Making Breastfeeding Work with Model Nicole Trunfio

Making Breastfeeding Work with Model Nicole Trunfio

The theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week was “Breastfeeding and Work” and to celebrate, we’ve been talking about what it takes to make it work. Returning from maternity leave is hard enough on its own, but breastfeeding presents a whole new challenge. Today, we’re thrilled to share an intimate interview with supermodel (and Honest Mom!) Nicole Trunfio, whose unique experience inspired her mission to normalize breastfeeding for moms everywhere.

Making Breastfeeding Work with Model Nicole Trunfio

Let’s start at the beginning — were you breastfed as a baby?

I was. I have three siblings, each 2 years apart in age, and my mother breastfed all of us. I was on the younger end, so I also learned a lot from my sister - even now as adults. She has 2 children, so she was a huge inspiration to me as I entered into motherhood.

Do the two of you have similar parenting styles?

Similar, but not the same. My sister is a very natural mother and she was very hardcore with her first baby; she grew all her own food, didn’t allow TV, and so on. With her second baby she was a little less strict. So, I think we both learned that you have to be realistic. I’ve definitely taken a lot from her parenting style, but we’re very different parents. I’m not too precious about everything — not everything has to be perfect.

Making Breastfeeding Work with Model Nicole Trunfio

Did your views change at all when you became a parent?

They did actually. Right before I got pregnant with Zion I had a miscarriage, which was really scary for me. As I spoke to more women about my experience I realized how common it is, but it’s just one of those things that no one really talks about. So when I got pregnant again I was afraid, but I talked to my doctors and learned that I just needed to embrace it. I saw Zion as an extension of myself and I continued traveling and working; that’s kind of how I think of him now, too. Especially when going back to work.

How quickly did you go back to work after giving birth?

Well, because I had such a hard time breastfeeding at first, my return to work was delayed. My body wasn’t ready. But, once I did go back, it was great for me because I had so much support. Because of my type of work, I was able to bring Zion on set and breastfeed him naturally when I needed to, which is not something that most women get to do. As a women, your relationship with your body really changes after having a baby; more than anything else, you’re a vessel for nurturing your children. This is why support for breastfeeding is so important.

Making Breastfeeding Work with Model Nicole Trunfio

Your cover for ELLE is such a powerful photo. How did that shot come to be?

It was actually a completely natural moment. I was on set for a photo shoot for ELLE and Zion was with me. Throughout the day I would have to feed him and at one point I just happened to be feeding him in this beautiful outfit and environment. The photographer offered to capture it and, assuming it would be for personal use, I agreed. Eventually, they let me know they had chosen it for the cover. I didn’t really think anything of it until I woke up with about 10,000 new Instagram followers the next day.

Making Breastfeeding Work with Model Nicole Trunfio

It did generate some buzz. What did you learn from the public’s reaction?

Well, I realized that America’s reaction to breastfeeding in general is so much different than what I’ve experienced in Australia or in European countries where breastfeeding is so much more normal to see everywhere. Even my fiancé was uncomfortable about me feeding in public at first; not that he was upset about it, he just hadn't seen it before. I learned that despite growing acceptance, it’s still not a normal thing to see, and this can be hard because as a mom you need to do what’s right for your baby — sometimes this means breastfeeding in public, and it shouldn't be something to be embarrassed about. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do.

We thank Nicole for opening up and sharing her experiences with our Honest Family! Click here to read Nicole’s Feeding Story and here to find others just like it.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.