Hayek Proves That Motherhood Is Universal
Of course we already know that, but it helps to be reminded from time to time. According to reports, Salma Hayek enjoys breastfeeding so much she breastfed a hungry child when she made a visit to Sierra Leone. The mother could not produce breast milk, and the actress stepped in to help. Her trip to Sierra Leone was part of a fact finding mission for UNICEF.
Hayek was quoted online saying that she enjoyed breastfeeding her daughter Valentina so much she was “like an alcoholic.” She appeared on NBC’s Today show to talk about the experience. “It’s about women sticking together and we really need to help the children in any way we can,” she said.
As part of her work for UNICEF, Hayek is trying to encourage more women breastfeed their babies as a way to strengthen their immune systems. Addressing the issue, Hayek said, “It is the best thing you can do for your child, not only the bonding, that’s how you build the immune system, so in a country like Africa imagine how important it is for the mothers to do that.”
Then she spoke on one aspect of caring for a baby that is probably an area of concern for many parents. “…there is the belief that if you are breastfeeding you cannot have a sexual life, so the husbands of these women are really encouraging them to stop…,” she said. It is a well known fact that having a young baby can sometimes lead to problems with intimacy, and this is something that many couples have struggled with. I do find it surprising though that the husbands Hayek spoke of would try to discourage their wives from breastfeeding. This is especially surprising, since in many third world countries breastfeeding is actually used as a form of birth control.
I certainly hope that Hayek’s efforts and the work of UNICEF in Africa and indeed worldwide will yield results. I think there is enough evidence to support the idea that breastfeeding is the best thing for a baby, as long as the mother is able to. Many people including myself would not think this would be an issue in Africa, but more likely in more developed nations where new mothers often have careers or other concerns. In fact, in many African countries and others with primarily people of African descent, breastfeeding is the norm rather than the exception. However, times are changing and so women everywhere may well be moving away from breastfeeding exclusively during the first few months of their babies’ lives.
I applaud Hayek for helping this baby in need. I hope that some suitable alternative was found to help the mother to feed her child. There were no further details available in the online stories on the issue.
Hayek’s daughter, Valentina was born in September 2007. Her father is Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of the French company, PPR.