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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hypnosis is a clinical technique typically used to treat conditions like anxiety and pain but some say it could also help as a parenting tool.

“Hypnosis and parenting is a natural solution,” Lisa Machenberg, a hypnotherapist and mother of three, told ABC News. "You naturally influence your child anyway, let’s learn how to do it with intention."

Machenberg began hypnotizing her own children to help them get through the night without wetting the bed. She now uses it as a tool to help her kids deal with everything from performance anxiety to difficulties focusing.

“My children are able to use logic and reason,” she explained. “They have a form of diligence or perseverance that you don’t see in other children.”

There is no science to support the idea that hypnosis is an effective parenting tool. The method, experts say, should only be done by trained clinicians.

Machenberg charges $125 per hour for her sessions and said she has worked with more than 1,000 kids in her years of practice. She also works with parents on strategies they can try at home and teaches kids self-hypnosis strategies.

Machenberg’s 17-year-old daughter, Rayna, said she has “always known” that her mom used hypnosis on her and said it has had a positive impact on her life.

“Being able to push back on stress and think about it deeply and do self-reflecting was a skill that I'm really grateful that my mom taught me,” she said. “I think it still influences me a lot today and helped me develop into the person I am right now."

ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, whose parents are both clinical hypnotists, said hypnosis works for shaping behavior but the evidence is still out on whether or not it is a good tool for children.

"The evidence on the clinical use is really, really strong," Besser said. "I haven’t seen that kind of evidence for parenting and that bothers me a little bit."

Besser said other strategies parents can use to help their kids perform better include offering praise for good behaviors, using a star chart for school-age kids to track achievements and staying consistent on discipline and expectations.

"Not idle threats," Besser said, adding again that hypnosis should only be done by a trained professional.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer is a popular time for home improvement projects, but officials are warning of a danger that many people may not be aware of until it’s too late: spontaneous combustion of common household products used to finish furniture and decks.

Oil-based wood stains and linseed oil can combust and burn even without any spark to initiate the fire, officials say.

Shannon Priddy’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, house was destroyed in 2014 after she says contractors left rags soaked in wood stain under her deck.

“We had no idea that anything like this could happen,” Priddy, who was not injured in the incident, told ABC News.

To demonstrate how easily this can happen, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue in Maryland teamed up with ABC News' Good Morning America on the Lookout to conduct an experiment. GMA put linseed oil on some rags and put them into a box and waited.

Donnie Boyd, a Montgomery County fire inspector, explained just how combustion occurs when linseed oil is left on a cotton rag.

“It actually heats up as it dries. It's a chemical reaction,” he said. “So it spontaneously combusts once it reaches its ignition temperature.”

Two hours into the experiment, a probe recorded a temperature of 204 degrees inside the box, and after four and a half hours, smoke appeared. Nearly six hours into the experiment, the box was burning.

Boyd said ignorance of -- or disregard for -- the issue has contributed to many fires in Montgomery County. He urged everyone to carefully read the labels on products used to do housework and home improvement projects.

The label of the container used for the GMA on the Lookout experiment read, "CAUTION! CAN CAUSE SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION. Boiled Linseed Oil generates heat as it dries, which can cause the spontaneous combustion of materials contacted by this product. Oily rags, waste, and other oily materials contacted by Boiled Linseed Oil can cause spontaneous combustion fires if not handled properly.”

Homeowners should also keep rags that have absorbed oils, such as linseed oil, in well-covered metal cans and make sure the rags are thoroughly dried before collection or transport.

It’s a message that Priddy hopes to spread.

“I would never want it to happen to anyone else,” she said.

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

You can never be reminded too often about the dangers of sunburn, so some educators are trying to start early with kids.

A new course called Sunbeatables is being added to some schools to teach children about sun safety. The program is part of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Sunburns in childhood increases a person's chances of developing skin cancer later in life. If you want to begin teaching your child now, here are some things to start with:

  • Use sunscreen everyday on the face and hands.
  • Remember to use hats and clothing to protect your skin.
  • Never use indoor tanning salons. In 2009, the World Health Organization increased its warning of such tanning devices, stating that they are known to cause cancer.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Consuming alcoholic beverages, even in low quantities, increases the risk for seven types of cancer, according to a new review of research conducted by Professor Jennie Connor of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

The review, published in the journal Addiction, supports an association between alcohol consumption and cancers located in the oropharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and female breast.

"Epidemiological and biological research on alcohol and cancer was reviewed and summarized," Connor wrote about her methods for the review. Her paper draws on an analysis conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The review finds a causal link between alcohol and cancer, which is stronger than "the long-recognized association" between drinking and cancer, Connor says in a report about the study on The University of Otago's website says. "An association means there is a relationship of some kind between the two variables.

"A causal association means there is evidence that alcohol consumption directly causes cancer," she wrote.

Connor’s review makes reference to evidence that alcohol caused roughly half a million deaths from cancer in 2012, and as many as 5.8 per cent of cancer deaths worldwide. Heavier drinking leads to a greater risk, Connor writes, but a threat still exists for drinkers who consume even a moderate to low amount of alcohol.

The findings also cast doubt on previous theories that moderate drinking protects against cardiovascular disease, suggesting that the correlation is not strong.

Her review urges people to take the dangers of drinking seriously and to and avoid what she calls "misinformation" about alcohol's link to cancer.

"Some confusion and skepticism about whether alcohol causes cancer may seem understandable, but in some cases doubt is also being generated by dissemination of misinformation, which undermines research findings and contradicts evidence-based public health messages," the review says.

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Kate-Madonna Hindes(ST. PAUL, Minn.) -- It wasn't until Kate-Madonna Hindes' second brush with cancer that made her finally finish the paperwork needed to find her birth mother.

She was diagnosed with anal precancer after battling "multiple instances of cervical cancer in my life," the St. Paul, Minnesota, woman told ABC News. Doctors had even told her she had tested positive for an abnormal BRCA2 gene, meaning she had a greater likelihood of developing breast cancer.

"I wanted to get some medical questions answered," the mother-of-two, 34, added. "I told myself I had to really look deeper into this because I have two beautiful children and I want to live a long happy life."

Three years after starting her paperwork, Hindes finally completed it six months ago. Because of "a lot of internal staff changes" at Children's Home Aid in Illinois she didn't hear back from them until last month.

"I received a call June 15 and they said, 'Kate, are you sitting down?' And I said, 'Yes,' and they said, 'We found your file. Not only do we have a picture, we have a letter from her as well."

The social media and public relations' strategist said it took her only 12 minutes to decide to create a graphic, using her birth mother's photo, and turn to Facebook for help.

"My cancer survivor group is on Facebook. That's the first place I go to connect with somebody, so it was natural," she said.

And it worked. Within two hours, word had traveled to her birth mother, Aimée Sordelli, who lives in Berwyn, Illinois.

"I received a message from a relative saying, 'Your picture is on Facebook,'" Sordelli recalled. "And I said, 'OK, well, there’s a lot of pictures of me on Facebook.' And she said, 'No, not this picture.'"

Sordelli said that after seeing the throwback photo she realized that "only one person should have that picture." She immediately messaged Hindes and said, "'I think I’m the woman you’re looking for.'"

It was a full circle moment for Sordelli, 52, who is adopted herself. She placed Hindes up for adoption after having her at "16 or 17 years old," and being raised in a very religious family. In fact, her adoptive father was an episcopal priest. And unlike her search for her birth mother, which ended in disappointment because her birth mother did not want to meet, Sordelli was thrilled to finally met her daughter face to face.

"I wanted her to make the choice to find me. I didn't want to push myself," Sordelli explained. "She has parents. They are her parents; they raised her. I’m just the birth mother. I wanted her to find me if she chose, when she’s ready."

She added that she gave Hindes "up for adoption not because I didn’t love you, but because I did."

"I did not have the means nor the money to take care of her and I thought she deserved a better life," Sordelli, who never had any additional children, continued.

Sordelli had battled cancer twice herself, having been diagnosed with breast cancer. The first time was when she was 17 years old.

"Heritage is so important," Hindes. "It’s so important for us to learn about the science of our bodies. If we don't have that I don't think we’re living our fullest life."

The two women met for the very first time Friday inside Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport. Sordelli flew in from Illinois to spend a few days with her daughter and meet her grandchildren. She's just in time for her grandson Daniel's fourth birthday party.

"The kids adore her," Hindes gushed. "Anything that Aimee wants to be involved in, I want her to be here."

And Sordelli is already planning her next trip to St. Paul.

"It's such a wonderful love story. It really is," she said emphatically. "It’s come full circle and I’m just overwhelmed with joy."

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iStock/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- You may be headed to the pool to stay out of the heat this summer, but be careful of a pool parasite plaguing some public pools.

A parasite called crypto has appeared in many Wake County, North Carolina's public pools with two dozen cases of a gastrointestinal illness being reported.

Health officials were working to hyper-chlorinate the 1,100 public pools in the county to get rid of the parasite.

"I would not want them to be going into the pool knowing this is going around," Loralee Koltusky, a mother of a lifeguard in Raleigh, told ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed inspections from tens of thousands of public swimming pools and found that almost 80 percent had at least one health or safety violation. One in eight pools had violations so serious they were immediately closed, affecting many kiddie pools.

One thing you can do before you take a dip; see if you can see the bottom of the pool. If the water is too cloudy, it's reason for concern. You can also ask pool employees how often the water is tested, since high temperatures kill the chlorine in a pool faster.


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Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A nonmedical therapy may be as useful for depressed patients as the "gold standard" of therapy.

According to new research published in The Lancet, Behavioral Activation (BA) is a simple and inexpensive talk therapy that is as effective at treating depression as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

The difference between the two is that BA is "outside-in" (change the way you act outside to change the way you feel inside), and CBT is 'inside-out' (focus on the way a person thinks). Currently, there is limited access to CBT -- it's expensive, has long wait times, and requires trained professionals.

Between 2012 and 2014, researchers at the University of Exeter in the U.K. recruited 440 adults who met the criteria for major depressive disorder. Neither method fared worse than the other in reduction of depression symptoms, and using BA resulted in a financial savings to clinical providers of 21 percent.

Although the study was conducted in the U.K. and may not be generalizable to the U.S., it may be a useful nonmedical therapy for depressed patients with further studies done as well.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A Virginia woman is celebrating after winning big six times in her state lotto.

Donna Boyd-Warren won $150,000 from six winning tickets in Virginia's Cash5 lotto. Each ticket had the same numbers and was worth $25,000.

Boyd-Warren, of North Chesterfield, Virginia, has been in remission from breast cancer for more than five years but lingering nerve pain from chemotherapy has left her unable to work outside the home. She and her husband plan on using the winnings to make repairs around the house and donate to their church and cancer research.

"Life goes on as usual for that I'm happy," she said. "We were blessed with the winnings."

 Boyd-Warren, also a Vietnam-era veteran, said she usually buys lottery tickets twice a week for fun.

"Maybe two times a week I pick six sets of the same numbers," she said. "I look on the lotto online and pick the numbers that happen the most."

Boyd-Warren said she was thankful for the winnings, but that her experience with cancer meant that "most of all I'm thankful to be alive."

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College of Charleston(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- "What does it mean when the rest of your life may be measured in weeks?"

That's the start of Alison Piepmeier's last column for the Charleston City Paper.

Piepmeier has been battling a brain tumor for seven years, but last month she wrote that her tumor had gotten progressively bigger and she no longer had treatment options. She's currently in hospice care.

But Piepmeier's cancer hasn't stopped her from doing what she loves: writing.

Piepmeier continues to file stories using voice recognition software and help from her mother and husband of two months, Brian McGee.

Piepmeier told ABC News via email that she really wanted to write one last column.

"This column was especially hard to write," she explained. "I've spent years writing about cancer, but also about children, disability, abortion, Down syndrome, homophobia, and other challenging topics. I wanted to finish by writing about things that always matter, but especially those things that matter at the end: love, family, friendship, gratitude, and forgiveness."

"As I feel myself slipping away," she added, "I wanted to say goodbye while I still could."

And Piepmeier, 43, did. She not only mentioned the "many acts of kindness" from family and friends, but also noted "brothers, parents, friends, teachers, students, co-workers, lovers, and readers" and even her editor, Chris Haire. In her goodbye, she also wrote about her daughter Maybelle's "first princess party."

"I am happy, so happy, to have experienced a princess party," she wrote. "I am so sorry there won't be more of them for me, if only because I would never turn down the chance to experience the pure joy of my daughter singing 'Let It Go' over and over."

Even in her final weeks, Piepmeier said she is still looking forward to many of life's joys.

"For the time I have left, I want to be with people I love and who love me," she said. "Because I have so little time left, unfortunately there are more people to see than I can realistically manage. I am sad -- tears are an everyday experience -- but I love being with people who have cared so much for me, who have made my life rich, beautiful, and rewarding."

She added: "I don't presume to know what a next life would be like. I don't even know what to imagine. In a next life, I hope I would be in a place where people would need me, where there is something meaningful to do. A next life without work, without purpose, would be disappointing."

When asked what her legacy might be, Piepmeier replied quite honestly, "Other people get to decide our legacy."

Still, she said she hopes her legacy will live on through her students "at the College of Charleston and at Vanderbilt."

"At the center of my heart, though, are my friends and my family. What I have left them is what matters most to me," she concluded.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — This week Florida Health Department officials announced they were investigating two cases of Zika infection in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties — the first time the virus may have been transmitted in the U.S. by mosquitoes.

If the two cases in Florida are confirmed as being locally-acquired Zika, it will likely reach the threshold set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to label the area as a "local Zika transmission area." The CDC has different guidelines depending on if there is a single case of local transmission or if there is widespread local transmission.

The Florida Health Department has begun issuing Zika prevention kits for pregnant women and is working with mosquito control to reduce the population of mosquitoes in the area where the two people were infected.

In the event of a locally transmitted Zika outbreak, the CDC will advise community health departments to intensify surveillance and mosquito control and reach out to residents to prevent further infections. The CDC will also provide guidance about Zika infection for anyone living in the affected area.

The CDC urges health departments to work with blood donation centers so donor guidelines can be revised to protect the blood supply from Zika-infected infusions.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News that mosquito control can help stop an outbreak by significantly reducing the mosquito population. U.S. health officials had anticipated some small local outbreaks of the virus, he said.

"We expect introductions...and we anticipated that there might be some limited spread locally because we can't swat every mosquito," he explained.

Schaffner noted that the CDC can assist health departments with proper testing if needed.

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Country Arch Care Center(PITTSTOWN, N.J.) -- A 113-year-old New Jersey woman has been named America's oldest living resident.

Adele Dunlap was born on Dec. 12, 1902 in Newark, New Jersey. She became the record holder on July 8, the Gerontology Research Group confirmed to ABC News.

Adele is currently 113 years, 7 months and 1 week old.

"She is lovely," said Susan Dempster, activities director of the Country Arch Care Center in Pittstown, where Adele lives. "She's quiet, but will raise her hand when she needs to be heard. She attends church, entertainment and the word games activities. This week, we announced [the record title] at an event. She nodded and everyone clapped for her. It's really sinking in a little bit for her. She's our local celebrity now."

Adele was named the oldest person living in America the same day previous title holder Goldie Michelson died in her home of Worcester, Massachusetts at the age of 113 years and 335 days. Adele is number 10 on the list of World Living Supercentenarians, according to Robert D. Young, director of the GRG Supercentenarian Research and Database Division.

Young said there's an older living American named Marie-Josephine Gaudette who's 114. But since Gaudette resides abroad, that appropriately awards the title of oldest living United States resident to Adele.

Adele lived her life in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. She's the youngest of four children, having three older brothers, according to Susan Dempster.

Adele attended South Side High School in Newark and entered Newark State Normal School for teaching. She taught school for five years until having a family with late husband Earl Dunlap Sr. Earl Sr. died in the 1960s, Earl Dunlap Jr. told ABC News.

Adele and Earl Sr. had three children and Adele became a proud housewife who enjoyed taking care of her kids and attending to a home.

Dempster said Adele enjoyed theater parties and luncheons with friends. Adele lived with Earl Jr. for 12 years before moving into the Country Arch Care Center when she was 99 years old.

Ever since Adele's 100th birthday, she's received a signed letter from the White House, Dempster said.

Earl Jr., 86, of Clinton, New Jersey, said his mother's title of oldest American came to a surprise to the family.

"We knew she was pretty old, but there are so many people that are just as old it seems," he said, with a laugh. "My mother doesn't speak much about it. She's almost completely deaf. She just goes along with it. Growing up, she was always there when I needed her."

Adele has seven grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, Earl Jr. confirmed.

At 116 years and 169 days old, Emma Martina Luigia Morano of Vercelli, Italy, is the oldest living person in the world, named by the Guinness Book of World Records.

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Warmer temperatures are welcome and expected in the summer months. But some parts of the U.S. are seeing dangerously high temperatures, and as the mercury rises, so does the real risk of heat-related illnesses.

The severity of these illnesses range from heat cramps and heat exhaustion to heat stroke and actual hyperthermia. Another potential problem is dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, increased thirst, headache, weakness, dizziness or nausea.

If you've been in the sun or heat and start to experience symptoms or just don't feel well, stop what you're doing, get out of the sun, drink some water and use cool compresses to relieve symptoms. Remember to take frequent breaks, and try to do as much in the shade as possible.

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Courtesy Timothy Alexander(NEW YORK) — A paralyzed former football star from Alabama stood up for the first time in 10 years, after long journey of physical therapy and prayer, he told ABC News Thursday.

Timothy Alexander, who was injured in a horrific car crash and worked diligently in rehab, was able to stand Monday for a few minutes and unassisted for a few seconds, his physical therapist said.

"I have a stand up chair...normally if they take the brake off I fall straight down," he said. "I was able to hold myself up for about 3 seconds."

A decade ago, Alexander, 27, was his high school's star football player, confident he could go to any college he wanted with a football scholarship.

"Before my injury I was ranked number eight in the state and I could have went anywhere," Alexander said.

Tragedy struck in October of 2006, when Alexander got into a devastating car crash after his friend fell asleep at the wheel. He described how the car swerved off the road toward a cliff, all while he was holding a 2-year-old baby on his lap.

"I punched the window out, I threw the 2-year-old baby out the window, before we went off the cliff. The car went all the way down, I became paralyzed instantly," Alexander said. "My friend said 'Is everyone okay?' and I said, 'No, I can't feel my legs.'"

For a while, Alexander said he was paralyzed from the neck down, but treatment and therapy helped him gain use of his upper body again. "I had traumatic brain injury. I couldn't read, couldn't write, couldn't do anything. When I tried to talk to my Mom they put a marker in my mouth and tried to make me move my head," he said.

"When I first had my car wreck I had a lot of doctors and therapists that did give me a chance, but after my insurance ran out they said there was nothing they could do," Alexander said. "The first year I was very suicidal."

Alexander said he spoke to his bishop and his family, and "embraced a positive attitude in 2008."

"I just started working out and praying. I had a dream of me playing football at UAB [University of Alabama at Birmingham]," Alexander said, and he went to the UAB gym for physical therapy.

"When I went to training room, the sports trainer said 'hey, are you here to do football?' and I said 'Are you talking to me?'"

Alexander told ABC News he then became the first paraplegic to ever get a scholarship in Division I football. He attended every practice and game and served as a motivator for his teammates.

Despite being on a Division I football team, Alexander still could not stand up on his own. On Monday, however, that changed.

Natalie Shannon, Timothy's physical therapist and athletic trainer, told ABC News today that she thrilled when she saw him stand up, completely unassisted, for the first time. Shannon added that everyone has different injuries and responds differently to therapy, but Timothy has always been very hardworking towards his goals, training with a standing chair as often as he can to build up muscle.

Alexander says he was inspired to never give up by his older brother, who passed away in a house fire, who told him to set his sights high.

"My big hero was my big brother David," Alexander said, "he passed away on April 14, 2006."

"The day before he passed, he said 'I want you to go to the NFL and make a great name for yourself, to take care of the community and the family,' and he said, 'I love you,' and that was the last words he said."

Alexander said he still hopes to realize his brother's dream of being drafted into the NFL "not for money or fame, but to show that if you believe that all things are possible," you can achieve your goals.

Alexander hopes to work as a motivational speaker, and inspire others with his journey to not give up hope.

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Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Zoe Saldana has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that also affects her mother and sisters.

The Star Trek actress made the revelation in an interview with The Edit, Net-a-Porter’s weekly digital magazine.

Hashimoto’s turns the patient’s own immune system against the thyroid gland, causing symptoms that include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, memory problems and depression, according to the National Institutes of Health. The disorder is more common in women.

“Your body doesn’t have the energy it needs ... You create antibodies that attack your glands,” Saldana, 38, told the magazine.

The actress told The Edit that she and her husband Marco Perego are both following gluten- and dairy-free diets.

The couple have twin 1-year-old sons, and Saldana also has several movie projects lined up, including follow-ups to Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Trek Beyond, which is out Friday.

The diagnosis has meant a major life adjustment, Saldana said in the interview.

“I had a great time in my twenties,” she said. “Then your doctor says you’re losing calcium in your bones ... I would hear those conversations with my mom and grandma, thinking I’d never get there. I’m going to live forever! But all of a sudden it hits you.”

ABC News Chief Women's Health Correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, said the symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis and other thyroid disorders can be "profound" and "can affect everything head to toe."

"Some of the most popular ones, or more common ones, for Hashimoto's are fatigue, weight gain, you can see menstrual irregularities, irregular periods, or even constipation," she said.

Ashton added that people who experience "a number" of the symptoms for a "persistent amount of time" should go to their doctor for a blood test.

"Specifically, you have to look for thyroid antibodies," she said.


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Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Mila Kunis says she's received "shameful" looks for breastfeeding in public, and it was an uncomfortable feeling.

The actress — who has a 21-month-old daughter, Wyatt, with husband Ashton Kutcher, and is pregnant with her second child — told Vanity Fair at the New York premiere of her movie Bad Moms this week that she "literally breastfed [Wyatt] everywhere."

“There were many times where I didn’t bring a cover with me, and so I just did it in a restaurant, in the subway, in the park, at airports, and in planes," Kunis said. "Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She’s hungry. I need to feed her whether it’s out of a bottle or out of my boob no matter where I was.”

She said strangers would give her dirty looks, which made her and Kutcher "feel a little weird."

“It took us a little back because people actually looked at us in a shameful [way], and we were like, ‘Oh my God,’ because it’s so not a sexual act," she said. "It didn’t matter to me what other people thought. That’s what I chose to do, but I think it’s unfortunate that people are so hard on women who choose to do it and do it in public."

She said she respects the "opinions on both sides," but advises, "If it’s not for you, don’t look."

You can see Kunis in Bad Moms when it opens July 29.

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