On the night of the 2023 Met Gala, actress Blake Lively was doing something that many new moms can relate to – pumping breastmilk for her newborn at home.
While Hollywood’s biggest stars were walking the red carpet, Lively was tending to her baby, whom she and her husband Ryan Reynolds have yet to publicly name or reveal the gender of.
Lively, a mom of four, including the new addition born earlier this year, shared a photo of herself pumping on her Instagram story, with the caption “First Monday in May,” referring to the date of the Met Gala.
It wasn’t a surprise that Lively missed the event, as she had announced last week that she wouldn’t be attending without giving a specific reason.
Fans of the actress have grown accustomed to seeing her at the Met Gala, as she has attended the fundraiser almost every year since 2008.
Her red-carpet looks have been showstoppers, and it was even where she and Reynolds made their first red-carpet appearance as a couple in 2014.
Although Lively didn’t explicitly say that her newest addition was the reason she missed the gala, her pumping post suggested it.
Lively has been open about the challenges of being a nursing mom in the past. After her first child, daughter James, was born, Lively revealed in an interview with Allure that breastfeeding was a “full-time job.”
“I’m, like, driving down the road, pumping,” she said.
Lively has also spoken about the pressure that actresses face to quickly get back into shape and be red-carpet ready after giving birth. In the same Allure interview, she expressed her frustration with the media’s portrayal of what women should do after giving birth, saying, “I think it’s just as frustrating to see women asked questions all the time about how they lost their baby weight and then [the media] spins that to be, ‘This is the only way.’ Or, they make it seem like, ‘You have to breast-feed and only breast-feed.’ Or, ‘You have to give birth this way versus that way.'”
Despite the challenges of being a mom, Lively has also shared that motherhood has boosted her confidence, which has had a positive impact on her career. In an interview with Forbes in 2020, she said, “Having children for me made me feel so much more in my skin. I never felt more myself or at ease in my own body or more confident—not to say that there aren’t a bevy of insecurities coming at me a million times a day, but I just feel incredibly settled.”
Overall, Lively’s decision to stay home and pump on the night of the Met Gala highlights the realities that many new moms face, despite their professional obligations.