During World Breastfeeding Week, there has been a slew of inspiring posts on social media all extolling the beauty and importance of breastfeeding. But one celeb mum, former Pretty Little Liars actress Troian Bellisario used her Instagram platform of 12.2 million followers to give some real talk on the not so pretty parts of breastfeeding.
In her post that has gone viral, Bellisario wrote, “I would never have thought something so simple would be so complicated. My milk came in immediately (so lucky!) my daughter has always eaten well (little bit of reflux but all good) and breastfeeding her was never painful or frustrating (SO RARE) but the mastitis, waking up in the middle of the night to pump, pulling off on the freeway to pump, or hiding in dark corners of houses while pumping or else I can’t sleep it’s SO PAINFUL.”
The pain of mastitis, the emotional roller coaster of waiting for milk to come in or learning how to latch, the extreme lack of sleep involved in exclusively breastfeeding are all incredibly hard. Mums rack up a world of guilt if they can’t breastfeed or feel guilty for complaining about the hard parts. But the truth is, breastfeeding may be simple but isn’t easy and mums need to be supported in their feeding choices.
Bellisario went on to describe the sacrifices she’s made to pump and why it’s so important to her as a woman and as a mum, writing “having to be conscious of everything I put or do not put in my body (it’s been almost two years if you count pregnancy) and that means alcohol, medication, even melatonin! I can’t even join in all of this cool CBD stuff that’s happening. But…no matter how much I HATE pumping or how complicated MY relationship with food is, it has been a joy, an honour and a no brainer to feed my daughter this way.”
But even with the inconvenience that can come with pumping, Bellisario admits that she will miss this whole fleeting experience once it is gone.
“My body has made it easy for us and i have loved every moment i get to spend this kind of time with her. Not every mother gets that. I don’t know if I will have it for much longer, but I will always take care of her and do what is best for us. (Once again f*ck pumping. Love you forever babay girl)”
Breastfeeding is certainly a uniquely special and intimate time of bonding for mothers and babies but the more honest we are about how hard it can be and the more support we give to all mums for all of their feeding choices – breast or bottle because fed us best – we can start to chip away at the mum guilt.
More About Breastfeeding:
- 5 Lessons I’ve Learned After Breastfeeding Three Babies
- I Had to Stop Breastfeeding For My Own Sanity
- Why I’m Struggling to Stop Breastfeeding My Toddler