The #normalizebreastfeeding movement got a major boost this week when Elle Australia's June issue trickled into subscribers' mailboxes. Right there on the cover, in a stunning head-on shot, is supermodel and new mom Nicole Trunfio breastfeeding her 4-month-old son, Zion.
Though it might look like pre-planned, the tender mother-son moment was anything but. Turns out, Baby Z got hungry during mom's photo shoot, so Trunfio took a break to nurse him—and the photographer kept on shooting. Later, as she was flipping through the proofs, the magazine's editor-in-chief, Justine Cullen, was so struck by the beauty of the feeding photos that she made the bold move to put one on the cover.
Labeled a "special issue," the nursing cover will only be seen by subscribers, a point of contention for some who complain that the image deserves a place on newsstands. Still, the supermodel and breastfeeding champion seems grateful for the platform and the opportunity to do her part in making public breastfeeding more acceptable. She posted the cover on Instagram and wrote: "The last thing I want to do is to be controversial, so please take this for what it is, let us #normalizebreastfeeding there is nothing worse than a mother that is judged for feeding her hungry child in public. #weareonlyhuman. I'm so proud of this cover and for what it's [sic] stands for."
While she admits that the photo doesn't capture what she normally looks like when nursing—I mean, would you wear suede during a feeding sesh?—Trunfio wrote that she wants it to "stand for all women out there, whether you breastfeed or not, we gave birth, we are women, we are mothers." And the public is responding in kind. As of this writing, the model's post has 14,400 likes—and plenty of comments from grateful moms.
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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
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Cover of Elle Australia courtesy of Nicole Trunfio via Instagram