Salma Hayek went to Africa for a Unicef trip. Alright, so I’m not pleased that the trip was sponsored by Proctor & Gamble, animal tester and phthalate distributor extraordinaire. Or that now Hayek is touring the talk shows, telling mamas to buy landfill diapers from Pampers, because then P & G will donate money for tetanus vaccinations in Africa.
But I love that she cross-nursed a baby to take a stand for breastfeeding.
My baby would be very proud to share her milk.
In Sierra Leone, women are discouraged from breastfeeding by their husbands. There’s a belief there that men cannot have sexual relations with lactating women. Doctors, of course, want women to breastfeed. Ideally, they’d like them to nurse their young for 2 years.
So Hayek gave a little demo on a boy who was born on the same day as her own daughter.
Last week, Hayek told the Today Show’s Kathie Lee Gifford
It’s about women sticking together and we really need to help the children in any way we can.
[Breastfeeding] is the best thing you can do for your child, not only the bonding, that’s how you build the immune system, so in a country like Africa imagine how important it is for the mothers to do that.
Those of us who have donated breastmilk certainly know what it’s like to “stick together” through milk. And for the minimal vaccinators out there? Yep, we know that breastfeeding is great for the immune system.
Cheers to Hayek for reminding us!
I think Salma was acting on her mother’s instinct. She felt that feeding the baby some nutritious breastmilk would help in some way. I am glad that someone was there to film. You could see the baby’s expression and it showed the importance of breastfeeding and breastmilk as a primary source of nutrition for babies. Also it shows that when it comes to nursing your baby all you need to do is just find a place to sit down and nurse. Thank you for highlighting this.
Jamie Ervin says
Kudos to Salma! Not only is she getting the word out to this village about the positive benefits of breastfeeding (though I agree that P&G gets a big boo, even though the vaccine program is great… this is a country where those vaccines are vital. I’m not for importing junk into developing countries). She has also provided all of us with a beautiful video and photographs of breastfeeding/cross-breastfeeding.
In Africa, breastfeeding is even more vital because of the water contamination issue. Formula imported and then mixed (or diluted as ready made formula is to last longer) with contaminated water is a life threatening issue for many infants.
Cathy Faulring says
Thank you so much to Salma for highlighting the issue of the importance of breastfeeding in third world countries!!! She is such an inspiration. As a mother of 3 boys (ages 5, & twins that are 1 yr old) and a Registered Dietitian I am glad we have a celebrity shedding light on this issue. In these hard economic times breastfeeding I believe is making a comeback. I breastfed my 5 yr old until he was 2.5 yrs old and plan to do the same with the twins. Although I truly believe that American society with working women is not supportive enought with enough maternity leave to encourage breastfeeding beyond maternity leave. It is a sad fact. As a working woman I find it a challenge to continue pumping but luckily I have a supportive mngr. I am seriously considering donating breastmilk to a bank when I am done feeding my twins. Salma is a true inspiration!
Beyond Prenatals says
I am a huge breastfeeding advocate (I do it for a living). However, I have a few major concerns about all the press this is getting:
Cate Nelson says
Cathy, it’s so interesting that you mentioned breastmilk donation. I was writing about my own milk donation when I read your comment!
I urge you to look into MilkShare, which is more affordable for many families than are the milk banks.
Bless you for considering it…it’s a generous thing to part with the liquid gold!
Kyle Prince says
Wow… My hat is off to Hayak for doing this. She reminded every one man and woman that we are all same. We are human beings. I just hope that this video will have an impact on every one that sees it. She is an inspriation and it was a totally selfless act to give a starving baby a meal.
Unfortunately this video was taken down from YouTube – apparently it violated YouTube’s terms of service. Is there another source where I can watch it?