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Alyssa Milano On Breastfeeding, Mom Shame, and Life with Two Kids

Parents are constantly shamed for their choices. From how we feed our children to how we educate them, everyone has an opinion on how to raise kids. The result? Moms and dads feel endlessly judged for the choices they make — even if they have no other options. This week, families around the country are sharing their inspiring, funny, honest, and heartbreaking stories with Yahoo Parenting in an effort to spark conversations, a little compassion, and change in the way we think about parenting forever. Share your story with us — #NoShameParenting.

Most former tween girls could relate to actress Alyssa Milano as Samantha Micelli, her sweet, spunky character on the old-school sitcom Who’s The Boss? Now a mother of two, Milano, 42, who later swept up roles on television shows Charmed and Mistresses, has become a champion for moms after receiving criticism for sharing her personal breastfeeding photos online and having her breast milk confiscated at an airport.

Milano’s latest gig — as “Mom-Bassador,” or personality of the Sprout network’s Sept. 26 brand refresh — is a passion project, and a tribute to her kids, Milo, 4, and Elizabella, 1. In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Parenting, Milano talks breastfeeding backlash, “mom bashing,” and how she and David Bugliari, her husband of six years, parent as a team.

You’ve posted a few breastfeeding photos online, as have other moms, and gotten some pushback for it. Why do people have a problem seeing women nursing?

This problem isn’t going away. There needs to be more facilities for breastfeeding women. But if there’s not, I’m going to sit on a bench and nurse.

Have there been other times where you’ve felt shamed as a mom?
Milo used a pacifier until he was 3 and people would say, “How old is he? How cute…” It’s mom bashing and dads don’t get it as much. Because parenting is so personal, people sometimes can’t really see outside their own perspective.

Would ending the post-baby bikini body trend help?

I never felt pressure to get back to a certain clothing size — I think a lot of that pressure comes from within. It helps to be a mom and put that focus outside yourself.


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