Since ABC's "Nightline" aired a story last week about Salma Hayek's goodwill trip to Sierra Leone, there has been a world-wide outpouring of reaction. Newspapers from Europe to Australia have made headlines out of a portion of the story in which Hayek breastfeeds another woman's newborn son on camera.
Star actress breastfeeds infant whose mother has no milk.The clip of Hayek nursing a very hungry baby boy (ironically born on the same day as her own daughter) has surfaced on YouTube as well as on dozens of other web sites, drawing thousands of comments.
The actress and producer was told by doctors in Sierra Leone that many mothers stop breastfeeding their infants within the first few months after birth because of pressure from their husbands. Tradition has it, in some areas, that it is not acceptable to have sexual relations with breast feeding women.
Sierra Leone has the highest infant mortality rate in the world, in part fueled by malnutrition. Physicians there told Hayek they would like to see mothers breastfeed for a full two years but that stigma too often gets in the way.
Salma Hayek on Breastfeeding
Hayek said her decision to breastfeed another woman's child was an attempt to diminish the stigma placed on women for breast feeding. At the time she was still breastfeeding her 1-year-old daughter.
She told "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden that she thought her daughter wouldn't mind sharing her milk. "Am I being disloyal to my child by giving her milk away?" Hayek said. "I actually think my baby would be very proud to share her milk. And when she grows up I'm going to make sure she continues to be a generous, caring person."
Hayek told McFadden that that the idea of helping a child in this way had a long tradition in her family. She related a story about her great-grandmother many years ago in Mexico saving the starving baby of a stranger by breastfeeding the child.
I breastfed my son and I loved it. I mean if I were put in the situation where there were hungry babies around me I am sure I would have done the same thing. We have to remember god gave us our tetas for a reason. What do you think about all of this?