Alicia Silverstone Defends Mouth-to-Mouth Feeding for Her Son

Apr 10, 2012 10:28am

Actress Alicia Silverstone is defending her parenting skills, calling her favored practice of pre-chewing her son’s food “adorable” and saying she doesn’t regret making it public, despite the widespread backlash.

The “Clueless” star has withered heavy criticism since a video she posted last month of her taking a spoonful of food, chewing it, then passing it open-mouthed to her 11-month-old son, Bear Blu, went viral.

“I just had a delicious breakfast of miso soup, collards and radish steamed and drizzled with flax oil, cast iron mochi with nori wrapped outside, and some grated daikon. Yum! I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup…from my mouth to his. It’s his favorite…and mine,” Silverstone wrote on her blog The Kind Life. “He literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth if I’m eating. This video was taken about a month or 2 ago when he was a bit wobbly. Now he is grabbing my mouth to get the food!”

While Silverstone, 35, kept a tight lip as her mouth-to-mouth feeding prompted a collective “eww” around the Internet and on TV talk shows, the actress and animal rights activist has plenty to say now.

“I wasn’t saying this was anything somebody should do. I wasn’t trying to be independent or cause such a ruckus. I’m very glad that I did it,” Silverstone said Saturday during an audience Q&A at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York to promote her upcoming film “Vamps,” according to the Daily Mail.

“People have been feeding their kids that way for thousands for years. It’s a weaning process,” she said. “It’s just a thing that has been going on for thousands of years and I didn’t think I was inventing anything…”

Silverstone’s parental choice was backed up my some medical experts who agree that the practice, technically called premastication, is not uncommon for mothers and babies around the world.

“For conventional germs this is not a big issue. When we kiss our babies, the bugs that we all have resident in our mouths are likely to be transmitted to the baby,” Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., told ABCNews.com.

But Silverstone was lampooned by late-night comedians such as Jimmy Kimmel who asked parents to post videos to YouTube of themselves “silverstoning” their kids their food.

The actress addressed the topic after being asked whether her mouth-to-mouth feeding came in the spirit of Cher, the ditzy Beverly Hills character Silverstone played in 1995′s “Clueless.”

“Honestly, when I posted the video I was not thinking, so maybe I was like Cher,” she said.  “I think it’s adorable and it makes me laugh every time he does it.”

Silverstone, who received comments ranging from “this is disgusting” to “you are a brave person” on her blog after posting the video, said she doesn’t regret making her maternal instinct public.

“Every time my husband [Christopher Jarecki] goes to the YMCA, some guy comes over and says, ‘That’s how we do it in the South,’” she said.  “Between him getting those great comments and me knowing in my gut it’s natural and lovely, I really wasn’t trying to tell anybody what to do.”

ABC News’ Carrie Gann contributed to this report.

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