Breastfeeding is a regular moment between mother and child, and that's no different for Adaora Akubilo, the model in Gap's Instagram ad which depicts Akubilo breastfeeding her 20-month-old son Arinze.
But the shot wasn't planned — it was an organic result of motherhood in real time. In the middle of the photoshoot Arinze needed to nurse, and because Adaora is comfortable nursing, it was natural for her to do so on set as well.
"I'm so comfortable just nursing my son anywhere," she said to the Chicago Tribune, "If my son needs to nurse, I'm going to nurse him."
The photographer took note of the genuine moment and asked if it would be alright to capture some images. Little did they know that the images would be the leading part of their campaign shots and a relatable, precious moment for moms everywhere.
And although she had the support of her son's pediatrician, some people have given her flack for still nursing her son after a certain age. So this Gap campaign was an affirming moment for her.
“I felt like I was doing something wrong,” she said. “Our society, in particular, is not very supportive of women who nurse after a certain age.”
So let's hear it for moms who put their children's health and happiness at the forefront! And let's hope that more brands recognize the beauty in motherhood — all aspects of it — like Gap has done.
“I don’t want women to feel shamed,” Akubilo said. “It’s so important to encourage mothers.”