Breastfeeding is becoming more and more visible—and now Gap has embraced it as well. The retailer's latest ad campaign features a mom in a Gap T-shirt nursing her toddler son.
As inspiring as the image is, the ad was totally unplanned. It only came about when model Adaora Akubilo asked to take a break from the shoot to nurse her 20-month-old son, Arinze.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Akubilo shared that she and Arinze were both booked for the shoot with photographer Cass Bird. At one point, Akubilo informed the crew that her son needed to be fed. “I let them know,” she told the Tribune. “They’re like, ‘Oh, my God, of course it’s okay, go ahead.’ And they said, ‘You can do it right here.’”
Cass was inspired by the sweet candid moment between mother and baby, and asked if the crew could capture the scene. On February 22, Gap unveiled images of Akubilo breastfeeding in a cotton tee.
Akubilo said she was thrilled to see the campaign. “I was so happy,” she said in the interview. “I felt it was affirming … I’m so comfortable just nursing my son anywhere. If my son needs to nurse, I’m going to nurse him.”
She also expressed her gratitude to Cass in an Instagram photo with her little one, writing, “@cassblackbird thank-you for going with the flow and boldly capturing this real moment for @gap. Nothing but love.”
Besides being a model, Akubilo has used her platform to advocate for better job conditions for new working moms who choose to breastfeed.
“These mothers who need to work and nurse need all the support and love they can get,” she captioned a photo from the campaign. “When my son was born the hospital staff provided me with information about my rights as a mom in the workplace. Please learn about the workplace laws in your state and pass the information along to your friends, your sisters, co-workers, bosses, and moms who you love as a show of support.”