A true boss, Honest Company co-founder and actress Jessica Alba is no stranger to the struggle of the working parent.
The 36-year-old mother of three balances her family and her career in an award-worthy fashion, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any overlap between the two.
On Wednesday, Alba showed us the intersection first-hand when she posted a photo of herself at the office, breastfeeding her one-month-old son, Hayes.
“Went into my @honest office today for a board meeting, although I’m still technically on mat leave,” the multi-tasking mother began. “Not gonna lie, it’s impossible for me to completely unplug from work ... and it felt nice being back—even though it was just a half day. Baby boy came to visit/eat at lunch. Felt very productive today. #workingmom #entrepreneurlife #breastfeedingmama.”
Mothers have struggled with the social stigma surrounding public breastfeeding for years. The shift heightened in the 19th century when the sexualization of breasts and the feats of the industrial revolution gave breastfeeding the reputation of being both sordid and out-dated. And still today, women encounter the same attitudes toward the practice.
During an appearance on the Wendy Williams Show in 2016, actress Alyssa Milano defended her decision to breastfeed in public and post photos of herself breastfeeding on Instagram to the talk show’s titular host.
“I don’t need to see that,” Williams told Milano, “because I just don’t want to.”
“Would you eat under a blanket?” Milano retorted.
“I don’t know why I feel this way,” Wendy explained, telling her guest that she sees breasts as sexual objects. “It makes me very uncomfortable.”
“You’re lucky [my] baby’s not here. I’d whip 'em out right here and feed [her] on your show,” Milano responded.
In such a so-called modern world, it’s difficult to reconcile a mother’s need to feed her child when he or she is hungry with the shame perpetuated by that very act.
While most states have laws in place to protect moms who choose to breastfeed in public (Idaho the one notable exception), that hasn’t stopped people from taking a strong (and vocal) stance against the practice. Federal law requires employers to offer nursing mothers break time and space that isn't a bathroom to express breast milk at work.
Celebrities like Jessica Alba have played an important role in the fight to end the stigma.
Whether you breastfeed or not, Alba hit the mark when she told People, “When you become a mom, the last thing you want to do is feel judged.”
No judgment here.
Alba herself has posted several breastfeeding selfies since Hayes was born in late 2017.
We commend Alba and every woman whose bravery has played a role in changing the way people view breastfeeding.