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Salma Hayek Nurses Another Woman's Baby on Nightline

02/11/2009 at 10:30 AM ET
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Many of you responded positively to last week’s story about Salma Hayek nursing a hungry baby during her UNICEF trip to Sierra Leone, after finding that his mother could not produce milk. Having her experience filmed for ABC’s Nightline, Salma explained that — because of malnutrition — doctors in the country encourage mothers to breastfeed for two years, but this rarely occurs. The reason? Men urge their wives to cease nursing rather quickly because of a cultural taboo against sexual intercourse with breastfeeding women.

“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 [Sierra Leone] imagine how important it is for the mothers to do that,” Salma says. “But here, there is the belief that if you are breastfeeding you cannot have a sexual life so the husbands, of course, of these women are really encouraging them to stop and this is just a taboo.”

Her decision to assist one of these women by nursing her hungry baby boy hit home for Salma, 42, as she wondered if it was fair to daughter Valentina Paloma, 16 months. She shares,

“That was amazing. I’m in Africa, in Sierra Leone, and I was able to feed an ill baby that was very hungry. I thought about it — am I being disloyal to my child by giving her milk away? And I actually think that my baby would be very proud to be able to share her milk. When she grows up I’m going to make sure that she continues to be a generous, caring person, and I think that’s the best thing I can give her as a mother.”

What Salma did is called “cross-nursing.” Bettina Forbes, CLC, of the Best for Babes Foundation says, “cross-nursing has been critical to the survival of the human species and is more common today than people might think.” Andi Silverman, author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding adds,”some moms do it, but there’s no way to know how many. And La Leche League actually discourages cross-nursing and wet nursing because the person feeding your baby could have a communicable disease.”

Source: Nightline

Click below to see the video of Salma nursing the hungry infant and to take our poll!

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Showing 186 comments

amanda on

bravo, Salma.

amanda on

Amazing :)

Kirstin on

Go Salma! Nice to hear her say all this! The one thing i also do want to point out..is that some people (myself included) have encountered issues with breastfeeding and had to stop early. I still feel good about the fact that i breast fed, but only until 5 months and then I also had to supplement. I tried everything including weekly accupunture and eating TONS of huge amounts of all the wives tales etc. and gained MORE weight because of it (only healthy foods – lowfat etc). For some women, I just think it can be hard, so I don’;t think those women should feel less or bad if they do have issues with breastfeeding and have to stop or supplement. We all give love to our babies in the same way and if physically they can;t…then so be it. Just had to share!

Rachel on

I say bravo too, Salma! It brought tears to my eyes because you know she did not have to do it. I was saddened to read negative comments left on aol.com, especially from some women who breastfed their own children, thought it was disgusting. That she would offer her breast to a stranger’s baby. I guess they have never heard of wet-nurses.

I don’t have children yet and my husband and I are planning on a child already. God willing I will be breastfeeding my children.Even though I don’t have kids yet, I am an advocate for breastfeeding. Just so many benefits to both mom and baby.

melissa on

I won’t lie at first I was a little leery of this then I watched the video last night and that was one of the most touching,beauitful things I’ve ever seen…KUDOS to this amazing woman,this truly brought me to tears…TRULY TOUCHING…

Danielle on

What an amazingly charitable act!

Lacey on

She’s an amazing woman!

Jo Ann v. on

I was touched by this story.

skipsie on

She’s Awesome.

Sanja on

Bravo, Salma!

Melissa on

Simply Beautiful :)

sara on

bravo salma!! i tried bfing my one year old but he wouldnt latch, and pumping didnt work either… shes an amazing person for doing that and i would have done the same if it was ever needed. i just cant believe that people would look negatively at this!

Sabina on

What a beautiful gesture of human kindness and compassion. It’s possibly the most natural, simple, caring thing a woman can do for a young child (it’s a shame men can’t do it too!), and I’d like to think I would do the same thing in Salma’s position. I think she’s setting a fantastic example to humans all over the world, male and female.

Colleen on

I admit that at first I thought “Hmmm, I dont know” but I was crying watching the story. My heart went out to those children who were starving and the mothers who could not give their children milk. I think what Salma did was amazing…it truly touched my heart!

Michelle on

So beautiful. She had the means to help a sick, starving baby, so why shouldn’t she. good for her!

Diana on

This is so awesome!!! I love Salma even more now!!

Crystal on

AMAZING!!! What Salma did for that baby was INCREDIBLE!!! It was so noble and kind. The baby eyes were shinning! I loved Salma before but the type of respect and admiration I have for her now trumps everything else!! WONDERFUL WOMAN!!!

Sarah on

I’m crying right now, what a wonderful video. Salma, you are awesome for sharing your milk to the starving baby. I am positive little Valentina will grow up the right way with you as her role model. Muchas gracias!!!!

NatashaC on

That’s just so amazing. A very selfless thing for her to do!

Just a question though, does a mother’s breastmilk have more benefits for your own children than it does for others? Not saying she shouldn’t have fed him or anything like that, I’m just curious if he got the equal nutritional benefits that Valentina gets?

Mira on

Bravo, Salma! After watching this story, I’ve decided Salma is officially my favorite celebrity.

I cannot understand at all how any woman could find bfeeding another child disgusting. It’s a BABY for crying out loud.

kris on

I loved the story she told about her Great Grandmother.

My children were not breastfed and I don’t see anything “wrong” with what she did. It’s sad that there are people who feel that way. This was a starving child and she could help so she did. It was not hurting her own child in any way and she is a healthy woman with a healthy supply of milk. Good for her!

Kate on

I’ve always admired Salma for her beauty. After watching this video, its apparent that her beauty comes from her heart. What a touching and meaningful thing to do. Good for her.

Amy W. on

Wonderful! I nursed my daughter for 2 1/2 years and my son for 3 years! Nursing has not only made them extremely bonded but it has made them so healthy. Just recently, right before I weaned my now 3 1/2 year old son, I was privileged to donate my breast milk to a set of premature triplets that were born to a couple at my local hospital! Go Salma!

Salima on

I was very impressed by this act, but not entirely suprised. Here in what we all know as the “west” breastfeeding has become so much more popular. However, it is almost a normal occurrence for women in eastern cultures to breastfeed children besides their own. We as women have been designed to produce milk that will be sufficient enough to feed our children (I know there are exceptions) we have the capability to produce more when needed, without denying the primary child their “blessings”. I nursed my oldest child and my bestfriends daughter when they were babies and it brought our families together in such a wonderful way. My culture believes that the child you nurse besides your own becomes a “foster” child. I loved breastfeeding and giving my breast milk to another child. Breast is best!

April on

That is by far the most beautiful charity I have heard of by a celebrity. I too beleive her beauty is from within.

Nika on

WOW! I never really ‘paid any attention’ to Salma Hayek, I just saw movies with her in it, that was all. But now I read this, I have the greatest respect for her!
I am certain her daughter will be very proud when she is older and finds out about this!
I think it’s great that a celeb is breastfeeding for so long and not being ashamed of it, because she is a great example for every mother.
I have been breastfeeding my daughter for almost a year now, and I would recommend at least trying it to every mother! It’s the best thing ever!

SALMA YOU ROCK!

Monica on

Bravo to Salma! That was such a kind and generous act! There are breast milk banks now that provide breast milk for preemies and other babies that need it to survive. One of my friends was a triplet and she said that her mother’s friends and neighbors who were nursing their babies would come and help her mother nurse her and her sisters. She used to joke that I should nurse her son with mine (I was also her nanny). Maybe I should have! There is nothing wrong with fornula feeding either — I was just fortunate that I was able to nurse my kids.

Nika on

Okay sorry, another message from me. I just watched the video and I just have to say the look on the baby’s face is the most beautiful thing ever!!!!!!! This is the most touching story I have read/heard in quite a while!

Lucy on

Awesome!!! Beautiful! Puts tears in my eyes.

Cami on

Unbelievable! You are and amazing woman, Salma! I nursed my daughter for 14 months and my twin boys for 5 months, but wish it could have been much longer. What you did was a true act of kindness and unselfish love …thank you!

Lisa Miller on

I think what Salma did was an amazing thing and I think the world would benifit emensily if there were more people like her.

rj on

bravo to salma hayek. as one mother to another, she has given both the mother and child such a wonderful gift. i commend her for her actions and hope that this encourages others to be more help, considerate, and respectful of other breastfeeding mothers out there. i am an avid avocate of breastfeeding having breastfed both of my children until they weaned themselves. bravo to salma!

Ellen Smith on

My concern is not that Salma breastfed another woman’s baby. This baby obviously needs ongoing nourishment. What happens after one feeding? Does the baby then begin its inevitable decline from malnutrition? And while I see nothing wrong with what she did, I do find coverage of it sensationalistic, much like the photos of Angelina Jolie on the cover of W. Why the obsession with breastfeeding?

Heather on

I can honestly say I don’t think I would have done it. I would have gladly pumped for her (which is probably ridiculous to say given where she was) though she could self express her milk then feed it to the baby. I would have been afraid of being passed a disease from the baby then passing it to my child. This decision would be out of pure uneducation on the risks though. If I knew that was not an issue then I would absolutely have done it.

Sanja on

Ellen -Salma is a UNICEF ambassador and as such it’s her job to bring public’s attention to these kinds of things (as is Angelinas). That’s why the trip was filmed and shown on Nightlife and why famous people are chosen to be UN ambassadors in the first place.

As for the baby feeding after she left, that was the purpose of the trip, to bring medicine, formula, donations, etc. to this hospital so that the women and children there could get healthy.

katherine on

rock on, salma. rock on.

Brandi on

I’m so dissapointed by the handfull of women who said they would not feed a starving baby. So you would rather aid in the possible death of a child rather than put aside your insecurities and do something positive to help an innocent, starving baby.. As a mom of 4 beautiful breastfeed children, this is incomprehensable to me. I think what Salma did was an extremely unselfish act and she should be commended on it. How would you feel if you were that baby’s mom and you knew you couldn’t feed it. It had to give the mom a small moments peace of mind knowing for at least a small while that baby wasn’t hurting from hunger.

Mia on

First reading the article it sounds like a strange thing because that’s not something that is practiced in modern society..or more so Western culture, but seeing the actual vide… it was the most sweet and natural thing to see.

Mia on

video*** I wish we could edit our posts.

MARINE on

AMAZING!! there is nothing wrong with “wet nursing” both my cousin n and I were breastfed by another woman because my aunt got extremely sick and couldn’t breastfeed and my mother had no milk and we turned out perfectly fine!

Rosalyn on

I think what Salma did was beautiful!!! I breastfed 2 of my kids, and if I were in the same situation as I she was…I would’ve did the exact same thing.

Heather on

was this a spur of the moment situation or was this planned? If this baby had aids, wouldn’t Salma be at risk for infecting herself by way of the baby’s saliva. Like I said in my previous post I breast fed my son and would breast feed a friends baby or relative but with disease so wide spread especially HIV I am wondering if she was at risk or was this a planned media event to bring awareness??? It was beautiful and the baby’s face was precious looking up at her, but if this put her at risk for being infected by any communicable disease, I can’t say I would do the same and risk my health in turn possibly leaving my son with no mother. Not when the milk could have been expresed by hand or into a bottle if they were there to deliver supplies I am sure bottles would have been an option. I would risk my life to save anothers and I have! but if there is another safer option I take it. So again my question is, was this planned or did she just grab a random infant and nurse him???

Bugs on

That video really touched me. That was so nice of her to do that.

Lilly on

I think it was a wonderful, selfless act.

My only concern would be the possibility of transmission of diseases, viruses, or bacteria via saliva from the baby that was fed to Salma’s baby. I know certain viruses are able to survive several days on objects (depending on the bodily fluid).

Gianna on

I have always loved salma, she seems like a great woman, mother, and I love her personality on interviews she comes across so real and down to earth.Valentina is a gorgeous baby too. So bravo to her for doing that. I personally wouldn’t do it, because there’s a lot of unhealthy babies in those countries, and I wouldn’t wanna put my life in jeoprady of getting a diease or sickness and leave my family without me. I defintiley would have pumped though. To me breastfeeding is a bonding thing, not just put any kid to my boob to feed them. Plus after you leave, how is that child gonna continue eating if your not around.

Angela on

I just wanted to resonate what was stated above. It also brought tears to my eyes to see a mom just doing what she knew was right. I was think it was an absolutely beautiful gift and what a great ladyfor educating others!

mamaNatalie on

Wow ~ what a beautiful way to reach out to a child in need. I just posted on my facebook that Salma is my new hero! As one nursing mom to another ~ Thank you Salma!

Traci on

Definitely touching.

What a gift from God to be given the opportunity to feed a starving baby. That is something that would warm your heart every time you thought of it, for the rest of your life. And as for what will become of the baby once she left, well, one could only hope that maybe it inspired other locals to help each other when they are needed.

Charity is not about one person curing the world of it’s troubles completely, it’s about stepping up at the moment you are needed, and simply doing what you can at that time.

Hea on

I would do the same. A million times over if I only could. I would let the babies use me as their milk cow if neccessary. :-)

I think it’s absolutely wonderful of her to do that but what happened later? She had to go home at some point and was this a one time thing? One feed isn’t enough but it’s something.

Hea on

Heather – I understand your doubts but you should really read up on HIV and how it is transmitted.

MZ on

Heather, great question. I am certified as an HIV health educator. HIV is not transmitted through saliva. It is transmitted through other bodily fluids though. So, a woman with HIV could get a child she breastfeeds HIV because breast milk is one of the fluids that HIV comes from. It would be very difficult for a baby to give the woman breastfeeding him HIV though. The baby would have to have a bleeding sore in his mouth and the woman would need to have a cut for the blood to get in to and that scenario is very unlikely. Hope that answers your question :-)

Bronwyn on

Weldone Salma, you brought tears to my eyes… i wish some people would stop thinking about Africa as this dirty creepy place, people should remember its not the people, its those who run the country (presidents) who dont take the needs of people specially children, to heart…thank you that there are women like you who are not scared, by being able to share your breastmilk with the child…

you make us, who live in Africa really, really proud!!

Thank you

BW
Cape Town
South Africa

Dawn on

If I were younger I probably would have been grossed out.but now that I’m a mother and experienced breast feeding for myself,I say bravo to salma! that was very thoughtful of her. to help someone elses child in need. what happened to those days? too bad she can’t do it more often. the fact that she gave of herself so a child could eat,is proof that there are still thoughtful people out there.

jaQ on

wonderful, wonderful!! i have nursed someone elses’ baby, on one occasion, and was happy to. i think it’s just fabulous that salma was able to, and more importantly, that she was willing.
i post in a mom forum, and someone posted this question once, years ago… i was shocked to find out how squeamish many ladies are about this… most found it horrifying and disgusting. :( very sad, imho. but, i’m a bit of a lactivist, and am still nursing my 34 month old daughter, and many find that disgusting as well…

anna on

This is exploitation of hunger and positive press for Ms. Hayek. Instead of one single feeding by Hayek, baby would have been better of with cans of formula and sterilized water.

Vennesa on

I dont see anything wrong with that. And HIV cant pass through saliva. You can always clean the nipple thoroughly u know. i dont understand why some people are always thinking of negative. It’s an act of kindness & it’s a baby who needs it you not an adult. I dont think that she would full out her breast to breastfeed just for an act.

anna on

Vennesa, HIV can indeed pass through Saliva. Ever heard of mouth swabs that test for HIV? They are regularly done in most clinics.

Lyn on

I admire what she did so much. If only the world were full of people who thought like that. We’d be so much better off.

Gerianne on

I have tears in my eyes. I’m currently a nursing mom to my almost-3-year-old daughter (in the process of weaning). I nursed my other two as well. This was one of the most touching and profound things I’ve seen. Bravo to Salma. The look on that infant’s face was enough to melt even the coldest heart. Pure and unconditional love. Probably the first warm meal that baby has had in his very young life. Bravo.

O'Maolchaithaigh on

Very cool.

MaríaM2 on

I think it was one of the most beautiful and selfless things I’ve ever seen. The baby was SO hungry! I’m so fed up with these selfish and archaic male instituted and generacially perpetrated assults on women and children in the name of controlling them! To put your sexual appetite above your childs needs, and to do it based on some superstitious bull just bites. If some of these countries could rid themselves of even half of the “tradtional” do’s and don’ts that keep women and children (especially girls) at constant risk of being victimized, I believe major progress could be made in raising the wholes standard of living. Go Salma!

Jennifer on

I always wondered how many of these actresses actually breastfeed their children. They seem to have such crazy schedules that would make it difficult. Kudos to Salma for breastfeeding her child, let alone someone else’s. It’s a beautiful thing to do.

Jenni on

When my son was born, I also had a friend who had a baby a few weeks later. She was a single mom and a few months after the baby was born she needed hospitalization for quite some time and asked if I would not only take care of her son while she was there, but if I would breast feed in her place as well. I had more then enough milk, my doctor actually used to joke that I could have easily feed 4 babies and not be dry.

If someone was unable to feed their child and asked me for help I would because there is nothing better for a baby then breastmilk.

Sol on

The title of this article should be “Salma breast feeds a hungry child” or something different from “Salma feeds another woman’s child”
This is such a wonderful thing that she is doing and the current title sounds controversial when it is not.
She is just doing what comes natural to a mother

love her!!!

Mila on

Amazing, without ego Salma Hayek met an immediate need. Bravo for her selfless act.

Lacey on

I think it is admirable that she did this. I would absolutely do the same thing if I were in that same situation. I’m currently a breastfeeding mom of a 6 month old little girl, and feel very blessed that I am able to do it, especially after hearing from so many moms that they are unable to. A child should never go hungry or be malnourished if there is something that can be done about it.

Dr. Love on

I think that Salma had very good loving intentions here, but the huge problem with this is that, the infant who is suffering from malnutrition will now suffer more, because once the baby is hungry it will want only the breast milk that it was receiving, not supplements the hospitals can provide. So unless Salma stays to continue to breast feed that baby, then her intentions of helping have only hurt this infant more. I understand her loving intentions but medically speaking it was more harmful then good unfortunately. To really help malnutrition is supplying these hospitals with proper funding and on hand medical supplies and food, for both Mother and child.

Lisa on

NatashaC: “Just a question though, does a mother’s breastmilk have more benefits for your own children than it does for others? ”

While a mother’s own child benefits from a more customized milk supply, it is still better than formula for a child who is given milk by a mother not his/her own.

Salma, you are beautiful in so many ways! Bravo!

ANNA MATHIS on

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL ACT OF GENEROSITY AND KINDNESS. GOD BLESS YOU SALMA! YOU DO US WOMEN PROUD!

Jon on

Salma Hayek is such a good person for doing that.

Blanca on

Amazing!

Lisa on

I watched this video without sound because my computer isn’t working very well. The amazing images of Salma nursing this baby brought me to tears. This is probably the most compassionate act of kindness I have ever witnessed. This should be a reminder to all of us women that change is in our power, and that the most precious asset we share on this planet is sisterhood. If I could say one thing to Salma Hayek it would be “Well Done!!”

Moonpye on

Bravo Salma! That is amazing. I as a mother would have done the same thing if i had the milk to give. I admire her for doing what she did. milk is milk whether it is from the mother or not, i remember stories my mom told me growing up about how women would pump their milk and donate it to the hospitals for premature babies, her included. People may think it is disgusting, but that is really what a womens breasts are for. I applaud you Salma, that just shows the beauty within your heart.

cjm on

I can’t believe there is any controversy about this at all. As a mother, watching a child starve while you have milk is unthinkable. I produced so much milk while breastfeeding that I was able to freeze it and supply a friend who couldn’t produce enough for her twins. No biggie. Health is the goal, and mothers have supported each other in this way since humans began giving birth. Anyone who finds this disgusting or horrifying needs to visit a children’s ward in any third world country and stop living such a narrow, insulated life.

Nicole on

Humanity at its finest!!! Absolutely beautiful.

Korrie on

BRAVO! This is something that will stay with her always. Her daughter should be very proud when she grows and can understand what her mother did. God bless her for doing what she did. Her mother and Grandmother are smiling on her, I’m sure.

Lori on

What a beautiful person she is…God Bless you Salma!

Morgan on

What an amazing woman. If only more humans were so open to giving. It should be natural to help someone in need if you can do so. Shame on anyone bringing controversy on her selfless action.

kirsty on

Good on her, I find myself in the odd position of admiring a Hollywood actress.

milou on

Lisa – I am a am a Certified Nurse Midwife interested particularly in nutrition – and I can assure you that – yes the benefits of human milk to another child than your own still greatly outweigh formula. never mind that the formula diluted with less than pure water could probably kill many of these already ill babies. There are risks to Salma – but there were risks in walking down that village road anyhow! She helped that baby – thats the point. And I have to tell you having nursed twins and a singleton all to 2 years – their health benefitted. It is not familiar to us to nurse babies other than one’s own – kudos to so many of you responding favorably. This is such a natural thing she did and many of us wouldn’t be here is our ancestors hadnt done the same or their friends hadnt done for them.

Lori on

I think that is an incredible act of kindness and in my opinion courageous. I am not sure that I could have done the same. What agift that must have been for that Mother and child. Life.

erika on

The cameras were ready when they needed to be… A publicity stunt in my opinion. I don’t see the point of a single feeding. I hope other means of help was given. And I truly hope Hayek asked for permission from the boys mother. I can only imagine what she is going through.

Snppmommy on

I now have a new appreciation for her. Absolutely wonderful!!!

Julie on

I am SO proud to be a woman and hear about this story. It brought me to tears. What an honourable and wonderful thing Salma did for that child – and a lesson of selflessness for the world to learn from.

JJ on

What a wonderful act of love. I was touched by this story and I would absolutely feed a an ill or malnourished baby who was in need and whose mother was too malnourished or ill to be able to feed him herself. It is a beautiful moment of human warmth and love and I can’t believe anyone can find anything actually negative to say about it.

She was there to publicize and promote the “One pack/One Vaccine” program by Pampers and to call attention to the suffering in Sierra Leone. She wasn’t there to get publicity, but to GIVE it to a worthy cause – maternal and fetal health in Sierra Leone. GO SALMA!

Beverly on

Who would be upset or have anything negative to say about this act of kindness? Selma Hayek is proud of her actions and rightly so. Wet nursing or having another woman feed a baby when the mother’s milk has dried up is nothing new. Bravo to Ms. Hayek.

trish on

God Bless you, Salma! What makes me mad, are those naysayers out there, who are so worried about their own skin. Maybe if they stepped out of their own skin, like Salma did, then they will feel love flowing through their actions, when they are able to help out another fellow being.

This video makes me proud that there are some really good people out there, who really can and do make a difference in this world. It’s about loving others, black, white, asian, whatever color you or they may be, and loving each back and receiving.

Salma, thank you.

Trish

Angela on

I don’t see the big deal in this!! I am from Africa and I see alot of malnourished babies when I go back home and what Salma is doing is not bad so people should stop making a big deal out of it! She is simply giving another child a basic very necessary need, food. Heck, if I was a mother and was lactating I would do the same thing. If you are able to help another’s person’s child in any way you can, why not? I love Salma Hayek and what she is doing is great. A great act of kindness and humanity.God Bless her and her family.

Karri on

What a gift to this child! Women used to breastfeed other women’s babies all of the time. What a blessing, to give a malnourished child nourishment. I’m sure the other mother was greatful.

jennifer on

I work as a labor and delivery nurse and have to express that it is truly a GIFT to be able to breastfeed. It is a highly selfless thing to do for your own child and takes no effort, however many women choose not to do it because they are afraid that it hurts, or it will make their breasts look bad. Selmaa is using the gift to feed a baby in need and it just shows a high moral character on her part to share that gift with a child she doesn’t even know. It won’t hurt her or her baby, she has the nutrition she needs to be able to provide the milk and will make that particular milk up in a mtter of hours. Selma, you are an amazing woman to be moved to do such a thing for another human being. If I was in your situation, I would have done the same. My children were both breastfed and are much healthier and happier for it.

Janet on

Great to see this. If you’ve ever fed a hungry baby, you know each time they suck they strive to take in as much as they can. That baby was hungry! You could tell from each suck it made. The look on that baby’s face….how could anyone turn it down. Giving the opportunity to help a starving child.

steph on

Dr. Love cannot possibly have his/her MD and cannot have ever nursed a child. To say the baby will suffer more because, after only one feeding from this generous individual, he will now only want breastmilk is completely ignorant. My first child received both breastmilk and formula and took both without any complaints. She was not unique in that regards. As for the long term issue of malnurishment, I believe that is why she was there – to bring awareness to the issue and bring aid. I say this woman did an amazing thing – she provided the best form of nurishment to a hungry child.

mpl on

Dr Love, I don’t understand how one feeding will cause this child to reject supplemental food. Especially a hungry child…you think a starving baby will reject formula? “Medically speaking,” that’s absurd. Additionally, my child was exclusively breastfed for 5 months before taking formula, and easily switches between the two.
Anna, a breastfeeding woman can pass HIV to a nursing baby; it’s extremely unlikely the other way around. Both woman and baby would need to have open wounds for this type of transmission.
Bravo to Salma! This was a beautiful, compassionate act. For those who think this could be for publicity…you’re a little too jaded. I hope you aren’t parents, b/c if genuine concern for a child in distress seems too far off your radar but using the situation as a photo op is what pops into your mind, I pity your children.

Suzzette on

I think that what Salma did was a beautiful, although I don’t really agree with comments she’s made, what she did is what I would hope that any mother would do for another mother with a baby in need. Its not about the women or their opinions it’s about what the baby needs and the whole “takes a village” idea. Sure it was just one time but the other villagers would get the idea that if one is able to nurse her own and another woman’s child, she was proving the point that it can be done and there shouldn’t be a stigma attached.

MCW on

I think its wonderful!

Annie on

What a beautiful thing to do.

Momof2 on

Anyone who sees the look on that innocent babies face and thinks Salma did something wrong, is not human. She gave a precious gift to that baby and she should be honoured. I hope other celebrities see this and understand what it truly means to be a star. Don’t worry about Valentina, Salma. She will be proud of her mommy.

Chantelle on

Wonderful!!!! I’m a mom of 3 and think it’s fantastic for any woman to offer to breastfeed a hungry child.

Judy on

Women were God given breasts as a means of feeding human babies. Any baby deserves to be nursed if a woman is able and available. God Bless women and children.

Sally on

Good for her. If she knows she has a clean bill of health, why shouldn’t she? This is how babies survived in the days before formula, and frankly, it’s a much better alternative than cow’s milk.

Amber on

Bravo Salma!

Magnolia on

Fantastic. Very moving. What a woman.

Am on

Amazing! I teared up, what a woman…

Red sky on

This is disgusting practice,and would never enourage breast feeding someone’s else newborn.As a “Neonatal ICU RN”there are guide lines and safe practice.Run the risk of passing on many diseases to the newborn.Bottle feed your newborn.

Isabel on

This is not as unusal as people might think, allot of people do this in other parts of the world. I think it was wonderful that she blessed someone else’s baby.

Martie on

Bravo Salma!! You are truly an amazing beautiful woman. What a beautiful gesture of kindness and compassion. Shame on anyone bringing controversy on her selfless action. Your daughter will indeed be very proud.

Ari on

This is for all of the negative people out there especially, Ellen Smith- your comment makes you so simple and so dense. “inevitable decline from malnutrition”, no miss lady, it’s just making the issue known that there are hungry malnourished babies all over the world and it’s one of the most beautiful gesture of human kindness we can give, especially to a child who is hungry. Did you see the contentment on the baby’s face afterwards? I even more love for Salma. “sensationalistc, Angelina Jolie”, we need more celebrities like them who gives and do it willingly. Thank God she is not one of those who wants to be seen on only shopping and party sprees,or someone who worry about how much their breast would be sagging afterwards. My mom breastfed many children in our village that belong to her friends and I so proud of her. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the one who is breastfeeding is healthy and the baby that she is doing it to has no infectious disease. For all the Ellen Smiths out there it’s called LOVE and COMPASSION for another human being.

Daddy's_Girl on

What a beautiful act of humanity. Bravo and God bless you Salma! Does the video or agency involved show or speak of the support provided to the community after the filming was over?

rebecca on

I think it was a very brave thing she did and I’m sure it will benefit that baby.

kristin on

What a heart warming story. Good for Salma!! What a beautiful thing to do.

Julie on

It’s not a new idea. Wet nurses have been used for centuries. I hope I could live up to the unselfish act of Salma, if I were in her position. She must be a very caring person!
Maybe she did it more than once while on tour? Its all about supply and demand…she can produce more by feeding more babies.

Michelle on

Heather, HIV cannot be passed through saliva. If the baby had bleeding cuts in his mouth and Ms. Hayek had cuts on her breast, there is a teeny tiny chance of passing HIV. This is a common misconception and everyone should educate themselves on this disease. I had a room mate who died of AIDS in the early 90s. We shared lots of stuff. I was not in danger of “catching” it from her. Unless, of course, we shared a razor or dental floss.

Trish on

Everyone may have a billion reasons why this is wrong, why it may actually not be healthy if she isn’t healthy, etc. etc. etc. We are talking about a starving child here! The fact is there was a baby right infront of her that was – no, is – essentially dying slowly and she did what she could to make a difference. She may have bought that child a little more time. I don’t get the controversy. Yes – here it may be an unnecessary risk to feed your child someone else’s milk – especially if you can produce your own. The risk really depends on many factors. In a country where people dying is just part of daily life, the controversy is almost ridiculous. What would have been astonishing is if she didn’t offer her milk.

Casey on

I am so impressed with Salma Hayek for this, and my respect for her has just gone off the charts. What a wonderful thing to do–I wish more of us mothers could help out in such a way.

Michelle on

Oh, and the mouth swabs that test for HIV are scraping cells from the inside of the cheek. It is not a test on the saliva.

Marbelis Puig on

When I was born I was nursed for days by another women next to my mothers bed in the hospital, unfortunately my mother couldnt. I was born very weak and the doctors told my mother that breast milk was better for me, and it did help me. My mother was very thankful for this and so was I when she shared the story with me. Now, I have four kids of my own and I was blessed to be able to nursed them all. What Salma have done is without a doubt a great thing….and for those with “wrong thoughts” Im happy to say that Im white and the woman that nursed me was black!!

Susan on

What a selfless act? Way to go Salma, I’m an instant fan.

connie on

Awesome! Makes me like her even more. What a loving, giving woman.

Chris on

Breastfeeding is such a wonderful way of sharing nutrition and love with a new baby person. Sharing milk (either by nursing or expressing your milk to be bottle fed later) cannot be anything but a blessing. Kudos to this Mom and others like her in the world today.

A. on

I had a friend who was unable to nurse her baby but a good friend of hers had more than enough and they were in close enough proximity that my friend’s baby recieved two or three bottles of breast milk a week. It great that anyone out there can have enough compassion to help that way and to do it right then and there without worrying how weird people may or may not find it even better why go looking for a breat pump and a bottle when the perfect feed mechanisim is right there attached to you person. Fantastic!

Carol on

Breastfeeding is as natural as breathing. Breastfeeding another woman’s baby is an act of compassion and love. You wouldn’t think twice about feeding a baby who was hungry, it doesn’t matter whether it was food from a bottle or a breast. The cuddling and snuggling that went with the breastfeeding was just as much nutrition for the baby’s spirit as the breast milk was for the baby’s body.

Way to go, Selma. I am very proud of her. She is was a REAL mother is all about. Pure love and nurturing!

Nooboon on

wow..is this salma hayek doing some charitable act??
fantastic !!

Beth on

I think this is wonderful. My sister nursed my first baby once, when I was under extreme stress and having trouble producing. She also pumped milk on two separate occasions for us. It really helped us out and allowed me to continue breastfeeding successfully in the long run. I would absolutely do this for someone else in need, and I applaud Ms. Hayek for being so open about it.

L on

There was a time when African-american women were forced to nurse the slaveowners children. Although their own children did not get the benefit of their breastmilk. Their sole function was to nurse the babies of the slaveowner. They were wet nurses.

Whether in servitude or through voluntary acts of kindness, women has nursed the children of other’s. It is not a new concept. Where have you people been living, in a cave?

Selma’s act was selfless and one that other’s frown on only because they are “I” focused and not “we” focused. African cultures, Latino & Asian cultures are more “we” focused. Western nations are not.

Kathy on

I would definitely do the same thing, how could you not, if you see a child that is obviously hungry and you have the milk available to give!

Dixie on

Awesome!!! Good for you Salma! You have inspired me…

southernladee51 on

ms hayek is now one of my heroes. as a young mom, i met two sisters who were also single moms. we all moved in together. we were all working (different shifts) and watched each other’s babies. we all breastfed. one day for some reason, one of the babies tried to nurse someone who was not his mother (i don’t remember who started it). it was as simple as that. from that moment, we regularly fed whatever baby we were close to that was crying. even though we were roommates for less than a year, i’m very proud of what we did. we still thought HIV was a gay/drug related disease so it was not an issue.
“logic” and medical “facts” aside…anyone who can look at a starving child, and think “yuck, he might have a disease” is still a baby in the process of enlightenment. i only hope that you don’t find the process too painful!

Andrea on

Excellent I do not see anything wrong with this, Bravo Salma.

El on

I have always admired Ms. Hayek…thought she was amazing to begin with. Now, she has shown the world that she is truly a woman with a heart….what she did has been done for years. I “wet nursed” a friends premature child…my child was already 6 mo old at the time and my friend was unable to nurse for some time, and I took the job on and loved it. Yes I bonded with my “niece” but I would have anyway…Hats off to Selma….god truly has blessed her by putting her inthis world.

polka on

a beautiful, self-less act!!! i hope it inspires more people to as altruistic

MinnesotaNice on

I was totally moved to tears by this beautiful gesture. Salma–you are my hero!

Kimberlee Claffy on

I am guessing it was a publicity stunt; however, haven’t there been “wet nurses” since long before there were calendars to track down how long its been done?

slackermom on

Go Salma!

Once, when my nephew was hungry and crying, I picked him up and starting nursing him (I was still nursing my daughter). I have to admit, it was a bit weird on both ends. He didn’t feel “right” and I definitely didn’t feel “right” to him. But he calmed down so all was good.

Americans really do have to get over their breast issues.

Daddy's_Girl on

“L”, do not assume that because many of us didn’t mention the history of wet-nursing that we live in a cave. I am well aware of the history of wet-nursing/cross-nursing thank you very much.

Sandra on

Good for her! We need more people like her in this world- caring and unselfish.

MAJRDAD on

I think that what Salma did was wonderful. When my wife was nursing our first son she always had a lot of excess milk and was unable to feed it all to our son. We heard about an infant who could only drink mother’s milk and not formula, and his Mother was unable to lactate. We then saved my wife’s excess milk and froze it in small baby bottles and took it to the hospital where it was in turn given to the baby’s Mother to feed her child. Salma – great going!!!

keva stewart on

i think this was just an awesome unselfish thing to do.
i too would have done it without a second thought!
great job Selma

Lori on

Wonderful thing Salma did..She is a caring person to do what she did for a child in need..Bless Her!

Tess on

Hear Hear! Don’t let ANYONE get crazy that her gesture was out of the ordinary. Women worldwide help each other with child care and breast feeding. It is our western culture that teaches it as an oddity. We are the weird ones. I’d do it in the same situation!

Jennie on

Just look into the baby’s innocent eyes while he was being nursed… all the power to Selma!

Tiffany on

Being a “wet nurse” is nothing new!! Way to go Salma! I am sure that baby thanks you!

Tammie on

If only there were more people in the world as unselfish as Salma in this act of love and kindness!! I can not imagine a lactating mother not feeding a starving child! If there are those out there that would have neglected this precious child then that is heartbreaking! Thank you, Salma, for your kindness and I pray that negative comments will not stop you from helping a helpless child again. Bless you!

Hayley on

Wow….amazing Salma!! There are not many women who would do this, let alone have it shot on video and be so proud to share. My hat is off to you, you are an amazing woman and Mother. Thank you for inspiring me today…..

AC on

While one feeding will not irradicate a child’s hunger, Ms. Hayek’s point was well taken. Hunger is unacceptable regardles what the culture in that region dictates.

shar on

Salma is on the right track. I’d take it a step further and offer to donate breast milk to any medical facility that needed it. It’s no different than donating blood and both are definitely worthy causes.

Rachael on

At first I thought “I don’t know if I could do it!” Then I saw the clip, and for sure no question I would!Incrediable Salma!

Brenda on

Shame on those that look down upon this wonderful woman! She took a hungry child, if only just once, and fed it from her own breast. We women have that right! We can feed a child who is hungry, we can give our milk if we wish. This is an old tradition that has been passed down from grandmother to mother. Come on people, Give me a break!! Stop being so selfish, and let this child have one healthy feeding. Give praises to Selma for not caring what others think, and being the self-less, awesome woman that she is!!!! I am proud of you Ms. Selma Hayek!!

Jamie on

Bravo Salma! I had a friend who nursed another of our friend’s babies when the mother’s return was delayed and the baby was hungry. It is the natural thing to do. No offence was taken and the baby was contented.

I nursed my own son for 15 months, it was the most incredibly intimate bonding experience and what I believe to be the best start you can give your baby if you are able. When I returned to work, I expressed my milk and froze it so that my baby would still have the best milk available to him. I would have gladly been a wetnurse.

Let’s remember why we have breasts in the first place, to nourish the young.

Salma Rocks! xo

Jamie on

This story brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. I’m glad that child had a full belly after that. Whatever possible risks of cross nursing that may have existed is not worse than definite starvation.

It also makes me incredibly sad that this child was going hungry, unnecessarily. I agree that there they need to overcome that cultural stimga…for crying out loud your baby needs to eat, and breast milk is free, natural, and readily available. If it came down to feeding my baby or having sex I wouldn’t have sex. I can survive without sex, the baby needs to eat!!

Kelley on

God is smiling on this woman. She did exactly what HE taught us to do. WOW!

barbara on

This World would be a much better place to live in if more people that had the means to help, would. I applaud this act of generosity ans compassion. God said that we should give of ourselves, our greatest gift. Bravo!!

vstarr111 on

I thought it was very strange! But if the baby had no milk that was nice of her!

Ari on

“oddity in the western world” I am from the West Indies; St.Vincent and the Grenadines to be exact. When you say “western world”, you may be referring to the United States only, sorry to say.I consider my beautiful St. vincent to be in the west and it is not an “oddity” for us to breastfeed in public much less to breastfeed someone else’s child. As a matter of fact it is very common, because I know of many housekeepers who breastfed their employer’s child(ren). I guarantee if you were to take a camcorder and go from one caribbean island to the next, you’ll see women whipping out their breast anywhere from restaurants, market, beach, park,or at any social circle etc. You would never and I mean never see our men gawking at mothers or anyone for that matter criticizing or scolding a woman for breastfeeding in public(and they do so without covering up). As educated as the United States think they are, they are still sooo backwards. You do not see man standing up like perverts checking out the size, shape or volume of a woman’s breast. We all look at it as one of the most beautiful gift to a child.

melissa wagner on

that’s a wonderful story, what a beautiful act of humanity in a very natural way

Rumenate on

This is something that I wish I could do…I nursed both children for 3 years and had plenty of milk during the first 2 years. This is wonderful–the body is an amazing tool, and so is Salma’s heart.

Ari on

“Hear,hear”. the gesture was out of the ordinary for a celebrity to breasfeed someone else’s baby. Bravo to Salma!!!.

Wright98 on

I think she is AMAZING! I never really had an opinion about her before, but this just makes me so proud to be a mother who breast feeds. I am in awe. She is a beautiful person on the outside, but more importantly on the inside. Hats off to you Salma, you are an inspiration!

P&E'sMom on

I’m so happy to see this. I’m glad that everyone is talking about it. I’m still nursing my 17mo. old and would nurse a baby if it needed it. I think it was amazing to watch, I’m so happy she did it. She has done more good than she will ever know.

Johanna on

That is totally awesome! As a mom who nursed 2 children, I am so glad to see that some people in Hollywood are behind this practice. Maybe if it becomes the “it” thing for mommies in Hollywood it will become more acceptable in the rest of the US.

Jl on

I am still breastfeeding my 15 month old and I have no issues with helping out a poor child or his mom. I had so much milk that I could fill a bottle in 2 mins! I only wish we had a system to donate our milk in Alberta. Congrats to Salma on doing the right thing. Breast is best!!

Jennifer on

That is the best story I have seen in so long… WOW!!! Thank you Salma…. You are one special women!!!! With all that is going on in the world, for you to share this special gift… Thank you so much!!! Truly amazing!!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!

Shelly on

what a beautiful gesture of compassion and love for fellow human beings in need
thank you Salma!

I-dra on

i am so happy when i hear of a lactating mother sharing her milk with other babies. like that lovely cop in china who nursed a few babies until their mothers’ milk returned. i feel proud to be a nursing mom & i would not even think twice about nursing someone else’s child. i appreciate salma for effectively being a poster mom for breastfeeding. i can tell she has a real passion & a genuine commitment to the cause & i appreciate that.

Aloha on

what an amazing and brave thing to do! hooray for salma!

Kellie on

Her spontaneous act of generosity shows what a lovely woman she is!

Karin on

It’ was so wonderfull.. You are “great” person.. I brestfeed my daughter 11months and once my little nephew.. I think there is nothing better than mother’s milk and if someone don’t have it or what’s worst baby suffer from hunger it’s wonderfull there are people like Salma who helps them.. BRAVO!! (sorry for my English, I live in Europe – Czech Republic..)

Miriam on

Bravo Salma! my granma also lactated other infants in order to help mom’s that were not able to do it because of malnutrition. Kudos to you!

kat on

I think it is amazing and wonderful!! I understand the concern of communicable diseases, but that’s why you have doctors and you get medical history.

I wish she were able to stay there until the woman’s milk came in, but even just nursing this baby once will give it a better start.

Kelly on

This is an amazing gift!. That baby really needed the nurishment. Good for Salma. She isnt afraid to give something away that seems so “taboo” in modern society. I nurse my ten month old everywhere I have no problem feeding her in public. Its something healthy that I am giving my daughter and I will continue to give it to her even if people ask me to stop or cover up.

DeeL on

IF all the mothers out there say you’d actually do this yourself, then why not give of yourself now and save a life. Go donate blood. Put yourself on the list to donate a kidney or bone marrow. All of these things save lives everyday. It’s easy to say “I’d do the say same thing” when you’re sitting in the comfort of your desk chair, but actually doing them is different. THAT is what makes Ms. Hayak different. She actually wasn’t fearful, she took action.

Ginne on

Once upon a time there were wet-nurses that would breastfeed other womens children because the mothers had no milk (and formula wasn’t even invented yet). Selma seems to be following in the tradition of these caring, generous ladies and I think she is a fine example to all of us in how to treat other peoples children with the love & compassion that we show our own. It may have only been the one time, but she ensured that this liilte baby did not starve and may have made a bigger impact then she even realizes.

welcometojungle on

Oh, this is so CUTE!!

RLTT on

Anna, the mouth swab HIV tests are testing for antibodies against the virus, not the virus itself. That is why you can share a can of Pepsi with an HIV positive person and not get HIV.

Dr. Love, babies will go from breast milk to formula just fine. Although some prefer one over the other with a little persistence babies will make the switch.

It seems that there are some very misinformed people and I would encourage those to read up on the subject from trusted sources such as reputable doctors and researchers. Breastfeeding is a wonderful and natural thing to do. I hope people can find the beauty and compassion in her act, instead of scrutinizing it because it seems to be foreign to our way of thinking.

lesley on

I’m so proud of salma she turely did the one wonderful thing in this world she did ask people to send money to feed this baby she fed this child the greatest thing a mother can give ! I breast feed my baby and a few months ago i fed her on the mall bench where a rude man said some really nasty thing to me about feeding my baby in a public place and for a minute i though maybe it ain’t right to feed in a public place … then i was like i care for my baby i’m the one that feeds her not him or anyone else is going to buy her milk and i’m giving my baby the best thing i can give ! so thank you salma she’s bring back breast feed now us women can hold our heads up high and not care about what other thing were doing the best thing here and if u don’t like it don’t look !!! easyier to turn ur head then to leave a baby hungry !!

CelebBabyLover on

DeeL- I see your point, but I also want to point out that those things aren’t always that simple. For example, both of my parents used to donate blood. However, for seperate reasons, they are now unable to. Not only that, but you wouldn’t believe how many things can keep you from donating. Having low iron levels (even if you aren’t techincally considered anemic), low levels of other important vitmans or minerals, being on certain medications (such as blood thinners), and even being below a certain weight are all things that can prevent a person from donating blood.

Elissa on

I echo so many of the above positive comments. Not only is this a generous and wonderful thing to have done, it is ACTION. So many people don’t DO anything for others. This is love. Pure and simple, love. Putting others first. I’m so glad this is being publicized. Thanks.

stargoop on

Soon after my second child was born I went to an agency called wic to get free baby cereal for my infant. While waiting there I learned that the program director was very upset that she could not give her child breast milk. We talked and after that when I came in to get food for my child I would also bring in frozen milk for hers.
It was years later when I learned of an organization that helps mothers like her called L Leche League.

diane on

You see all of the “Star’s” adopting children from 3rd World Countries, but I think you would not see these same “Star’s” do what Salma Hayek did. I have a new found Respect for her. That is one of the most heart wrenching things I have seen in a very long time. That someone of her position and fame would put her self out there for that child. Kudo’s to you.

Armida Campa on

I commend Selma. I had two sons who I could only breastfeed for two months but still felt that was good. I commend Selma for two reasons: Because that is the best food for a baby and that was a display of true humanitariansm. I wish breastfeeding was not so fround upon, particularly in public settings. What is more natural? Men look at women’s bear breasts in magazines and covered breasts on billboards and advertisement probably imagining them bear, so why can’t we women do the most natural thing and nurse our children in public? I accuse the American movie industry that exploits sex and the human body so much that a view of a mother breastfeeding can look offensive. (It can be done discreetly, though) I, too, say bravo Selma.

shawn on

obviously educated, informed, and most of all compassionate. This famous woman is a class act.

Paula on

I just want to post a brief comment for all of you who wonder about the possibility of HIV transmission in this situation. I have worked as a social worker in the field of HIV/AIDS services for 19 years. It is absolutely NOT TRUE that you can transmitt HIV through saliva. HIV can only be transmitted through 4 bodily fluids: blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk. The baby was in greater danger of contracting an illness from Ms. Hayek than she was of “catching” an illness from the infant. I applaud her for giving of herself and for bringing this to the atention of the world. Well done, Salma, and thank you.

MERLINDA on

If more people took such a direct and personal approach to helping another human being, we would see an end to suffering.

Ms. Hayek, I commend you and will add you to my prayers.

carissa on

My mom was breastfed by her aunt, so she was cross nursed (old term wet nurse), how do we think all those royal babies survived when their queen mommies were fulfilling their queenly duties?

Farley on

What a moving story about a human being being human, a mother being a mother. If there were more people out there like Selma the world would be a beautiful place. We are all God’s children which makes us family members of sorts. Kudos to Selma!

Emilee on

Wow I think this is just beautiful! Rock on Salma!

I thought it was amazing how hungry he was too, you could see it in his face and how strong he was nursing, so makes you feel even more proud of her.

I think post #35 was right on as well, great post! I’ve seen it a few times now though that people say what about after she left…she was offering that baby even just a tiny amount of something so powerful and amazing (seriously, powerful) that yes it could have made a huge difference in his recovery/growth, even with a follow up of formula supplementation after. Any ounce of Breastmilk is going to give him some great benefits (think of it as a multivitamin or an antibiotic) in that crucial point in his life. Again, I am SURE they provided the mother with nutrition for herself and supplementation for the baby, that is why they were there in the first place. This was just something that Salma felt compelled to do at that moment. No different than you taking the coat off your back to give to a homeless man even though you just brought him clean blankets and warm soup and bread. You still feel helpless and want to give every ounce you can until you have nothing left to give.

Tiffanny on

What woman wouldn’t share a gallon of milk with a starving baby? It’s the same principle. It would be heartwrenching to see baby so hungry. Any motherly instinct yearns to comfort a child in need. You go Selma!

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