Emma Bunton is recalling a relatable motherhood moment, but one that happened in front of 20,000 people.
In her new book, which was shared with The Sun, Emma detailed being on stage in Los Angeles with the Spice Girls during the group’s comeback tour in December 2007 when she started lactating through her designer dress.
Emma had welcomed her son Beau just four months before the the mortifying incident.
“I have memories of lactating quite heavily during one of my first performances on that tour, at the STAPLES Center in LA,” she wrote. “Our costumes had been designed by Roberto Cavalli, who Victoria knew, and oh my goodness they were beautiful. But stage costumes are different to evening wear. These were heavy, highly structured pieces (they had to withstand quite a lot of activity!) and there were frequent changes.”
“I remember it happened during ‘Say You’ll Be There’ — I was wearing a rose-gold dress with an empire line and a high neck, with gold lamé that was quite close-fitting over my boobs,” she remembered. “I had to get through a whole other track, ‘Headlines,’ just hoping nothing was showing.”
Emma, who was breastfeeding and using formula, rushed backstage as the song ended and as the full arena screamed in excitement.
“As it ended I came running off stage screaming at [boyfriend Jade Jones,] ‘Babes, get the pads! Get the pads!,'” she said. “Luckily, as it turns out, gold lamé isn’t very porous and most of the milk had just drizzled down my stomach. But anyone looking close enough would definitely have been able to spot wet patches on my boobs during that number.”
Although it was horrifying at the time, Emma laughs about it now.
“I can look back and smile about it now, but when I look at the pictures I also see a woman who really wasn’t ready to be throwing herself into that kind of physically demanding regime,” she said. “I simply hadn’t understood the huge processes that my body would be going through after birth and, in particular, how breastfeeding would require so much energy.
“They say it burns around 300 calories a day, which I’m sure it does, because it takes a lot of power and strength to keep producing all that nutritious milk,” Emma, now a mother of two, continued. “To try to combine that with an energetic stage tour and sleepless nights was, with the benefit of hindsight, not a great idea. There were a lot of tears and a fair amount of self-recrimination.”