In recent years, celebrities have made huge strides toward normalizing breastfeeding. Through their social media, big names like Chrissy Teigen, Blake Lively, Gwen Stefani, and more have posted photos of themselves nourishing their little ones. Most recently, Kat Von D's breastfeeding video received loads of praise from her followers for adding to the exposure.
Von D and husband Leafar Seyer welcomed their son on Dec. 2, People reported. She took to Instagram to share the happy news with her many followers. “Meet our beautiful baby boy, Leafar Von D Reyes," she wrote. "Thank you to all our beloved friends + family, fans + followers for your patience in us announcing his long awaited arrival!” The two of them were in ecstasy following his birth and decided to spend some time unplugged as a family, staying off of social media for the "fourth trimester" as they bonded with their newest family member.
But Von D has since made her return to social media, sharing her experiences with motherhood with her fans. On Monday, she posted a short video clip to her Instagram that showed her breastfeeding her son in her front yard. The post was quickly flooded with comments about the importance of normalizing breastfeeding, as well as praise for Von D embracing her new role.
The proud mama explained in her post that since baby Leafar has made it through the first leap in his development, they regularly take their feeding sessions outside:
Getting some of that vitamin Double D! 😜 Sunshine party! We try and spend daily time with Leafar outside in our front yard — especially now that he’s hit his first mental development leap at age 5 weeks. His heightened sense of alertness, smell and touch make going outside such a treat for him [and for us]. So much magical bliss [and boobs].
Many of her followers were quick to gush over the post and how it normalizes breastfeeding. "This is absolutely beautiful," one person wrote. "We need more mammas to help normalize breastfeeding. Congratulations again on your baby boy."
Another was feeling nostalgic at the site of Von D feeding her son. "So sweet!!! There’s absolutely nothing like the bond of breastfeeding — I loved it. Congrats-you look absolutely happily beautiful, and the baby is everything," she said.
Along with comments on breastfeeding in particular, many people pointed out the ways in which motherhood has changed Von D. "You are embracing motherhood so beautifully... I've enjoyed watching Kat Von D grow through her phases. [To] think I first seen her in Miami Ink to [now] sun bathing with her newborn," one wrote.
But not all of the comments were praise. On the same post, some of Von D's followers criticized her decision to abstain from vaccinating Leafar. Comments like "Vaccinate him," and "Such a shame you don't vaccinate," were mixed in with the breastfeeding normalization admiration.
It was on Instagram back in June where Von D first shared her plans to have “a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula” and “raising a vegan child, without vaccinations," according to E! News. And while she expected the criticism that she has since received, Von D made it clear that she wouldn't be swayed by it.
"This is my body. This is our child. And this is our pregnancy journey. I already know what it’s like to make life choices that are not the same as the majority," she wrote at the time. "So your negative comments are not going [to] influence my choices — actual research and educating myself will, which I am diligently doing."
She also explained that she doesn't necessarily agree with all of the beliefs held by the anti-vaxxers. "What we have found is that sometimes it isn't always so black and white," she wrote. "While we believe medications, including vaccines, are not all bad — we also can't dismiss the fact that some may not be good for everyone."
All of the criticism aside, Von D feels very connected to all of the mothers out there since her son was born, she said in another Instagram post:
Naturally, I've become more empathetic and understanding of other mothers regardless of how different our approach to birthing might be and I just feel so lucky to be able to experience all of this alongside you guys.
Each mother has a different approach to bringing up their baby. And while science strongly supports going the vaccination route, Von D's willingness to be open and honest about her parenting style despite the criticism is something to be acknowledged. And fans are particularly grateful for the bit of that honesty that normalizes breastfeeding.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.