Breast, bottle, whatever: How You Feed is a shame-free series on how babies eat.
Ashley Graham has never shied away from sharing photos of herself nursing her three boys, first with Isaac, now 2 1/2, and now with 8-month-old twins Malachi and Roman. But the supermodel mom hasn't been relying on breast milk alone to keep her babies nourished. In new billboards for the organic infant formula company Bobbie, Graham is shown breastfeeding one twin while feeding the other a bottle filled with formula.
According to a press release from Bobbie, Graham is the first parent to be featured combo feeding — as in, using both breast milk and formula — on billboards, which will be going up across the United States. The campaign is intended to draw attention to the 70% of formula-feeding parents who give their babies both breast milk and formula.
Graham, who joined Bobbie's MotherBoard this summer, also opened up about her experience with feeding, including the moment she panicked to her mom about her fears about nursing twins. After nursing firstborn Isaac for 13 months, she turned to combo feeding to keep up with the demands of her two youngest boys for the first six months of their lives. She has since transitioned to formula only.
"Feeding your babies is as personal as it gets," the 34-year-old shares in a press statement. "After solely breastfeeding my first son for 13 months, I thought I was going to need a different plan for my twins. When the time came I knew combo feeding would be best for us. That worked really well for six months and now I’m exclusively formula feeding and it’s fantastic. For many parents, there's often a series of decisions that play out over the course of your feeding experience — and no matter where you are on that journey, there is no wrong choice.
In an Instagram post, Graham also spoke out about the "shame culture" that casts judgment on how parents feed their babies.
"After becoming a mom, I recognized the shame culture surrounding parents' decisions to feed their children," she wrote. "Every day I am amazed and grateful for all that my body is capable of, but I constantly remind myself that it doesn’t have to do it all. That it's OK to feel exhausted raising three children under 3, that it’s OK to live in a postpartum body, that it's OK to ask for help and support, that it's OK to formula feed when I can't breastfeed. That my best is best, no matter what it looks like."
Graham recently spoke to Yahoo Life about her experience with breastfeeding, and realizing she would need to supplement with formula after she and husband Justin Ervin welcomed their twin boys.
"We do breast milk and we do formula," she told Yahoo Life. "We do both because, just as one human being, I cannot keep up with two very savage babies."
Graham will be sharing more of her feeding journey with the Bobbie community through the month of September. The female-led brand — founded by mom of three Laura Modi — will also be hosting educational events on combo feeding this month as part of its efforts to destigmatize using formula.
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