Photo of Gal Gadot pumping breast milk sparks conversation: Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot recently shared photographs from a shoot, in which she can be seen pumping breast milk. In the images, the actor firmly holds the breast pump in place while a woman does her hair and makeup. Perhaps a superhero will finally help us normalise pumping breast milk at work.
“Just me, backstage, being a mom,” Gadot captioned her post. Gadot and Jaron Varsano welcomed their child – daughter Daniella this year and announced her birth via an Instagram post in June. Being a new mom hasn’t stopped Gadot from working and its understandable. Considering how the pandemic has thrown shootings off schedule, Gadot must have prior commitments and deadlines to keep.
Gadot isn’t the only woman in recent times who has tried to start a positive conversation around pumping breast milk. Just in July, Lifestyle and fashion blogger, Diipa Khosla made headlines when she walked the Cannes red carpet in a dress that had breast pumps attached to it. Then last year, journalist Hallie Jackson was seen breast pumping while on duty to report on the then US President Donald Trump’s hospitalisation due to COVID-19. In the year 2018, a photoshoot of Canadian actor Rachel McAdams, in which she was seen using a breast pump, created a lot of noise on social media. And not just celebs, everyday women have been trying to create a positive dialogue on this issue too. In 2016, a marathon runner from United States’ Utah pumped breast milk while running a race so that she could feed her baby.
Every young mom deserves access to time and space to pump breast milk, so that she doesn’t have to compromise on child care due to work related commitments.
Maternity is a crucial phase in a woman’s life, but it’s not the only aspect of her being that should matter. A mom shouldn’t have to compromise with her career or aspirations. Isn’t child-rearing a responsibility meant to be shared by her partner, her family and even the society that she is a part of? And yet, so many new moms have to often put their careers on backburners, compromise on their dreams, simply because they have no support system to help them strike a balance between motherhood and work.
Our failure to create a support network for women forces them to make tough choices – even their families tell them, “Stay at home, raise your child, work part-time, it’s not worth it for you to work against the system and social pressure to try and do justice to your work and your kid.” The amount of talent, potential and (wo)manpower we lose every year because of our failure to empower young moms is insurmountable.
Gadot being a star, gets to calls shots at her workplace. She can pump breast milk at work and she has a support staff and a dedicated husband who will help ensure that her baby is taken care of while she works. What’s commendable is that she chose to share her experience on social media, an attempt that could bring us one step closer to normalising breastfeeding, breast pumping, developing childcare facilities at work.
But the conversation on normalising pumping breast milk, and how it can be convenient for new momsÂ cannot be restricted to women. Men, as partners, fathers, co-workers and superiors also need to be a part of it. Only then, will anything fruitful come from this conversation?
Views expressed are the author’s own.