From the very first selfie she shared on social media of herself nursing her baby, Alyssa Milano took on a new title. No longer just an actress or mom, this influential celebrity became a breastfeeding advocate.
Since that intimate snapshot, she has continued her effort to normalize breastfeeding by sharing numerous moments of herself feeding her little girl, Elizabella. While some don't understand her need to expose that part of her life on social media, many others applaud it and look to her as a source of encouragement for breastfeeding in public. Either way, each time she posts a current or flashback photo, it gains recognition and sparks an important dialogue.
However, that wasn't Milano's original intent.
At an event celebrating her NFL Women's Apparel Collection, Milano shared with POPSUGAR that she didn't originally share these photos to make an official statement. "I don't think it was ever a specific decision where I was like 'OK, I'm going to try to be an advocate for breastfeeding or try to give the moms the strength to do it,'" she said. "I just think that being a mom is my life right now. And such a big part of how I treat social media is sharing parts of my life. It would be inorganic if I didn't share that huge part of who I am."
If her transparency gives other moms strength to be who they are, Milano is happy to help. Since becoming a mother of two, she realizes that it's up to moms to embrace each other instead of shaming or standing in judgment. "And not just moms but women in general need to support each other, lift each other up, and really work together," Milano said. "We have to because the only way we're going to change what's going on in the world as far as sexism goes is to come together. No one person is not going to do it alone."
The biggest surprise for Milano since she began her public breastfeeding journey five years ago was just what a cord it struck with others and the number of close-minded people there still are.
"The fact that once I started posting the breastfeeding pictures that people were looking for that, a leader — and because I didn't set out to do it but obviously it just turned out like that — I realized that people need this, so it surprised me," Milano said. "As well as obviously how ignorant and backwards some people still are about the notion of breastfeeding."