Teresa Palmer: 'I'm sick of the public breastfeeding stigma'

Teresa Palmer has been married to Mark Webber since 2013.
Teresa Palmer has been married to Mark Webber since 2013.  Photo: Getty Images

Australian actress Teresa Palmer is tired of the stigma that still surrounds breastfeeding.

Palmer, who says she's had her breast photographed before as she feeds her 18-month-old son, Bodhi, says it's unfortunate that there's so much controversy surrounding something that's so natural.

"I've been photographed breast feeding a ton because I breastfeed whenever my son needs it, or wants it, and that's the type of relationship that we have, and I'm committed to nurturing him in that way," she told AAP.

"I get followed and photographed. I've had my breast photographed before.

"But that's all part and parcel, I'm not going to change my experience with my son because of what I do."

While she doesn't make a point of showing it off, she says her son would never like to be breastfeed with a blanket covering his face.

"He would just rip it straight down," she said.

The actress practises baby-led weaning and says before she even starts a movie, she sits down with the director and producer and explains to them that this means her son is going to be on set.

"That's honestly my key when parenting, and it always has been. We choose to co-sleep, we do what is called extended breastfeeding which to me doesn't feel extended at all, it's just meeting his needs," she said.

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There were three in the bed and the little one said "more boobies!" ❤️❤️ @likemark

A photo posted by Teresa Palmer (@tez_palmer) on

The actress, who has nine films coming out over the next year (including a remake of hit 90s film Point Break), says her son is used to being able to call out for his mum when he needs her.

Her concern is that the taboo that still surrounds breastfeeding could be damaging for new mothers.

"I think it's really detrimental to some women who are starting their breastfeeding journey with their babies, and feeling any sense of shame," she said.

She takes her cues from her son and acknowledges she has been lucky that she has been able to maintain a career and practise the kind of parenting she wants to.

"Everyone knew that I would breastfeed him whenever he needed it, obviously not in the middle of a take but in between set ups he'd be around and everyone on the crew would be holding him," she said.

She believes the only way the stigma will be broken will be when people finally stop talking about it.

"I just can't believe it's still a conversation. Until it stops being a conversation then it's always just going to have some sort of taboo feeling surrounding it, " she said.

Before her little boy even came along, Palmer had the the opportunity to work in her home country shooting Kill Me Three Times in Western Australia.

Filming the dark thriller, which focuses on murder, blackmail and revenge, brought different parenting concerns for the actress, who was six months pregnant a the time.

"I'm playing this murderous woman who doesn't have a compassionate bone in her body, and meanwhile I have this beautiful little peaceful being in my belly while I'm playing this horrendous character," she said.

"So I would, at night time, I would go home and talk to my belly and tell Bodhi 'Mummy loves you, don't listen to what's going on at work'," she said.

AAP