Australian reality TV star Maddi Wright shared her struggle about choosing to breastfeed her baby and how it affected her as a parent.
Former "House Rules" stars Maddi and Lloyd Wright welcomed a second baby in October, and now Maddi is opening up about the challenges she's been facing when it comes to breastfeeding. In fact, she says nursing her now four-month-old is one of her biggest regrets.
"I wish I never breastfed my baby," she shared in an Instagram post last week.
I wish I never breastfed my baby. A strong statement and many would disagree but here's why... 3 weeks post stopping breastfeeding with my 4 month old I am a completely different person. I'm a better mum and better wife. I have more energy. I actually have gaps where bub is NOT on my body so I get to miss him a little. I have more time for my other son. I am more affectionate towards my husband. I don't dread going out in public. I enjoy my clothes again as I'm not leaking everywhere or having to wear uncomfortable maternity bras. I'm able to leave the house by myself without getting anxiety. I'm able to go to the gym again. I know I will cop alot of negative comments about this post but I think its important for mums to know that they have choices. There are so many different ways to be a mum. But what many mums forget is that MUM HAS TO BE HAPPY TOO. #breastfeeding #bottlefed #mum #baby
Wow! The reality star admitted this was a bold statement to make, then went on to explain why she feels this way. "Three weeks post stopping breastfeeding with my 4 month old I am a completely different person," she wrote. "I'm a better mum and better wife. I have more energy. I actually have gaps where bub is NOT on my body so I get to miss him a little. I have more time for my other son. I am more affectionate towards my husband."
I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear this type of honesty about nursing. Because TBH, I totally remember feeling this way after I finally stopped breastfeeding my son, especially the part about being a better mom to her other child. Maddi also added that she doesn't dread going out in public anymore, since she's not leaking everywhere and full of anxiety—so relatable!
"I know I will cop a lot of negative comments about this post but I think its important for mums to know that they have choices," she explained. "There are so many different ways to be a mum. But what many mums forget is that MUM HAS TO BE HAPPY TOO."
Amen! And while Maddi was obviously prepared for the worst when she shared her message, something pretty amazing actually happened instead: Hundreds of other moms showed up in the comment section to share their support.
"THANK YOU for this post!" wrote one. "I was adamant I would exclusively breastfeed my baby from the moment I found out [I]was pregnant, because it would be easier and cheaper - of course! Only it wasn't easy. At all. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. My baby wasn't gaining weight, she was a scrawny little sparrow and that broke my heart. My mental state wasn't great - I was stressed and frazzled. Until one day I HAD to give her formula really to save her life. Although I hated myself for it, it had to be done. She loved it and started gaining weight and I felt a sense of freedom mentally and physically. I've felt guilty about it ever since, until I read your post and realized I'm not alone. Thank you!"
Added another: "I felt exactly the same! It was the best decision I made for our family! Cheers to you for putting it out there!"
And from a third: "Just so you know, your [sic] not the only person that feels this way!!! Honestly, I hated breastfeeding both my boys. I didn't get that bond that other woman [sic] say they get. It was, for me, awkward and weird. Breastfeeding isn't for everyone. We are all moms and women and should lift one another up and help one another. Not judge others for their choices So, screw um if they give you grief and you go girl!!!"
Wright told Parents.com she was a little surprised the post didn't receive more negative comments, "as social media does bring out the keyboard warriors." But, she added: "I'm not surprised by all the positive reactions, as I know that many women feel the same way."
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Bottom line? All of us mamas need to trust our own instincts when it comes to feeding our babies. While breastfeeding obviously has its benefits, it's not necessarily the best option for every mom.
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.