Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton Celebrates the Beauty of Breastfeeding

When my daughter was about in kindergarten, I rented us a movie to watch on TV. I was excited to have some girl time and happily popped in the DVD (this was back in the days when Netflix sent you DVDs in the mail, ha) for us as we snuggled on the couch. The movie was “Soul Surfer,” and although there were a few questionable scenes where I wondered what kind of mother I was allowing my child to watch a film about a girl getting her arm bitten off by a shark, I was really moved by the movie. 

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Here I was, struggling with ridiculous things like taking a toddler to the grocery store and here was this woman who literally had her arm bitten off by a shark and she faced her new life with a smile on her face and a positive attitude right from the start. And fear? What fear? Hamilton never showed an ounce of fear as a result of her encounter with the shark. Instead, she worked even harder than she had before to get back in the water and learn how to balance without an arm. And she did it. 

All those years ago, Hamilton's story inspired me and I recently stumbled across her Instagram page the other night while scrolling, where I was inspired all over again to see that Hamilton has gone on to see not only success in her surfing career, but in her personal life as well. Today, Hamilton is happily married and the mother of two kids.

hamilton
Image via Instagram/ @bethanyhamilton

I am amazed that Hamilton is not only a mom of two kiddos but that she has continued to surf and has passed her love of surfing on to her kids as well. And in a recent post, Hamilton gushed about how grateful she is that she was able to breastfeed, highlighting the power of moms everywhere.  

“Women around the world are celebrating breastfeeding this month,” she wrote in an Instagram post, “…. and so am I! I’m incredibly thankful to have the time, knowledge, ability and dedication to have nursed both my sons. It’s one of the most beautiful and fulfilling things I’ve had the pleasure of doing in my life and I think it’s most worthy of celebrating! My lil' man now is 18 pounds all grown from my nutritious milk! It blows my mind just thinking about it☺ So cheers to this beautiful God-given part of motherhood!”

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These days, Hamilton is hanging ten with her two young kids and husband on the Big Island of Kauai in Hawaii, where they live a pretty idyllic life. She and her husband celebrated 5 years of marriage only a few days ago and the proud wife described how their love is like a “dance” that has rhythm sometimes and sometimes is lacking that natural flow, but that they “choose to keep dancing through it.” 

She's also in a brand-new movie called “Unstoppable” and is even offering fans the chance to win the trip of a lifetime to fly to Kauai, learn to surf with her, and, of course, pose for pictures together. Hamilton is obviously a very proud mom, as evidenced by her Instagram page that shows off her family's life together surfing, exploring the great outdoors, and living a very fit and healthy lifestyle. Since her days sharing her story as a young girl overcoming a huge obstacle, Hamilton's positivity hasn't faded and her fans express how much her own attitude has inspired them. 

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“OMG Bethany… I watched Soul Surfer 🏄‍♀️ the other night for probably the 30th time and it never gets old,” wrote one commenter. “You taught us all to never give up no matter of the obstacles in front of you. You are a true athlete and role model for our children. God bless you for all that you do!”

From facing down a shark to facing down motherhood, I would say that I have to agree — Hamilton really is an inspiration, even though I honestly can never imagine surfing in any capacity. Surfing or no surfing, however, I think we can all take a lesson from her and learn to tackle the hard stuff in life with strength and positivity. 

What do you think?

Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton Celebrates the Beauty of Breastfeeding

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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