Ashley Tisdale: ‘I wish someone would’ve told me how hard breastfeeding really was’


Ashley Tisdale gave birth to baby Jupiter Iris last March. Ashley’s been sharing both the ups and downs of becoming a mom, from making the choice to wait to start a family to being uncomfortable with pregnancy weight gain. In her latest essay for her blog frenshe, Ashely discusses breastfeeding and why she decided to switch to formula. It started when Jupiter didn’t take to breastfeeding as easily as Ashley has anticipated. However, like a lot of new moms, Ashley had no idea breastfeeding could be a difficult and painful journey for some.

I wish someone would’ve told me how hard breastfeeding really was. You see your friends who are new moms feeding their babies make it look so easy. But no one tells you how hard it really is. I think there’s this pressure around the subject of breastfeeding, and that those who do it are the best moms, but that’s not true. Our journey started on day one in the hospital when Jupiter was having trouble latching.

I probably should’ve taken that as a hint, but instead I kept on trying, even though I could tell Jupiter was frustrated. This made me upset because I just wanted to have a good experience with feeding her for the first time. Now, let’s cut to day four of me pumping milk. At this point, I was so over trying to figure out the latch and was giving her breast milk by the bottle. Thankfully, she LOVED the bottle. That was the moment I realized that maybe breastfeeding isn’t meant for us. I pumped all day, and never looked forward to pumping. I would look at the pump like it held me back from really being in the moment with Juju and enjoying my first weeks of motherhood. At that point, I turned to my husband and said “ I feel like we’re striving and not thriving with this breast milk situation.” I was determined to make it work, but all I truly cared about was Jupiter having a good experience with feeding and getting the best nutrition.

[From frenshe via Buzzfeed]

We’ve discussed how difficult breastfeeding can be. A few of you know my story. I’m an advocate for Fed is Best. I was able to breastfeed, but it was not a great experience for me. I have friends that couldn’t breastfeed, and it really affected them. I have other friends who were able to and loved every moment of it. Like every aspect of raising a child, it’s a completely unique experience for each person. I am always very happy for moms that breastfeed and love it because it is a beautiful moment between mother and child. I’m not jealous, just happy for them. But it’s important to discuss that not everyone has a good experience with it.

Ashley said no one told her how hard it can be, and I believe her, it’s rarely discussed. I had friends who struggled with it while I was pregnant, which was the first time I’d heard about it. It’s hard to bring up the negative stuff with expecting moms because you don’t want to scare them. At the same time, it helps just in case. When high profile folks like Ashley discuss these topics it helps the discussion filter down.. It sounds like Ashley figured out quickly that a bottle was her best option, but many overtired moms keep trying because the messaging says they should. Nobody wins if the baby is not getting the nutrition they need. I’m glad Ashley has found a happy feeding balance and sees that the time with her baby is just as beautiful with a bottle.

Also, Ashley did a really cute Fathers Day post for her husband Christopher French with lots of pics of him and Juju. You can see that here.



Photo credit: Avalon Red and Instagram

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50 Responses to “Ashley Tisdale: ‘I wish someone would’ve told me how hard breastfeeding really was’”

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  1. Kay says:

    I appreciate people sharing their experiences (even when they’re sponsored, as in Ashley’s case), but as a pregnant soon-to-be first time mom, the tide has definitely shifted…EVERYONE talks about how hard breastfeeding is, all the time, and acts like you’re naive if you hope it’ll work out for you.

    • Merricat says:

      I don’t know why it’s hard for some people and easy for others. None of my sisters were able to breasfeed, so it seemed like a miracle when it happened for me. The important thing, regardless of delivery system, is that you are providing comfort and nutrition to your baby. It is a time to bond. Congratulations on your baby-to-be!

    • Millennial says:

      I agree. I’ve had two babies in the last five years and the narrative has definitely shifted. People are very open now about how hard breastfeeding and post-partum are. It’s much discussed in magazines (we’ve had dozens of celebrity stories about this), blogs, books, and online forums.

    • Megs283 says:

      Kay, I agree, it was out there, she just didn’t want to hear it. Thanks to the internet, we can google everything!

    • Betsy says:

      I can respect that. 11 years ago when I was pregnant, the message had filtered out about how hard pregnancy, L&D and post partum are, but not breastfeeding!

      I had no idea that thrush would be my bugaboo, or the fact that lots of of new babies need to learn to nurse, which seems like a weird oversight on nature’s part, honestly. Finally with my third I knew a lot more so he knew a lot more, but breastfeeding never felt comfortable for me. I have some sensory issues, so it was just a lot of sensation.

    • Whitecat says:

      I agree the tide has shifted – as a new mother, I remember hearing how difficult breastfeeding is and low BM supply and all that. I even remember the midwives at the hospital and at after care were also quick to suggest formula since my baby had issues latching and I didn’t know how to breastfeed! My breasts were also WAY too big for a newborn and often he would struggle for breath because they kept blocking his nostrils :/ but my mom was also there with me and I was patient and I managed to breastfeed (writing this while mt little babe is BFing). I’m glad I kept at it.
      BUT I do still think fed is best and honestly breastfeeding even when it’s going well CAN BE so exhausting, disruptive and draining. Soo understand mothers who also choose not to do it even if they don’t have problems with milk or latch.

      • Thirtynine says:

        I’m so glad to hear this, for all you young mums. When I had my kids, 30 years ago, the pressure for breastfeeding only was intense. If you used formula it was morally wrong, because if you just tried hard enough, EVERYONE could feed. Ergo, if you didn’t, you were a bad mother. My breasts were so huge, they had to be bound in a single bed sheet, because nothing else covered them. I could only feed at all lying down, because the baby was literally drowning and suffocating. The pain was terrible. After 6 weeks of persevering with this agony, I was readmitted to hospital for a week, while they tried to dry up the supply by wrapping me 24/7 in cabbage leaves and reduce the pain. I refused to even try again after this, regardless of the pressure. It’s so good that you have some choices now, and I’m glad Ashley has spoken out too.

    • JJ says:

      I breastfed for 2 years- the first days were really really hard because I was kind of alone. My family lives thousands of miles away and even so, my mom isn’t really pro- breastfeeding. She’s from the era of “fill them up with a bottle so they’ll sleep through the night”. I had a great Lactation Consultant at the Hospital and I was able to make return visits after we went home( all covered by our insurance). If it were not for the support of the LC and my daughter’s pediatrician I would have stopped. Luckily it got VERY easy once we got the hang of it and I actually really enjoyed it.

    • Aphra says:

      Breast is Best wasn’t just a shaming slogan. It was meant to warn women (esp in poorer/developing countries) away from the formula industrial complex. I struggled with breastfeeding, used a bottle with formula when baby was obviously hungry (maybe once or twice) and within two weeks we were breastfeeding perfectly. Kept it up for over two years. Was wonderful. Try to breastfeed; if it doesn’t work, that’s fine. But being pushed into starting on formula by pressure from paid-off hospital staff is THUMBS-DOWN!

  2. MrsRobinson says:

    It’s not only the mother but the baby who has to figure it out. Lactation consultants, when they’re available at a hospital or clinic, can be so helpful. But fed is definitely best.

    • Shannon says:

      Yes! The baby has to learn how to do it, too. People love to tell you that every type of breast can work, but from my personal experience not every breast is “user-friendly” and easy for babies. I had friends who were like, “huh! I just put the baby to the breast and they latched on, easy-peasy,” whereas mine needed a user manual. I mean, they eventually figured it out and nursed until they were weaned, but it took both kids 4 weeks of practice and pumping and supplementation and cracked nipples and tears (for both of us). If I hadn’t felt so shamed about formula feeding I probably would’ve given up (and I’m sure it would’ve been fine).

  3. Lexilla says:

    Kay I’m actually glad to hear this because when I had my first kid seven years ago, I was not prepared for how hard it would be. You don’t want to go too far the other way and scare expectant moms, but it’s worth telling them not to be too hard on themselves if they struggle.

  4. Amy T says:

    I nursed all of mine and each experience was different. My first was a vacuum suction baby who latched instantly; the one that followed was almost her polar opposite. Both got bottles because a)they never cared where it came from as long as they got it and b)it was important to me that they got that food/love connection from other people. The thing now that makes it better is the proliferation of milk banks. When Vacuum Suction Baby was unable to breastfeed my grand-urchin, she had a ready source of donated breast milk for him. It was a journey for her to let go of her own breastfeeding dreams, but the really important thing is that he’s five and thriving.

  5. faithmobile says:

    I had a really difficult time with my first and was pressured by my mother who had an easy time of it. Now, with my third I’m completely flexible and will be introducing the bottle early so that others can feed my baby and I can have some space from what in the past was a loaded situation filled with guilt and anxiety. The conversations today around breastfeeding seem so much more balanced than just ten years ago..

  6. Mirage says:

    I remember how painful it was at first.
    Really, really painful. I would not have managed without the support of my sisters.
    They had given me this very good cream that I used just in time before it was too late as I had little sores on my breast.
    It took a good 3 weeks for the pain to subside.
    Breastfeeding is hard. Not only because of the initial pain but also because babies need to eat A LOT. It’s hard at first to have this proximity to the baby and not being able to be away from her.
    I was comforted by the fact that my babies enjoyed being breastfed, and were very chubby as a result.
    But was I happy to then diversify at the 6 month mark? Yes!

  7. Katherine says:

    It’s not just breastfeeding, it’s the whole thing with having a kid — people like to talk about what a miracle it is and all the amazing moments and joy it brings, but there’s a lot of hard work that people don’t like to go into detail about. I’ve heard from so many new mothers that they did not know how many hardships they’d have to endure, from all the discomforts of pregnancy and damage from childbirth to things like breastfeeding, postpartum, how you don’t really belong to yourself for a while there because you need to take care of the child, how mentally draining it can be.

    • Dee says:

      I think there’s a certain judginess out there that tells moms (not dads so much) that you have to enjoy every minute. I love my kids, but diaper blowouts and mastitis are not something to enjoy.

    • Nicole says:

      And it doesn’t just stop after their baby years. Then you have to deal with bullies, learning disabilities, various spectrums, manners, behavior, the list goes on… Kids are hard.

  8. Jill342 says:

    This always annoys me, another new mom saying she wishes someone had told her how hard it can be to breastfeed/etc. Does she not read any books, go on social media, read comments, watch tv, read blogs??? If you read or watch anything, or have any woman friends, exist on this planet, you will know being a mother is wonderful, but can almost kill you at times with the sleeplessness, breastfeeding, hormones, weight gain, isolation, massive bleeding, etc.

    Seriously new moms, you heard it all. You just thought it wouldn’t happen to you! Being a mom can be terribly hard, every woman who has been one knows it and most of us complain about it. So gripe about it, but stop acting like no one clued you in.

    Btw, I had 2 years of pain with my first who never latched properly. And I told EVERYONE!

    • thaisajs says:

      YES. This. I find it hugely annoying when new moms do this. Pregnant ladies spend months reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and all the new mom websites etc etc etc. No one was hiding this info from them!

      Breastfeeding is hard. My kid never latched and turns out, she had a milk allergy. She was on special formula for months after we figured out the problem, which prompted weeks of non-stop crying. It was heartbreaking and exhausting.

      If you really want to do breastfeeding, you can always pump and give it to your baby in bottles. That’s what I did because I didn’t really have a choice because of her milk allergy. I pumped and froze for 6 months before she could even take breastmilk. And then when she could, she got both formula and BM. I pumped for a year and then she moved on to solids and whole milk.

      BM is great but honestly, formula is fine too. There are so many things to get worried about in life, I just don’t think this is one of them.

    • Dee says:

      Honestly, there’s so much more support and information out there than what I had 25 years ago. My husband was supportive of my breastfeeding, but his family was not. There’s nothing like Great Grandma saying stuff like, “Are you sure your milk is enough for him?” as soon as the baby fusses or your father-in-law acting like you’re a peepshow when you stick the baby up under a bulky sweater to feed him. Luckily, I found some internet forums for advice on pumping at work, managing supply, etc.

  9. lucky says:

    I don’t know, I find all the “nobody told me,” moments of new motherhood both relatable and mind numbingly overused. The thing about parenthood is that there are things you can’t know or understand until you are dealing with them. When I talked to friends that were pregnant or had kids with talked about all those kinds of things, but some things people say and we just think ‘that is unique to them’, or ‘that won’t happen to me’, or it doesn’t even really sink in because ‘latch’ is such a specific experience that you can’t even make sense of it. I don’t begrudge any new parent that feeling that parenting/birth is more than/harder than expected, but we also all seem to feel like we are THE FIRST person who has struggled and done this thing when we are in the moment and perhaps my grumpy aging ass is just over these kinds of interviews.

    • lucky says:

      I do know this sounds un-generous to a new mother, ha. I am salty today perhaps… or every time this comes up. I just think there is a better way to express this? Like, I never knew how hard it would be/I never imagined the challenges/ I can’t believe that millions of mothers struggle with this every day… etc.

    • Jill342 says:

      Lucky, YES! Just like mental health struggles like anxiety. Celebrities come out and say they need to talk about it because no one does. EVERYONE DOES! Honestly, you can find information and support all over the internet for so many things, it is all out there. I just think celebrities feel they are special and are just out of touch with what normal people talk about.

      • Thirtynine says:

        No, I don’t think that’s fair to say. Plenty of people have said they weren’t aware, so that attitude is part of the problem we’re talking about-being judged, ignorance, decisions we make as a new mother. Maybe YOU knew, and good for you, you were a lucky one, but obviously that experience isn’t universal.

    • Betsy says:

      There was a lot of stuff I heard but I did not understand how it would really *be*. It kind of felt like no one had told me some stuff (though they had, I had read it, etc) but there is no replacement for experiencing it.

  10. Belle says:

    Honestly, the mantra that mothers will just figure it out or a mother knows best STOPS a lot of new mothers -to -be from seeking out information. On the topic of parenting, there is a wealth of information yet the idea that there is no information or it depends is still very dominant. I couldn’t believe the very simple things I didn’t know when I became a mom and it wasn’t because it wasn’t out there. I just like many mothers didn’t think it was out there. We are not educated on this issue just like sex and things regarding our bodies as teenagers and as soon as it happens we are painfully aware of how much we don’t know but many times it’s too late.

  11. kelleybelle says:

    “I wish someone HAD told me” …

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m not buying it anymore lol. Huge strides (and negative pitfalls) have been made regarding motherhood and if you’re interested in motherhood (because you’re becoming a mother), you’re online and consuming copious amounts of information. Women have made it their mission to fight and put a voice, opinion, advice, shame, instruction, etc. to all things pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, babies, and on and on. The main problem women face today, imo, is disseminating information and when to actually turn it off and enjoy the experience away from advice and opinions.

  13. Slippers4 life says:

    I’m not sure if it’s the “nobody told me”. I see a lot of people annoyed by this. I think it’s that nobody really CAN tell you what motherhood is like until you experience it yourself. There’s the logical side you can read about and the emotional side that, maybe this will annoy some, but I was unpreparrd for. My oldest is 9 and, at the time, the rhetoric was breast is best to the point I had post pardum depression and had to stop breast feeding at 9 months to start the medication that worked for me, and I was torn apart by a dula who told me that the harm of me harming myself is minimal compared to the harm I’m doing to my baby by switching off breast feeding. Overall, I am so glad that attitudes are changing around this and I hope nobody else has to go through this kind of trauma, but all the logical information out there cannot prepare anyone for the emotional nuance that is motherhood.

    • Turtledove says:

      Slippers4Life.. You make an excellent point. And might I add, the emotional chaos is taking place while a new mom is most likely sleep depreived, and having huge hormonal swings.

    • CooCooCatchoo says:

      @Slippers4Life, so many of these stories enrage me for the treatment the mommas involved received, but none enraged me as much as yours. F that doula – I hope she has chosen another profession, because her bedside manner SUCKED.
      I worked so hard to give my two babies the colostrum. Both were emergency c-sections. No one told me that c-sections often mess with milk production, due to a lack of certain hormones produced during a vaginal birth. I tried soooo hard with both, and only managed to give them the colostrum.
      I would never shame any mother for her choice to BF or formula feed. F*** anyone – ESPECIALLY another female – who shames ANY mother for her choice. Being a mom is hard enough without that bullshit.

  14. Willow says:

    There is a lot to learn, about pregnancy, birth, newborn care, and people are so excited, they only talk about the positive. It’s not surprising that some subjects get missed. It really helped me that my mother and MIL, came after the baby was born and showed me, hands on, how to, newborn care. And other moms, stopping in for a visit, just talking to an adult, a 30 second non-judgmental chat, how’s breastfeeding going?, are you getting sleep?, etc. It was so helpful. Those are the people I am so thankful for, the ones who didn’t criticize, but just offered help and support. That’s what new moms, all mom, need the most.

  15. Mette says:

    Celebs always thinking they are the FIRST

  16. Murphy says:

    It’s not discussed until you’re 10 days in and think you’re going to die. That’s a problem.

  17. Marigold says:

    When I had my kids 26 years ago, I didn’t find a lot of information about how difficult it was. I even took a class that made it seem easy. I hated it. My baby had trouble. I pumped for awhile and then switched to formula. I never looked back.

  18. AngelaB says:

    Some of the best and most fulfilling moments in my life were times I sat in my nursery breastfeeding my babies. Even in the middle of the night — so calm and peaceful I literally used to think that I would look back on this and remember it always for being amazing. My heart hurts for women who don’t do this out of choice. But I have learned that sometimes there are reasons they don’t want to discuss publicly. Abuse as a kid can cause breastfeeding to trigger PTSD; postpartum weight can also trigger old ED issues from what I am told. And some women take certain substances — whether prescribed or not. Moms make the best decisions they can, I’m sure.

    • Twin falls says:

      If it makes you feel better for non-breast feeding moms, I had moments like that with my first, who was formula fed, just holding him at 3 am thinking that I’d found the meaning of life and feeling such profound peace. I breastfed my second and the feeling was identical. It wasn’t a better or deeper feeling because I was breast feeding him at the time.

      • Turtledove says:

        Me too, Twin Falls. I most especially loved those 3am bottle feedings BECAUSE I had expected to be terrible at them. I am a deep sleeper and leading up to birth, I obviously knew that there would be middle of the night wake ups with a baby. I worried that I would sleep through her cries (LOL, no need to worry there!) or that I would just be so miserable being woken up. i was lucky in that my baby would wake up, eat and go immediately back to sleep. But those super quiet moments in the middle of the night were so calm and NICE. I realize not everyone will feel that way, and i most definitely did not expect it for myself. But that is how it turned out for me. I guess that kind of sums it all up. All moms and babies are different and you never know which things will be your struggle or your bliss.

      • AMA1977 says:

        I remember sitting with my now 13-year old late, late one night, holding him and thinking that now I understood how much my parents love me. It was a magical thought, and it was not marred in the slightest by the bottle of formula I had fed him. He was not jazzed about nursing, and I tried, but it made me miserable, so I stopped. He is smart, healthy, sweet, kind, funny, handsome, and wonderful, so I think it’s safe to say he came out the other side okay.

        I also remember cuddling my now 8-year old in the rocker as she gently unlatched and fell into a sweet, milk-drunk sleep late, late one night, and thinking how beautiful and perfect she was. She nursed like a champ from the minute they put her on my chest after delivery and never had one hiccup. She is also smart, sweet, kind, really hilarious, beautiful, and amazing, so my experience is that fed is best.

  19. Nina says:

    My daughter was allergic to breast milk. As in, bleeding internally at 6 weeks after crying for hours and hours every day. One day there was just blood in her diaper and you cannot imagine the freakout. She was in the NICU for 4 days, with IV feeding. Nobody had ever heard of that and it was 25 yrs ago when people would literally shame you in public for feeding with a bottle. I tried an elimination diet to the point where all I was eating lettuce … it didn’t work and finally my doc recommended we use this special very pricey prescription formula. Fortunately the manufacturer had a program for people who couldn’t afford it and they gave me enough free to hold us until she could tolerate regular formula.
    I’m so glad the tide has turned. So yes, FED is best. Don’t even try to fight me.

  20. Christa says:

    I was a formula baby as was my sister. We both turned out fine. I used formula with both mine because I knew it would suck. In retrospect I have to say if there are no technical difficulties , breastfeeding is probably easier in the beginning since you have to only pull out your boob to feed them but in the long run my schedule is just too crazy to eat well consistently enough for any milk I make to be maximally nutritious. Neither of my formula babies have had an ear infection. They didn’t start getting URIs until they went to daycare at 3. Daddy is a stay home who kept them till they were 3 and I went back to work. To each their own.

  21. Justjj says:

    It is hard AF. I was determined though. I made it almost a year. Mastitis twice. It was rough.

  22. Eddee says:

    I agree you know it’s going to be hard, you just don’t realize how hard until you’re doing it.
    In New Zealand they push breastfeeding very forcefully. At my antenatal class the midwife basically implied you’d be poisoning your baby if you didn’t do it which pissed me right off. Plenty of women can’t or choose not to breastfeed and the amount of guilt she was piling on was insane, especially as not being able to breast feed can contribute to postpartum depression.
    I’m currently breastfeeding my 4.5 month old but it’s still at times a constant challenge.
    Due to breast cancer at a young age I had a single sided mastectomy 5 years ago so I only have one breast to feed from, my baby’s latch isn’t the best and my poor breast takes a hammering. It took about 8 weeks (and a lot of tears) for the pain to subside, then a few weeks ago I got a clogged duct and since then it’s been back to painful again.
    Luckily my supply is just keeping up with my hungry monster but I do need to pump and bottle feed him breast milk now again when the nipple is too tender. Thankfully he also takes a bottle like a champ.
    Back when I started I wasn’t sure I’d last two weeks so I set the goalposts close (E.g. I’ll just go to 3 weeks, then 6 weeks… etc). Currently aiming for 6 months (when my maternity leave finishes and I’m back part time). On the plus side while breast feeding is tough at times, I do find it convenient.
    Having said all this, I have zero judgement for anyone who decides breastfeeding isn’t for them or just isn’t working. If my supply hadn’t been enough or I’d reached a point when so couldn’t push through the pain I would have happily used formula.
    I also had no idea my life would be so consumed by baby nap schedules and sleep patterns – that was much more of a surprise to me than how tricky breastfeeding is. 😂

  23. hy says:

    I think there’s definitely a stigma against picturing motherhood as anything but a miracle and a wonderful experience and something every woman should go thru and adore.

    Mothers aren’t allowed to talk about their hardships, about how hard it is to raise kids sometimes, about how being pregnant shaped their bodies in ways they don’t like and wish they had known before becoming pregnant, etc.

    The internet is the internet, where thankfully marginalised voices are amplified, so it’s easy to forget the standard irl is still “how dare you complain about the joys of womanhood!” when a woman rightfully complains about the bad side of pregnancy or even the inconveniences of having a period.

  24. Ann says:

    I had a really easy time with my first and a harder time with my second. She was a biter and she didn’t seem to be getting enough, so I supplemented. My daughter is a doula and is now training to get her lactation consultant certification. She’s all about the babies.

  25. HeyThere! says:

    I was a stay at home mom and heard it was difficult but I had a good breast pump, supportive friends, I read about it but until you live it you can read all you want you have to experience it. My baby wouldn’t latch and I practically killed myself for three weeks trying to nurse and pump around the clock trying to get my supply up. I could only ever get out about a quarter ounce at a time. I was on all sorts of supplements, special foods and running on no sleep, and a vagina full of stitches. I’d say I cried myself to sleep but I didn’t sleep even if my baby was sleeping! I was instructed to pump every 90 minutes around the clock so that my body would start producing more. Newsflash, it didn’t work. I was devastated and I felt like a complete failure. The comments I would get from people who would see me mixing a bottle in public and then like they asked me why I wasn’t breast-feeding. These were total strangers! And then it was a really touchy subject for me because I wanted to it just wasn’t happening. UGH. Horrible, nightmare experience. Finally when we went back to the pediatrician when my baby was three weeks old they said you have to give him formula or we’re going to have to admit him in the hospital as failure to thrive. I didn’t realize how serious it was but we were going to the doctors office every day for weight checks. Lucky for me it was a block from my home. I actually had a good friend tell me they couldn’t believe I was giving my child that poison, aka formula. Needless to say we aren’t friends anymore. LOL Long story short I’m not anti-breast-feeding I say try it and if it doesn’t work you’re still an amazing mom! Fed is best!!! And just for reference I’ve had two kids in the last five years so this is all been incredibly recent.

    Also, it’s really frustrating because mom‘s just can’t win! Moms who breast-feed successfully get shamed and told it’s disgusting and they need to cover up. JUST LET MOMS LIVE THEIR LIFE AND FEED THEIR BABY! Ugh. Okay rant over.

  26. Aries-Mira says:

    Fed is best. Doesn’t matter if the baby is breast-fed, pumped breast milk in a bottle, formula or a mixture of both! Either way it’s hard AF because mom is recovering from the delivery, and then there’s basically no sleep for the first six months (at least) while you figure out this tiny, instinct-driven person who is operating solely on primitive emotion. It’s the reason my husband and I refer to the first half-year as “Baby Fog”.

  27. Robin says:

    I ended up formula feeding my twins. It was impossible for me to go beyond two months’ breastfeeding, for a variety of reasons. I was made to feel like an absolute failure by my widwife and health care assistants. In certain parts of the UK breastfeeding is seen as something that comes naturally to the educated and affluent mother; formula is for the lower class mum who knows no better and doesn’t care about her baby’s immunity and future IQ. I’ll never forget the pressure to carry on, to the point I felt on the verge of physical and mental collapse. I have a friend whose baby was not putting on weight, she simply wouldn’t breastfeed properly. Social Services somehow got involved and insisted my friend carry on breastfeeding (she ignored them, thank heavens). It sounds ludicrous, but there are some militant breastfeeding advocates out there.