Last year everyone was "too busy" for a photo, but this time Kelly organized the troops and recruited a photographer friend to make the memories happen. Here's Kelly with husband Jon, and daughter Anabel, 12, and son, Austin, 4. She proudly admits both children self-weaned around age 2!
Maybe its the fact I haven't nursed a child in over 2 1/2 years; I'm a little nostalgic lately. This year, I found myself taking a stroll down memory lane. And who did I find, but some very beloved celebrities from decades past in the news discussing their experiences with breastfeeding.
In the extended breastfeeding debate, It's actress Mayim Bialik's "Opinationation" that breast is best, even for toddlers. (Yes, I was a huge "Blossom" fan!) Mayim recently blogged about breastfeeding her 2 1/2 year old son. And having added certified lactation educator/counselor and Ph.D in Neuroscience to her resume since the Blossom years, she's got plenty of data to back her up. Ultimately she says, it comes down to this: "I may not have convinced you that extended nursing is as wonderful as I think is, but that’s okay. When I see my precious son gaze into my eyes and grin that milky grin - not much else matters." Well said. And for those of you who watch tv in this decade, you can catch Mayim on CBS "The Big Bang Theory."
(If you like playing six degrees of separation, breastfeeding edition, 2008's round-up featured Melissa Joan Hart who currently stars in the new ABC Family comedy "Melissa & Joey" with "Blossom" actor Joey Lawrence.)
Danica McKeller is another whip-smart former child star and new mom. We all know her as Winnie, Fred Savage's first love from "The Wonder Years", but she's been busy lately authoring empowering math books for girls and nursing three-month old son Draco. (He's named after a constellation.) "He has a ravenous appetite. He eats every three hours and I’m exclusively breastfeeding. He’s just really sweet.” McKellar recently released her third math book, Hot X: Algebra Exposed.
He may play the lovable cad Barney on "How I Met your Mother," but I've adored Neil Patrick Harris since he starred in "Doogie Howser MD" as a teen. Now, as a new dad to 9-week old twins (via surrogate with partner, David Burtka) he's won my heart again. Doogie, I mean Neil, explains that that while son Gideon was doing fine with formula, daughter Grace Harper was having issues. “Harper was very fussy ... she was always in a state of angst," he said during a recent appearance on the "Late Late show with Craig Ferguson". "We switched formulas a couple of times and now we’re having to have breast milk brought in.” He goes on to discuss how complicated and expensive the whole ordeal is. “Seriously, if someone is in Santa Monica -- down the street and wants to provide milk -- it has to go on a plane to San Jose and get fertilized and pasteurized and boiled and whatever happens in little bottles." I appreciate his sharing on two counts: one, his story illustrates the wonder-elixir that breast milk is, and two, it also sheds light on the lack of milk banks and the scarcity of donor milk for average people. Tanya blogged about her own experience donating milk earlier this year.
While "Dharma & Greg" isn't a quite a blast from the past, its hard to believe the show hasn't been on the air for eight years! (And I can't get over "Greg" actor Thomas Gibson is now on "Criminal Minds!?") The lovely Jenna Elfman, aka Dharma, gave birth her second son Easton in this year, and recently spoke with Best for Babes about her breastfeeding efforts the 2nd time around. "I had zero education about breastfeeding before giving birth to my first son. (Story)," she explained. Jenna ultimately ended up pumping for 10 1/2 months. While she was glad to provide her son with breast milk, she was frustrated. "I had so wanted to breastfeed, and it was such a loss for me that I didn’t pull it off. I wanted to be one of those mothers who are hanging out, I wanted to be that person, who could just whip out their boob and feed their kid!"
With Easton, Jenna was determined to do things differently. She got educated. She had "major epiphanies of what had gone wrong with Story and how all of it could have been prevented." Where had it all gone wrong? The latch. "If moms know how important the right latch is, and letting the baby lead, that’s key." And the cause? Quite a few according to Jenna. "Not enough hospitals have strong breastfeeding protocol and trained staff in place. They couldn’t spend more than a few minutes with me. So too often, we’re trying to educate moms about breastfeeding minutiae. We really can’t expect every mom to have a PhD in breastfeeding science." (Although Mayim gets close.)
Until hospitals get their acts together, women need to avoid the "booby traps," which is where Best For Babes can help. "The one book that saved my life was “Breastfeeding Made Simple” — the most phenomenal breastfeeding book ever. With Easton, from the first moment I put him on the breast I made sure he had a good latch!" Check out entire interview with Jenna at Best for Babes (Part I) and Part II.
And on the topic of tv...I guess it's official: Reality stars are celebrities. And hats off to this very high-profile personality who leverages her everyday appeal to discuss breastfeeding.
If you haven't heard of the Kardashians, you may have been in a coma (or at least without cable). Sisters Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney have created a reality empire that's getting more prolific by the minute. So, when I saw Kourtney was blogging about breastfeeding her son Mason for People's Mom & Babies section, I was thrilled. She writes "Mason is now six months old and has only been fed breast milk up until this week! I just started incorporating solid foods into his diet." I really like Kourtney's down-to-earth perspective. "I still want to continue breastfeeding for maybe another six months or as long as Mason still wants it....People always have something to say about how long is too long or not long enough to breastfeed. I think this is such a personal decision that it can only be made between each baby and his or her mommy." Kourtney also mentioned that being a reality star and nursing has it's challenges. "I know that for me, I need to try to cover myself while breastfeeding so that no one snaps a picture. If this wasn’t the case, I probably wouldn’t mind as much because my son is my biggest concern."
You're likely familiar with Lisa Loeb from her iconic song "Stay," but did you know she also had a reality show called "#1 Single" a few years back? No longer looking for love, she recently married and gave birth to daughter Lyla who she is breastfeeding. Lisa relates her experiences with breastfeeding in a way that is honest and effective. "Although people say it's a natural process... it's not natural. You have no idea what you're doing." She eventually got the hang of it and became an outspoken advocate of breastfeeding starring in National Breastfeeding Month's irreverent PSA Tanya mentioned earlier this year.
And speaking of that awesome PSA, And I have to mention another celebrity featured, Ali Landry, who also breastfed her daughter, now three. Let's hope she does for breastfeeding what she did for the consumption of Doritos (Wouldn't it be amazing if breastfeeding rates increased by 23%?!) Here's a condensed version of the spot also starring breastfeeding moms Kelly Rutherford (featured in the last two roundups), Jana Williamson (from Parks & Recreation), Constance Marie (George Lopez), Sarah Jane Morris (Brothers & Sisters) to name a few.
If I've neglected to mention your fave breastfeeding mom (or dad) this year, please post a comment and let us know how a celebrity inspired you!
Have a happy and healthy 2011, full of wonderful memories in the making!