Olivia Wilde was recently captured in an intimate moment while breastfeeding her infant son, Otis, for Glamour magazine’s September issue. The photo has been passed around numerous times on the Internet with varying reactions.
Olivia is seen in the photo in a gorgeous Roberto Cavalli gown and Prada wedges while effortlessly breastfeeding her naked three-month-old son in a diner. Of course, the photo is nothing less than classy, elegant, and breathtaking, but Wilde knows the picture doesn’t honestly speak for breastfeeding mothers everywhere, including herself.
“It felt like we were capturing that multifaceted woman we’ve been discussing — that we know we can be. You can be someone who is at once maternal and professional and sexy and self-possessed,” Wilde noted in the Glamour photo caption. “[But] I mean, I certainly don’t really look like that when I’m [typically] breastfeeding. And there’s usually a diaper involved.”
Wilde also stated how natural breastfeeding feels for her by saying, “Breast-feeding is the most natural thing. I don’t know, now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast.”
According to Yahoo! Health, many women and men have openly embraced Olivia’s Glamour photo and have called her “stunning” and even a “hero” for breastfeeding her son in such a revealing way.
However, some women feel a bit slighted by the message they are receiving from Wilde’s comments about breastfeeding being natural. According to NY Daily News, many women feel as though breastfeeding does not come naturally at all.
In fact, some women claim that learning how to breastfeeding was one of the most stressful and challenging battles they faced after the birth of their children. Because breastfeeding was so stressful, some women chose to give up the battle to formula in the end.
One woman, Amy Palmisano, admitted, “You walk into this mothering thing and you think, well, the baby knows what to do, my body knows what to do, this is natural…and no one tells you that it’s f**king hard. Everything does not go perfectly from the start.”
In the end, Amy decided to give her twins formula and has not looked back since.
Other women feel as though they are made to feel guilty when they choose not to or cannot breastfeed, and those women that finally are able to master it or stick with it are sometimes made to feel guilty or ashamed to feed their hungry babies in public.
Olivia Wilde’s photo clearly shows her breastfeeding her son in a diner, but many breastfeeding or pumping moms feel as though they are not welcome to do so in public. Some mothers who have attempted to do so have been forced out of restaurants, clothing shops, and even quiet book stores.
The debate will likely rage on for some time about whether women should breastfeed or formula feed or whether breastfeeding should be allowed in public. In the meantime, Wilde is voicing her opinion for all to read.
Olivia Wilde stated via her Twitter account that “there’s nothing indecent about feeding a hungry baby”, and breastfeeding mothers and mothers who rely on formula can both agree with this sentiment.