Nation & World

Model struts runway at Sports Illustrated swimwear show while breastfeeding her baby

Model Mara Martin thinks it’s no big deal that she walked in a Sports Illustrated swimwear show on Sunday while breastfeeding her 5-month-old baby. But she’s earned kudos from other moms around the world.
Model Mara Martin thinks it’s no big deal that she walked in a Sports Illustrated swimwear show on Sunday while breastfeeding her 5-month-old baby. But she’s earned kudos from other moms around the world. Instagram/Mara Martin

New mom Mara Martin just showed the world that she is a champion multitasker.

At the Sports Illustrated Swim Search fashion show in Miami on Sunday night, the 30-year-old model walked the runway in a gold, one-shoulder bikini with her 5-month-old daughter latched onto her right breast.

Strut like a boss and breastfeed at the same time?

“Hell to the yes,” tweeted Brooklyn Decker, actress and model, just one of the people showering Martin with praise for taking care of her mommy business in the spotlight like it was no big deal.

“Love this,” tweeted TV producer and “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes.



Good thing Martin’s daughter was wearing noise-canceling headphones on the runway because the cheers from the audience were louder than the online praise.

Baby Aria wore a bikini, too. And a diaper.

“She was a little hungry. It was her dinner time and the show kept getting pushed back,” Martin told the “Today” show. “Honestly, I didn’t even think twice about it because I do it every single day.”

MJ Day, editor of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, asked Martin if she wanted to walk out with the baby.

“Mara was holding her baby and was nursing her. I was like, ‘Do you want to just nurse when you walk down the runway?’” Day told “Today.” “She was like, ‘I would love to do it that.’”

Sports Illustrated posted the moment on its Instagram.

“Truly an inspiration to all Moms! Breastfeeding is a gift we give to our children,” wrote one mom the post.

“Breastfeeding is definitely beautiful, because it’s so challenging, but such an amazing thing our bodies can do, and this lady deserves a big high five for putting herself out there!” wrote another mom on the post.

Martin seems overwhelmed by the attention, which has included stories in European publications.

“I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day,” she posted on Instagram Monday.

“It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least. I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL!”

But, she wrote, “to be honest, the real reason I can’t believe it is a headline is because it shouldn’t be a headline!

“My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that. Last night there are far more deserving headlines that our world should see.”

According to People, the Michigan native was one of 16 people chosen to walk in the show during Miami Swim Week.

In her Instagram post, Martin tried to divert attention away from herself to her fellow participants.

“One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country ... one woman had a mastectomy (@allynrose), and another is a cancer survivor, 2x paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself (@bren_hucks you rock),” she wrote.

“Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!!”

Martin told “Today” she can’t wait for the day when the sight of a woman nursing her baby - even on a fashion runway - is not news.

“I’m just grateful to be a part of it and that they chose me to represent a mom, which is exactly who I am,” she said.

Find out how moms got past the myths and tall tales about breastfeeding commonly told in their communities.

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