Girls Girls Girls just published what must be the most glamorous breast-pump photo of all time. In an editorial for the indie fashion magazine, Rachel McAdams poses wearing a Versace jacket, a rope of Bulgari diamonds, a Fleur du Mal bra, and a functioning breast pump. The actress is gazing resolutely into the camera while expressing milk for her infant son, her expression a perfect example of resting pump face.
On Instagram, Girls Girls Girls founder Claire Rothstein explained that McAdams, who’d given birth to her son six months prior to the shoot, was still breastfeeding and needed pumping breaks. “We had a mutual appreciation disagreement about whose idea it was to take this picture,” writes Rothstein, “but I’m still sure it was hers, which makes me love her even more.”
Breastfeeding, alas, is a project that needs to be tended to every few hours; if you don’t express the milk somehow, your breasts ache and you’re at risk for an infection. Going too long without pumping or breastfeeding means your supply might drop, never to recover. Plus, there’s the reason you’re pumping in the first place: the need to stockpile more milk for when you’re away from the baby. (I am all too familiar with this, having breastfed and pumped for two kids in the last five years.) The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding infants nothing but breast milk for the first six months, and then continuing to offer breast milk until the baby is 1 year old. All of this is to say: If you breastfeed and need (or want) to spend more than a few hours away from your child, you need to take pump breaks.
“Breastfeeding is the most normal thing in the world and I can’t for the life of me imagine why or how it is ever frowned upon or scared of,” writes Rothstein, adding, “Side note: I did not look anywhere near as fabulous as this when feeding/pumping. And that’s OK too.”
I didn’t either! But what I love about this image is that despite all the glamour, it feels real — mostly thanks to McAdams’s steely-eyed look. It turns out that the high-fashion scowl has a lot in common with the face you make when you’re trying to express milk from your body in a freezing office break room.