Alanis Morissette is embracing motherhood, and showing the special connection between mom and baby. In her cover photo for Health's May issue, the 45-year-old rock icon breastfeeds her 8-month-old son Winter Mercy, whom she welcomed in August with husband Mario "Souleye" Treadway. According to Morisette, the photo, which marks just the latest time she has worked to normalize breastfeeding, was an effort to show how "selfless" mothers are.
"Because I love women. I love moms so much. If I talk about it too much, I'll start crying," she told the outlet of her decision appear in such an intimate position. "I just think moms are so selfless day in and day out — women are just killing it all the time. And they are so often quietly suffering, or not-so-quietly suffering, and still going — functioning sufferers. And if there can be even one moment of respite that my humor around it or my validation of it can help — that's why I did it. Plus, I love education and teaching."
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Along with Winter, Morisette is also mom to daughter Onyx Solace, 3, and son Ever Imre, 9. In the past, she has opened up about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety, something she discussed again with Health, discussing how her post-partum experience has differed with each of her children.
"My first two children, it was mostly depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety. But the depression was so in my face that the anxiety was just background music. With this one, it's mostly anxiety and almost no depression," she said, adding that she has come to realize that this is "purely animal."
"With breastfeeding, your oxytocin goes sky-high. Then cortisol goes sky-high because you're trying to protect the baby from, you know, a potential saber-toothed tiger. You've got these two competing hormones," she explained. "Ideally, we're supposed to be ensconced with, like, 51 women, broths, soups, and warmth as the body is reconstructing — as your identity is reconstructing. Cut to modern times, where the world is very masculine, very alpha, which is completely the opposite. On that animal level, you're just supposed to be up all night feeding your baby and sleeping all day when they're napping. Who the f– does that? I don't know any mom that is like, 'I totally sleep when they sleep.'"
As Morisette continues to be an outspoken advocate for mental health, she said that she doesn't shy away from discussing it with her children, telling the outlet that she wants "to give them the feeling that they're not alone, that I'm right here and they can feel it all the way through."