(NEW YORK) — Breastfeeding advocates are praising singer Beyoncé after the pop star was spotted breastfeeding her 7-week-old daughter, Blue Ivy, while dining at New York City’s Sant Ambroeus restaurant this weekend with her husband, Jay-Z.
A megastar helps to take away the stigma of nursing in public, experts said. And role models are needed to help young women see the value and the beauty of breastfeeding, said Dr. Ruth Lawrence, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.
“Beyoncé appears as a beautiful, loving new mother,” said Lawrence. “She has dressed to carry and feed her baby when needed. She makes a model image.”
The report comes not long after nurses protested at Facebook’s offices after the social network flagged and took down several photos users had posted of mothers breastfeeding their children. The site disabled the accounts of some moms who had uploaded the nursing pictures.
“I think Beyonce has a huge impact on being able to re-normalize breastfeeding and give women confidence to do the same,” said Emma Kwasnica, a childbirth and breastfeeding educator who helped spearhead the Facebook nurse-in. “Images of pop stars and celebrities giving their babies nourishment will never harm our cause.”
While breastfeeding is natural, the act has been marginalized and stigmatized in American culture, said Dr. Alison Stuebe, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University of North Carolina Health Care.
“[And] at the expense of the health and well-being of mothers and babies,” said Stuebe. “By bringing breastfeeding into the mainstream, Beyoncé can help break down barriers so that mothers and babies can breastfeed in peace.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio