Salma Hayek Breast-Feeds Another Woman’s Child for Greater Good

Suzanne Byrne by Suzanne Byrne | February 12th, 2009 | 5 Comments
topic: Celebrity Planet

salmaSalma Hayek has long used her celebrity to shine a spotlight on her environmental causes (Earth Day, Greenpeace, and the impact of global warming), but it’s her work with UNICEF to raise awareness about maternal neonatal tetanus that’s generating big attention.

A video of Salma’s October humanitarian mission to Sierra Leone to raise awareness about tetanus — a segment that originally aired on Nightline last year — has been making headlines on the Internet this week. Why such a fuss? The mom of 1-year-old Valentina was filmed breast-feeding another woman’s child.

Watch the clip.

“She saw this baby suffering from malnutrition and she was still lactating from having had her own baby. She felt, ‘Why can’t I help this child out?’” a source familiar with the situation told People. “The mother was around too, but she was malnourished and didn’t have the necessary nutrients. She wasn’t lactating. She was a frail woman, so Salma wanted to help her out. She didn’t think anything bad of it. She thought she was doing good for the child.”

salma2 After the Oscar-nominated actress feeds the baby boy, she says: “That was amazing. I was able to feed an ill baby that was very hungry.”

Reading comments on the topic, people are very much split with their opinions — some were horrified, but more couldn’t fault her good intentions. I mean, you’d have to be pretty coldhearted to say: No, I wouldn’t want to help feed a malnourished child.

But let me know what you think. Do you think Salma is taking her humanitarian efforts too far? Does you think breast-feeding another person’s child crosses a boundary? Is it much ado about nothing? Weigh in.


  1. I was disturbed to watch it but you’re right: who can argue that feeding needy children is a bad thing? Certainly not me.

    Nancy | February 14th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. I don’t think there is anything wrong with what she did! It takes lots of guts to do what she did…

    Lora | February 17th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. This story is Wonderful. . My friend and I breastfed each others’ child when they were little and it was a very fulfilling experience…

    Doesn’t anyone remember the term wet-nurse? This was common in the past, but our conservative society has blinded us to what was common place.

    suzanne | February 18th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  4. I respect Salma’s activism.

    Lauren | February 18th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  5. how can a nurturing action such as nursing a baby be disturbing? women through history and presumably, prehistory, have nursed children other than their own out of love, out of sisterhood, out of compassion, and for profit. i think what hayek did is beautiful and commendable in every way, and i would have done the same in the circumstances. why should it matter whose baby it is? a woman who had milk held and fed a baby who needed it desperately. this is love in action. a culture that thinks breastfeeding is a marginal activity that should be done out of public sight is, in my humble opinion, demented enough; people being offended or disturbed by someone nursing a malnourished baby simply because it isn’t her own child are missing the point—compassion.

    ann | February 18th, 2009 | Comment Permalink

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