Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Today, Gisele Bundchen posted this picture of herself breastfeeding her baby while being prepped for something fabulous. 

At first glance, I think this picture is awesome. Mainstreaming breastfeeding (even without a cover) is always a good thing. For that, I will give her kudos. Great job mamacita and thanks for posting. 

But, there is controversy. You can read more, both positive and negative in this article (which I got the screenshot of the image from)

Here is my frustrating take on it and it's only my $.02

She apparently posted this picture with a caption of "multitasking". This to me, is a little ironic. As far as I see it, this isn't multitasking, it's being pampered while nursing your baby. Let the record show, that I think being pampered while nursing your baby is a fabulous idea and it should be instituted worldwide immediately. However, this is not a reality for most moms. Breastfeeding for most moms usually involves many things. A mom may be reading to her young child or helping an older child with schoolwork. A mom could be catching up on much needed sleep, dozing in and out while the baby does the same. A mom could be cooking dinner, getting ready, breaking up a fight over a toy, or doing a myriad of chores or errands while breastfeeding. These would all be multitasking efforts as well. 

But wait, you said getting ready, isn't that what Gisele is doing? Well, I had something like this in mind-
This is my friend Chelsea, getting ready while breastfeeding her son. He is actually latched on while she brushes her teeth, puts on makeup, and straightens her hair. I think it's amazing. This is a Supermom, but I think if you asked her, she would argue, saying that she was just doing what she has to. 

Frequently, I would pump while doing a variety of things. Either I was feeding the girls and helping them color or reading to them. Or, when I was working, I was usually pumping, eating lunch, grading papers, and going through emails. I will spare you the pictures, if you need logistics explained I can draw a diagram sometime!

That is multitasking, actually doing stuff, while breastfeeding or pumping. 

What worries me even more, is the image this provides in people's heads of what breastfeeding may look like. This picture is beautiful, she is gorgeous and getting even more gorgeous by the minute, she has nice "feeding equipment", she looks relaxed, it's a perfect scenario. But more often than not, breastfeeding isn't like this, at all. Frequently, fluids are leaking out, hair is disheveled and being pulled out even more, makeup is a laughing matter, mommy can't remember the last time she showered, much less put on makeup or had her hair done, and latches, especially at first, can be painful...really painful. 

My point is this. If you are a new mom and you think that Gisele is what you should look like when you are breastfeeding and if not you should give it up, then think again. You can get to that point where breastfeeding becomes effortless (no gaurantees on the prep team), but it may take some time to get there. And you are going to have to work to 1) build your breastfeeding relationship to that point and 2) find time to make it quiet and relaxing (just because that's life for the not so rich and famous). Is it worthy work? I think it's among the best! But it is work. 

If you are in a breastfeeding relationship already and you want what Gisele has, then more power to you, but don't diminish your value because that isn't you. Your baby loves you and values you sweat pants, spit up hair, and all. And I think you are pretty fantastic for what it's worth!

So Gisele, I think you rock for bringing your baby to work and for breastfeeding him or her, I am proud of you for establishing a fantastic relationship with him or her (baby must be focused with all those distractions around), and please keep encouraging others to breastfeed. But spare us the captions about all the tasks you are performing. You've got nothing on the everyday mom!!!

1 comment:

kathryn said...

I love this! You are so right, I kinda rolled my eyes when I saw that she is claiming this is multitasking.