Nicole Trunfio
Australian model Nicole Trunfio says she wants to "normalise breastfeeding" Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has been hailed a hero for mothers after being pictured breastfeeding her baby son on the cover of Elle magazine.

Dressed in a camel-coloured Burberry coat hanging slightly off her shoulder, the 29-year-old's four-month-old son Zion Rain Clark is cradled in her arms while enjoying a feed.

Explaining her motives behind the candid shot, which will not feature on the news stand editions, Trunfio wrote on Instagram: "There is nothing more powerful and beautiful than motherhood.

"The last thing I want to do is be controversial, so please take this for what it is, let us #normalisebreastfeeding there is nothing worse than a mother that is judged for feeding her hungry child in public. #weareonlyhuman."

Attempting to relate to the average mother, Trunfio downplays her glamourised lifestyle, admitting: "I obviously don't look like this while I am breastfeeding but this stands for all women out there, whether you breastfeed or not, we gave birth, we are women, we are mothers."

The breastfeeding image will feature on the special subscribers' edition as the magazine has chosen to use a simple photo of Trunfio holding Zion for the standard issues.

Discussing the photo shoot in her accompanying interview with the publication, the mother-of-one explained: "When I saw the [subscriber] cover of me breastfeeding, which was unplanned and just natural, I teared up and thought, 'Wow this is such a special moment where my worlds have collided'."

Love this face! ??☺️? #zion @elleaus @toni_maticevski

A photo posted by Nicole Trunfio (@nictrunfio) on

Elle Australia's editor-in-chief Justine Cullen, has revealed that the intimate moment was not planned but the crew decided it was too good an opportunity to waste.

Cullen said: "This wasn't a contrived situation, Zion needed a feed, Nicole gave it to him, and when we saw how beautiful they looked we simply moved her onto the set.

"It was a completely natural moment that resulted in a powerful picture."

Trunfio is engaged to American singer Gary Clark, Jr, 31, and Zion is their first child together.

The model has been praised for the bold breastfeeding photo, with Twitter responses including: