Breastfeeding can be awesome — but it can also be difficult, physically exhausting, and isolating.

Parents may choose to breastfeed for a variety of reasons and have a range of experiences with it, but one thing is universal: It helps to have help.

People often tout the natural beauty of breastfeeding, and that can certainly be true. But it's equally true that nursing can be physically demanding, time-consuming, and — thanks to society's squeamishness — socially isolating. Even those who love breastfeeding need moral and logistical support, especially from their partners.


Here are some celebrity dads who show us what supportive breastfeeding partners look like:

Keeping breastfeeding partners well-fed and hydrated, like The Rock did, is a good place to start.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson melted hearts with a photo on Instagram of him lovingly feeding his girlfriend while she fed their baby.

"Mama @laurenhashianofficial has her hands full nursing/feeding Baby Tia," he wrote, "so I'm feedin' mama her dinner. My pleasure. So much respect to her and all mamas out there holding it down and running things."

Not only does breastfeeding require hands, it also burns 300-500 calories a day, which can make for ravenous hunger. Nursing requires extra water too, so partners can help by bringing a breastfeeding person food and liquids.

Expressing appreciation for breastfeeding like Justin Baldoni did is another way to show support.

"Jane the Virgin" actor Justin Baldoni didn't hold back in sharing his awe in watching his wife breastfeed their baby, Maxwell.  

"I love watching Emily feed our son," he wrote on Instagram:

"They share such a deep bond and I can see how much joy it brings her when everything stops and it just the two of them connecting ... It still blows my mind at how incredible the female body is and that the only thing my son has eaten since he was born has been produced by my wife."

He also shared a photo he took of her breastfeeding, with words of praise for her as a mother and wife. Beautiful.

Andy Grammer modeled how to support breastfeeding in public without shame.

The singer/songwriter shared a photo of his wife Aijia getting sassy with public breastfeeding shamers on Twitter and sent a shoutout "to all the moms feeding their babies without a care and in style."

And check out this adorable video of Grammer beatboxing in time to his daughter Louisiana's hiccups. (Another way to help is burping the baby after feeding time, BTW.)

Partners can also step up in unexpected ways when breastfeeding goes wrong, like Dax Shepard did.

Actress Kristen Bell shared a story on her online show "Momsplaining" about one of the times she had mastitis and wasn't able to get to the doctor. Mastitis is a painful and potentially dangerous breast infection. Their baby had recently quit breastfeeding, and she needed to express her milk to relieve the pain and pressure.

Bell said she told her husband, "We can talk about it, we can be weird about it, or you can just go ahead and nurse." So Shepard extracted the milk — yep, like that — and spit it into a cup.

"I've never been more in love," said Bell.

Even just cleaning a breast pump and washing bottles can make a huge difference.

When rapper George Moss shared a photo of him cleaning a breast pump after a concert, people went wild and shared the post widely.

If you ever wonder what #rappers do when they get off stage, they clean breast pumps for their wives so their baby can eat. #thuglife

Posted by George Moss on Monday, June 22, 2015

But as Moss wrote in a follow-up post, it's a little strange that he gets all the kudos for doing something as simple as cleaning a breast pump:

"If anyone should get the credit it should be people like my wife! This woman AMAZES me! Through all the pain & soreness, frustrations, stress, etc. of trying to breast feed and pump, she gets up in the middle of the night to nurse a hungry baby."

Here's to those who enthusiastically support their breastfeeding partners.

Your words and actions make a difference.

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

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The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

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via Pexels

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There are a lot of reasons to feel a twinge of nostalgia for the final days of the 20th century. Rampant inflation, a global pandemic and political unrest have created a sense of uneasiness about the future that has everyone feeling a bit down.

There’s also a feeling that the current state of pop culture is lacking as well. Nobody listens to new music anymore and unless you’re into superheroes, it seems like creativity is seriously missing from the silver screen.

But, you gotta admit, that TV is still pretty damn good.

A lot of folks feel Americans have become a lot harsher to one another due to political divides, which seem to be widening by the day due to the power of the internet and partisan media.

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Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

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Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

Screenshot taken from a live video of the trial.

A recent (and fairly insensitive) sketch from “Saturday Night Live” said it best regarding the widespread fixation many have on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial:

“It’s not the most pertinent story of the moment, but with all the problems in the world, isn’t it nice to have a news story we can all collectively watch and say ‘glad it ain't me?’”

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial Cold Open - SNL www.youtube.com

Schadenfreude, celebrity fascination and previously inaccessible information now being at our fingertips is a potent combination in this trial, making amateur lawyers and psychologists of all who feel compelled to unleash their hot takes. And though the right to converse and speculate exists, is it always in our best interests to do so? Especially when it means potentially spreading misinformation, or at the cost of empathy and compassion?

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Photo from Upworthy Library

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Mama sloth, aka Grizzly, gave birth to their healthy little one in Feb 2022, which delighted more than 3,000 people on Facebook.



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