Famous mamas share the rewards and challenges of nursing.
Celebs are just like us: they nurse their babies! Ok, the rich and the famous aren’t really like us, but when it comes to breastfeeding, you can’t pay someone else to do it, no matter how many millions you make. These celeb moms have been candid about their choice to breastfeed—and the joys and bumps in the road that come with it.
Mom to Violet (born December 2005), Seraphina (born January 2009) and Samuel (born February 2012), Jennifer Garner always comes off as very down-to-earth, picking her kids up at school and taking them food shopping. She’s no different when discussing how nursing didn’t take off the pounds like she expected it to. “It happened to a lot of my girlfriends and sisters, and I really thought, ‘This is the ticket, the best diet in the world’ and it just wasn’t,'” Garner told Allure. “I kept waiting, and I just didn’t lose weight. It took six months before I did.”
Some new moms deal with low supply, and celebs are no different. “It’s been a little difficult, ’cause, I didn’t know, but sometimes you don’t produce,” she told Jimmy Kimmel on his late-night show, about nursing son Liam, born in March 2007 (she’s also mom to Stella, born June 2008, Hattie, born October 2011 and Finn, born August 2012). “You’d think these things [points to breasts] would produce an abundance of milk!”
Nursing is a beautiful thing, especially when the one of most gorgeous women on the planet is doing it. The cover of W Magazine featured a black and white picture of Angelina Jolie—taken by partner Brad Pitt—nursing one of her twins (Knox and Vivienne were born July 2008). So did she ever nurse both twins at the same time? Jolie told TV show GMTV, “It’s a lot harder than it looks in the books. I did that a few times, but [mostly] I would take turns. It just takes a long time.” Jolie is also mom to Shiloh (born May 2006), Zahara (born January 2005), Pax (born November 2003) and Maddox (born August 2001).
Nursing twins takes special dedication, so when Modern Family actress Julie Bowen was able to breastfeed her twin boys, John and Gus, born May 2009, she was proud. So proud, in fact, that she wanted to show off a pic of her doing the “double football hold” on The View. Producers nixed the idea, but George Lopez was happy to share the snap with the audience on his late-night show. “Those twins are lucky,” he commented. Bowen is also mom to Oliver, born in April 2007.
Mary Louise Parker
Eighteen days after giving birth to son William in January 2004, actress Mary Louise Parker filled out the plunging neckline of her gown with some serious cleavage at the Golden Globes, thanks to nursing. She famously quipped in her acceptance speech: “Janel Moloney just told me she would pay me $1,000 if I thanked my newborn son for making my boobs look so good in this dress.” Parker is also mom to daughter Caroline.
While some moms find that nursing keeps the weight on, other find it melts the pounds right off. “I think they say that when you’re breastfeeding, your weight kind of slims down,” singer Christina Aguilera, mom to Max, born January 2008, told Access Hollywood. “It’s a little easier. It’s like a workout within itself. It’s very tiring actually and you find yourself snacking more often.”
Actress Naomi Watts experienced new-mommy fatigue and the spaciness that goes with it. “I’m busy milking all day long,” she told David Letterman on his show. “I feel like I have probably lost a good 75 percent of my brain power…I say it halved itself and it halved itself again. It’s not just the sleep deprivation, it is the breastfeeding and I call it the ‘lactose lobotomy.'”
Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, who breastfed both son Dylan, born August 2000, and daughter Carys, born April 2003, told Harper’s Bazaar that supportive garments were key while she was nursing, especially on the red carpet. “These breast-feeding boobies need to have support, so I’m a big fan of undergarments,” she said. “I tell designers, ‘Let’s start there and build out.’ When I’m in an evening dress I need to feel in…that it ain’t going anywhere.”
Once known for being rail thin, Nicole Ritchie looks happy and healthy since having kids Harlow (born January 2008) and Sparrow (born September 2009). But she did have to make adjustments: when nursing Harlow, she altered her diet to suit the baby’s system. “There’s just so much I can’t eat because she’s sensitive,” she told People. “I eat really bland [food]—chicken noodle soup, vegetables and fish. I had to cut out milk, no tomatoes and no lettuce. You think you have to cut everything out when you’re pregnant, but you really have to cut everything out when you’re breastfeeding.”
Sister Kim made big news when she tweeted with disgust about a mom nursing in public without a cover. Sis Kourtney, mom to son Mason (born December 2009) and daughter Penelope (born 2012) feels differently. Although she covers up when nursing in public so the paparazzi can’t get a shot to sell, if she didn’t have to worry about that, she’d go for it. “My attitude is, if someone sees a little somethin’ somethin’, don’t look if you don’t like it,” she blogged at People.com.
Actress Isla Fisher, mom to Olive, born October 2007, nursed well into her daughter’s second year. She jokes to the The Boston Globe: “I’m only going to stop when Olive goes to university!” Fisher gave birth to her second daughter, Elula, in August 2010.
Hayek, mom to Valentina, born in September 2007, caused a stir when she nursed a malnourished baby on camera in Sierra Leone while on a UNICEF trip, helping to combat the stigma on breastfeeding in Africa. “I was weaning [my daughter] Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk,” she told USA Today. Weaning must have been tough; she told The Times of London that she was addicted to nursing: “I’m like an alcoholic,” she said. “I’m just gonna do it for one more week, one more month and then, when I see how much good it is doing her, I can’t stop.”
Known pre-kids for her strict macrobiotic diet, actress Gwyneth Paltrow loosened up while nursing daughter Apple, born May 2004 (she’s also mom to son Moses, born April 2006). She told Harper’s Bazaar: “I stay healthy by working out but not dieting, because I am a milk machine.”
Rocker mom Gwen Stefani was candid about the sadness she felt when son Zuma, born August 2008, self-weaned when he was one while she was on the road with her band No Doubt. “I didn’t want him to (quit), it felt like a total rejection,” Stefani told USA Today. “It was really hormonal, and trying to stop in the middle of the tour was insane.” Can you imagine jumping around the stage with engorged boobs? Stefani also nursed older son Kingston, born in May 2006.
When the actress’s son Iggy needed to be fed, Blanchett nursed him—even though she was supposed to be on stage doing an interview session at the Cannes Film Festival, according to the The Daily Telegraph. Her co-stars covered for her until she was able to join them. Blanchett is also mom to Dashiell (born December 2001) and Roman (born April 2004).