfeeding her second daughter in an honest post shared to Instagram.

The former Made in Chelsea star, 31, welcomed her second child, a girl named Aurelia Violet Taylor, with husband Hugo Taylor in November 2021.

Since the newborn's arrival, Mackintosh, who is also mum to daughter Sienna born in 2020, has been giving fans an honest insight into the highs and lows of her motherhood journey.

Most recently, she detailed why she decided to stop breastfeeding Aurelia.

"I really felt the pressure to just keep going even though I was literally crying in pain every time I needed to feed," the mum-of-two wrote.

After initially mentioning her struggles on social media, Mackintosh said she was overwhelmed with support from her followers.

"There was one comment that really stuck with me, ‘It’s ok to stop too, it doesn’t make you a bad mum’. At the time I really needed to hear that," she wrote.

For a while the star decided to combi-feed, before another round of mastitis helped her make the decision to stop.

"Ultimately when I got mastitis again I decided breastfeeding wasn’t working for me anymore and I knew it was time to stop," she explains. "I was in a lot of pain, I really wanted my body back, my time back and Aurelia was really unsettled which I found upsetting and frustrating."

Kate Lawler

TV and radio presenter Kate Lawler also recently opened up about the realities of breastfeeding, revealing the debate she was having about switching to bottle feeding her daughter.

The 40-year-old new mum described feeling "guilty" after debating whether to stop breastfeeding her daughter, Noa, revealing it is like a "workout" which leaves her feeling "exhausted".

Read more: Sam Faiers reveals breastfeeding pain 'shut body down' – what is a blocked milk duct?

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff was previously praised for opening up about the difficulties she had breastfeeding as a working mother and making the decision to quit.

Sharing an image of her breastfeeding her then six-month-old daughter, Banks, the actor explained what contributed to the decision to stop nursing in a detailed accompanying caption.

Duff explained that she had been struggling to pump breast milk on the set of her TV show, Younger, and revealed that the stress of her milk supply dropping made her feel as though she “was going to break”.

Leigh-Anne Pinnock

Ashley Graham isn't the only celebrity highlighting the realities of breastfeeding twins, Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock has also shared her own journey.

The singer, who welcomed twins (she's never revealed their names or their sex) with her fiancé Andrew Gray last August, recently opened up about trying to feed two babies at a time – known as tandem feeding.

"It's been intense, and I don't feel people talk about how hard it is," she revealed to the MailOnline.

"With the sleep deprivation on top, at one point I was literally hallucinating because I was so tired," she continued. "It's definitely not easy."

This follows a sweet picture that Leigh-Anne shared in December of her breastfeeding her twins backstage at the premiere of her debut film, Boxing Day.

After sharing the image she was inundated with comments praising her for normalising breastfeeding in public.

"The one [picture] of you breastfeeding your little one is so unbelievably powerful," one fan wrote.

"Gorgeous photograph of you feeding! Well done mama," added another.

Perrie Edwards

Pinnock's bandmate Perrie Edwards also welcomed a baby last year, a son she shares with her footballer boyfriend, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 28, and recently opened up about the new mums' breastfeeding journeys.

"Every night I'd be up breastfeeding Axel, so shattered my eyes would be falling out my head, and I'd just think of Leigh-Anne and the fact she had to do this with two," she shared.

"Oh my goodness, she needs a medal! One baby is massively intense enough, never mind two. I don't get how she did it."

Read more: Premature baby born at just 23 weeks had hands the size of her dad’s fingernail

Laura Whitmore

Laura Whitmore wants to end the stigma of breastfeeding in public, pictured in March 2022. (Getty Images)
Laura Whitmore wants to end the stigma of breastfeeding in public, pictured in March 2022. (Getty Images)

Laura Whitmore was recently praised for sharing a photo of her breastfeeding in public alongside a call for more support for new mums learning how to feed.

The image shows the Love Island presenter feeding her daughter, who she shares with husband Iain Stirling, while soaking up the sun in an outdoor cafe in a break between shoots for the ITV dating show.

"I get a bit anxious talking about my child on this space as I feel so protective but I wanted to talk about breastfeeding," she wrote in the accompanying caption.

"This isn’t knocking anyone who doesn’t but it’s #breastfeedingawarenessweek and I know so many new mums don’t get the support they need like the encouragement of feeding in the golden hour after birth and that it’s ok to feed in public without feeling you should hide away.

"Feeding your baby is your number one priority. I’ve exclusively breastfed for over 4 months so far – it’s free and no washing up! I’ve also been supported, having my baby on set or being able to pump for the odd feed.

"Anyway hoping a picture of me with my tits out doesn’t offend you and encourages women to feed if they need! I was just so shocked a lot of women don’t have enough support or are embarrassed to feed in public."

Kate Hudson

Proving that celebrities face the same juggles as any new mums, Kate Hudson shared a picture of her breastfeeding her daughter, Rani Rose Hudson Fujikawa, while at work.

Hudson, who welcomed her third child (her first with boyfriend Danny Fujikawa) in October 2018, shared a picture of the moment to Instagram alongside the caption: "When you're working but babies gotta eat".

Paloma Faith

Singer Paloma Faith recently opened up about a breastfeeding issue that’s rarely spoken about – thrush.

The singer, 40, welcomed her second child with partner Leyman Lahcine in February last year and documented her postpartum journey on social media.

As well as discussing the physical realities such as suffering from engorged nipples, Faith also revealed a further health battle that impacted both her and her baby.

Sharing a sweet snapshot of her newborn's hand, in the accompanying caption Faith described the hurdles the family have faced since the baby's arrival.

"It’s been a month! Obviously nothing is straight forward," she began her post.

"We both have thrush (my nipples, her mouth), have been on Daktarin gel for her and Daktacort for me, plus Fluconodzole 50mg tablet (daily for a week now) and probiotics - and it feels like it’s just getting worse! WHERE IS THE MIRACLE CURE PLEASE?!

"I’m not very patient so all this ‘try this try that’ with newborns is very challenging for me. I like instant solutions!"