There’s no denying that the early days with a newborn at home are hard. But one of the most important aspects of being a new mom is also one of the most controversial: breastfeeding. As much as we all want to do what’s best for our babies, there’s no denying that something as simple as keeping our babies fed comes with an enormous amount of pressure.
That’s why Whitney Port recently opened up about just how emotional breastfeeding has been. In the latest episode of her YouTube series “I Love My Baby, But …,” the MTV "The Hills" star cried as she spoke candidly about her attempts to breastfeed her two-month-old son.
Like many of us, Port says she always planned to breastfeed her new baby. But reality didn’t match her expectations and she quickly became discouraged by how painful and difficult breastfeeding can be.
“After 48 hours of doing it, it just started to get so incredibly painful,” Port says. “And we came home and I just hit a breaking point and said ‘I just can’t do this’ because it feels like someone is, like, slicing my nipples with glass.”
Port’s resorted to pumping and giving her son bottles for most of his feedings. She’s continued her attempts to breastfeed, but she says she isn’t sure how much longer she’ll keep trying. “Because of the pain I’ve demonized breastfeeding in my head and the thought of doing it is dreadful,” she says.
As a breastfeeding failure seven times over, I can relate to Port’s emotional and physical pain. Like Port, I expected to breastfeed my kids and I was shocked when they struggled to suck for more than a few moments. I worked with lactation consultants, used nipple shields and even pumped every few hours around the clock for a year to ensure that my kids got as much breastmilk as I could produce, but I still had to rely on donor breastmilk and formula to keep them fed.
I was so stressed about breastfeeding and ashamed that I couldn’t make enough breastmilk despite my best efforts that I wasted what should’ve been wonderful bonding time with my babies hooked up to a breast pump. Now that my kids are growing up — and it’s impossible to tell who had formula and how much — my biggest regret is that I spent so much time worrying about something so unimportant in the scheme of things.
Breastfeeding is great, but what matters most is that your baby is fed. Period.
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