Breastfeeding advocates are high-fiving actress Rachel McAdams for agreeing to publish a photo of herself breast-pumping in a glossy magazine.
Not only did the 40-year-old star of Mean Girls and The Notebook join the growing list of celebrities who have advanced the normalisation of breastfeeding this year (thanks, Chrissy Teigen and Serena Williams), she also did it while wearing Versace.
A million reasons why I wanted to post this picture. Obviously #rachelmcadams looks incredible and was quite literally the dream to work with but also this shoot was about 6 months post her giving birth to her son, so between shots she was expressing/pumping as still breastfeeding. We had a mutual appreciation disagreement about who’s idea it was to take this picture but I’m still sure it was hers which makes me love her even more. Breastfeeding is the most normal thing in the world and I can’t for the life of me imagine why or how it is ever frowned upon or scared of. I don’t even think it needs explaining but just wanted to put this out there, as if it even changes one person’s perception of something so natural, so normal, so amazing then that’s great. Besides she’s wearing Versace and @bulgariofficial diamonds and is just fucking major. Big shout out to all the girls 💪🏽 #rachelmcadams for @girls.girls.girls.magazine cover shoot 📸 @clairerothstein #pleaseshare Side note: I did not look anywhere near as fabulous as this when feeding/pumping. And that’s ok too. . . #girlsgirlsgirlsmag #girlsgirlsgirls #bringingbackthewoman #nogrungejustglamour #independentmagazine #printisnotdead #normalisebreastfeeding #normalizebreastfeeding #breastfeeding #life #women #versace #bulgari
Photographer and Girls Girls Girls magazine founder Claire Rothstein, who shot McAdams for the cover of the latest issue, said as the mother of a six-month-old boy, the actress had no choice but to pump between takes.
"We had a mutual appreciation disagreement about who’s idea it was to take this picture but I’m still sure it was hers [McAdams] which makes me love her even more," Rothstein wrote on Instagram.
"Breastfeeding is the most normal thing in the world, like breathing and I can’t for the life of me imagine why or how it is ever frowned upon or scared of.
"I don’t even think it needs explaining but just wanted to put this out there, as if it even changes one person’s perception of something so natural, so normal, so amazing then that’s great."
McAdams, who has no social media accounts, has not publicly commented on the image or the reaction.
Rothstein, who is also a mother, added in her post that she "did not look anywhere near as fabulous as this when feeding/pumping. And that’s ok too."
Women on social media have hailed the photo as a huge win for breastfeeding mothers who battle discrimination in their fight to feed their babies publicly and without judgement.
Other celebrities who have been photographed breastfeeding their babies or openly championing breastfeeding include actress Olivia Wilde, lawyer and human-rights advocate Amal Clooney, Pink and Australian actress Teresa Palmer.
Last year, Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters became the first woman to breastfeed in the Upper House.
"So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more #women & parents in Parli," she wrote on Twitter at the time.
According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, more than 95 per cent of new mothers initiate breastfeeding, but the rate of babies being exlcusively breastfed falls to 39 per cent at three months of age.
A spokeswoman said it was vital women can see other women, including celebrities, breastfeeding to normalise behaviours and attitudes.
"Seeing breastmilk pumping is even more rare, and is actually covered under the same piece of anti-discrimination legislation in Australia, meaning women in Australia are able to express breastmilk free of discrimination, in the same way that they are able to breastfeed," she said.
The spokeswoman said that although breastfeeding discrimination is rare, "we also hear stories of people being told to cover up, which can rattle the confidence of any new parent. Seeing breastfeeding in the media helps parents to feel more comfortable getting out and about with their breastfeeding baby."