ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Salma Hayek Breastfeeds an African Baby

Updated on February 12, 2009

Perhaps you’ve seen the video already? Selma Hayek is making headlines around the world with her breastfeeding of an African baby boy in Sierra Leone that was captured by an ABC film crew.

The image invokes visions of long-ago days of wet nurses and what is today a social taboo. But before you rush to judgment, make sure you’ve heard the whole story.

Ms. Hayek was visiting the country of Sierra Leone (a tiny country located on the north west coast of Africa) as part of a goodwill trip promoting tetanus vaccinations. Thirty percent of children in the country are underweight from moderate to severe and the life expectancy is a staggering 42. While there, Hayek learned that only 8% of infants under six months old are breastfed in Sierra Leone (compared to 39% in the U.S., an astounding 73% breastfeed for at least some period of time). This low rate is mostly due to the social stigma across Africa that it’s unacceptable to have sexual relations with a breastfeeding woman. There’s no doubt that the low rate of breastfeeding is directly correlated to the number of infants who are underweight and malnourished.

With all this in mind, Salma Hayek, who at the time was still nursing her one year old daughter, Valentia, stopped in the middle of her tour and filming and breastfed a tiny, African baby boy who was obviously undernourished and hungry. Asked about the incident afterward, Hayek said, “"Am I being disloyal to my child by giving her milk away? 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."

See for yourself

Advocates of breastfeeding in the United States, one of the most noted organizations being La Leche League, do not support cross-nursing. They do encourage donated breast milk for those who are unable to breastfeed for one reason or another, but they site a variety of reasons why cross-nursing is not advisable. Among these reasons are risk of infections, reduced milk supply, and even psychological damage. However, most believe that Ms. Hayek was making a statement about breastfeeding itself and not the practice of cross-nursing.

With as much support and controversy as Salma Hayek’s act has stirred up across the globe, let’s hope that it stirs up even more discussions in Sierra Leone and the continent of Africa, where the breaking down of social stigmas surrounding breastfeeding and the increase of the act itself could make a difference in millions of lives.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Sarah Songing profile imageAUTHOR

      Sarah Songing 

      8 years ago

      Bravo, Cattrina! What a gift Ms. Hayek gave to that child, and through her example, to the women and children of that region.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      Cattrina 

      8 years ago

      I wish I could do this for the all the poverty stricken children in the world. It is the ultimate gift you could give to a starving child.

      The reporter is a immature jerk if you ask me.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)