Celebrities and their families can almost always expect to find the paparazzi following them wherever they go in public. These photographers often exhibit extreme behaviors, such as hiding behind bushes and shoving through crowds, just to get a high-value shot of the actor or actress.

Some say that being constantly “stalked” by photographers is the price one pays for being rich and famous, but actress-moms are now taking a stand to protect their children from the possible harmful effects of such publicity.

Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, both actresses who are also mothers, are currently fighting to promote anti-paparazzi legislation in California. They are pushing for a bill that would change the definition of harassment to include photographing a child without the permission of a legal guardian.

Berry and Garner are not the first who have lamented the psychological and emotional effects of constant photographers hounding down their young children – in the past, Angelina Jolie has spoken out against paparazzi.

“We’re not just whiny celebrities… We’re moms here who are just trying to protect our children,” Berry said when testifying before the Assembly Judiciary Committee. “It’s not about me. Take my picture, I get it. But these little innocent children who didn’t ask to be celebrities…they didn’t ask to be placed in this game.”

Garner noted that every day, there are up to 15 cars of photographers waiting outside their home.

"My seventeen-month-old baby is terrified and cries, and my four-year-old says, ‘Why do they never smile and never go away?’" Garner said.

She also added that the paparazzi can be an easy cover-up for other stalkers who want to find a way to get closer to celebrities. "There are violent mentally ill stalkers who can now get close to my kids by simply following mobs of photographers and blending in,” Garner said. “Like the very man who threatened to cut the babies out of my belly, who was arrested waiting behind our daughter's preschool standing among the throng of paparazzi.”

But the question remains – do the paparazzi have a negative effect on the psychological and emotional well-being of celebrity children? Though these celebrity moms think so, not much research has been done on the issue.

However, Phil Gosschalk, Director of Childpsych Psychology in Australia, has noted that aside from the apparent stress (or distress) of constantly being in the public's eye, the children of celebrities might develop an inflated sense of self: “Children’s self-esteem is influenced by how people behave towards them, so if they’re allowed to be in the public eye and have their photo taken they may develop an inflated sense of worth."

Not only might out-of-control paparazzi be harmful to the emotional health of celebrities and their families, but numerous fatal accidents in the past have brought attention to the issue. In January, a paparazzo in pursuit of Justin Bieber was killed by a passing SUV, causing Bieber to call for laws that would "protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders and the photographers themselves."

In the meantime, Jolie and other celebrity moms have to find a way to ease their children’s discomfort around photographers. "As a parent, the only thing you can do is try to make sure that they don't feel like it's a threat, you don't act like it's a threat, and you just keep smiling so they don't feel anything negative," Jolie said when speaking to Larry King about the issue in 2010.