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The bikini model who breastfed her five-month-old daughter while walking down the runway over the weekend has revealed the trailblazing moment was unplanned — and simply occurred because her baby got hungry as the show was getting delayed.
Mara Martin, 30, walked on the runway during the Sports Illustrated swimsuit show on Sunday night in Miami, Florida, modelling a golden bikini and holding her daughter Aria in her arms.
The baby girl, wearing noise-canceling headphones to protect her hearing, nursed while her stunning mother graced the catwalk at the W Hotel South Beach.
Multitasking: Mara Martin, 30, walked on the runway during the Sports Illustrated swimsuit show on Sunday night in Miami, Florida, while breastfeeding her daughter Aria
Her appearance on the catwalk was promptly lauded as an important occurrence for everyone looking to normalize breastfeeding.
Mara further opened up about the moment and how it came to be on Monday in an interview with the Today show.
'She was a little hungry,' Mara, who took part in the interview while holding her sleeping daughter in her arms, said of Aria. 'It was her dinner time and the show kept getting pushed back.
'Honestly, I didn't even think twice about it because I do it every single day.'
As it turns out, Mara benefited from the support of MJ Day, the editor of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition.
'Mara was holding her baby and was nursing her. I was like, "Do you want to just nurse when you walk down the runway?"' MJ said. 'She was like, "I would love to do that."'
Mara, who said her daughter is 'so smiley', added: 'I could see in her smile she was so proud of me.'
Duo: Mara further opened up about the moment and how it came to be on Monday in an interview with the Today show, during which she held her sleeping daughter in her arms
Selection: The proud mother was one of 16 finalists selected from an open casting call to take part in the runway show as part of Miami Swim Week
The proud mother was one of 16 finalists selected from an open casting call to take part in the runway show as part of Miami Swim Week.
She grinned as she walked down the runway with her infant daughter, eliciting loud cheers from the crowd.
Prior to the show, Martin expressed her excitement on Instagram as she shared a photo of her with her smiling daughter.
Ally: As it turns out, Mara benefited from the support of MJ Day, the editor of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition
'The face you make when your mom makes it to the final 16 of the @si_swimsuit Swim Search!!' she posted.
'I'm so so so thankful for the entire team at sports illustrated for picking me! @mj_day (and team)... you guys are THE FREAKING BEST!
'And to EVERY girl that casted from the online submissions to the open call... you all rock. My fellow girls in the final 16... LETS DO THIS!!! Congratulations to every single one of you!!!!'
Mara's decision to breastfeed on the runway has been met with many congratulatory comments from people who have cheered her on and praised her for helping normalize breastfeeding.
'You are such an inspiration! Wow! That's what multitasking and motherhood is all about! Totally winning at life sweetie breastfeeding at work!!!' one person wrote in an Instagram comment.
Someone else commented: 'Thank you for showing many that this is normal and not shameful to take care of your baby.'
One person pointed out how Mara's performance on the catwalk might help other parents feel more comfortable nursing in public, writing: 'Well done to you! While sitting with a good friend of mine this weekend, she told me that she is scared to breastfeed in public because someone might come over and shout at her.
Happy: Prior to the show, Mara expressed her excitement on Instagram as she shared a photo of her with her smiling daughter
'You did something so fantastic for women like her! I know many people missed the point of why you did it, but they obviously have never felt the way my friend feels.'
Mara reacted in an emotional Instagram post, saying that she is grateful and humbled by the attention her walk on the runway has gathered, and highlighting the accomplishments of some of her fellow models.
Athlete: Paralympic gold medal snowboarder Brenna Huckaby led the final walk down the runway for the 2018 swimsuit show
'I'm so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL!' she wrote before paying tribute to several other participants, including Paralympic gold medal snowboarder Brenna Huckaby.
The model also thanked MJ for her support.
'I desperately need to give the most thanks to @mj_day for this,' she added. 'She supported me in what I did last night. Without her support this wouldn’t even be discussed!!!!'
Thousands of women had auditioned throughout the week for one of the 16 spots on the catwalk.
Snowboarder Brenna led the final walk down the runway for the 2018 swimsuit show.
The 22-year-old became the first Paralympian to ever grace the pages of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue earlier this year ahead of the competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in March.
The three-time world championship gold medalist had her right leg amputated after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2010.