29 Celebrity Moms Talk Breastfeeding
New mom Amanda Seyfried may have “mastered” breastfeeding four months after her first child with husband Thomas Sadoski was born, but don’t think feeding her daughter always came so easily to the actress.
As Seyfried explained on Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast, she wanted to give up on breastfeeding five days in. “It was a searing pain and I couldn’t get a good latch,”she said. The star admitted she was also overproducing milk, and suffered from mastitis. Ouch! Initially, nursing her little one, whose name she has opted not to share, left her feeling “stressed”and “fearful.”
The good news? Now Seyfried knows what works for her daughter, and shared, “She’s getting milk and she’s gaining weight like a champ.”
Love It or List It Vancouver host Jillian Harris recently opened up about her "controversial" decision to stop breastfeeding her five-month-old son Leo (with fiancé Justin Pasutto). Because her intense schedule made it difficult to pump at work and with her milk supply unexpectedly dwindling, the former Bachelorette told Us she started worrying about the amount of breastmilk she was producing. "I didn’t want my baby to feel that anxiety. … I was always stressed and I was always saying to Justin, ‘I have to pump, I have to pump. Nothing is coming out! I’ve got to go! Now I’m late! Now the baby is crying!’" Harris said fiancé Pasutto suggested switching straight to formula and she agreed, sharing, "It made life so much easier for us as a family. I still struggle with it. I have to hand it to moms who breastfeed for two years and have multiple kids.”
Even when her son cries, Tatyana Ali says she just falls more in love with her newborn baby boy. But the "Fresh" Prince actress told Essence that she's had a huge learning curve when it comes to breastfeeding. "It's something that is not necessarily instinctive," she confessed. "There are messes and there are different techniques and styles." Now that baby Edward has arrived, Ali's working on figuring out his personal feeding style. "You try to get ready, but nothing can really prepare you for what actually goes on and what it's like."
Girl on the Train star Emily Blunt recently got, well… blunt about the challenges of breastfeeding now that she’s a mom of two daughters—Violet, 5 months, and Hazel, 2½. For starters, the actress told InStyle that nursing makes her hungry all the time. But finding the time to go out and just grab a meal with husband John Krasinski has proven to be a little tricky. “After we got home from the hospital, I didn’t shower for a week, and then John and I were like, ‘Let’s go out for dinner,’ ” Blunt explained. “I could last only about an hour because my boobs were exploding. When the milk first comes in, it’s like a tsunami. But we went, just to prove to ourselves that we could feel normal for a second.” We don’t blame them!
Maternal instinct may have kicked in for this former star of The Hills from the moment she first locked eyes with daughter Kirra, but it turns out instinct can only take you so far. Because according to the new mama, her connection to nursing wasn’t quite so instantaneous. “Breastfeeding was the most painful thing,” she confessed to People magazine. “For me, it was more painful than the C-section!” Whoa! Luckily, the 31-year-old reality queen was able to “push through” the pain of the first few excruciating weeks and now, it seems, she’s a card-carrying member of the pump-it-if-you-got-it club. “I use [my breast pump] ALL the time!” she writes on her blog. “I usually breastfeed in the morning, pump right after, then I’ll pump again later that day if I’m planning on going somewhere.” She’s also a pretty big fan of her Brest Friend Pillow. “It is perfect for breast feeding,” she explains, “but can also be used to support Kirra when she is laying close to me.” Too sweet!
Dancing with the Stars professional Allison Holker spoke out about her decision not to breastfeed her 4-month-old son, Maddox Laurel. “We have found our own path with our child,” the former So You Think You Can Dance star told People. Holker’s husband, actor Stephen “tWitch” Boss, is excited to be able to help with the feeding duties, she says. “There is gonna be a time where I’m not gonna be able to hold him in my arms and bottle feed him. He’s gonna be like, ‘Dad, get away from me.’ So I have to soak [up] this time,” the Magic Mike XXL star said.
For Mila Kunis, mom to 21-month-old daughterWyatt, anywhere is a good place to breastfeed. “There were many times where I didn’t bring a cover with me, and so I just did it in a restaurant, in the subway, in the park, at airports and in planes,” Kunis, who is married to Ashton Kutcher, told Vanity Fair, adding, “Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She’s hungry.”
That’s why the star, who is expecting her second child, doesn’t understand why some people have a problem with public breastfeeding. “It took us a little back because people actually looked at us in a shameful [way], and we were like, ‘Oh my God,’ because it’s so not a sexual act.” Kunis, who says it’s “unfortunate” not everyone supports breastfeeding mothers, simply advises, “If it’s not for you, don’t look.”
Coco Austin admits she’s “obsessed” with breastfeeding her daughter Chanel. Though when she first gave birth to her baby girl, the new mama wasn’t convinced she’d ever be able to nurse. “I got breast implants, so I wasn’t sure if I could even breastfeed,” the actress explained to E! News. “I was hoping I’d be one of those women who can because my whole family have been really pro-breastfeeding.”
Turns out, Austin needn’t have worried. “[Chanel] took the boob instantly,” she recalled. “She was like a pro.” Emphasis on was. Because when her little girl got sick five months in, making it hard for her to nurse, Austin started giving her a bottle. “Now that it’s cleared up, she wants the bottle more,” she explained. “And it hurt my feelings. I’m doing whatever I can because now, she’s growing, so she needs more milk…so I have to go from breastfeeding to formula, breastfeeding to formula, but I wish she would want a little more of me.” Aw! Hang in there, mama!
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One month after welcoming her first child, Luna, with husband John Legend, Chrissy Teigen says she couldn't be happier. "It's been really exciting and fun, and every day is so different, and seeing all her little changes is so cute," the star mom told Entertainment Tonight.
But there is one thing about new motherhood that Teigen didn't expect: "The feeding schedule surprised me a lot. If you kind of do the math, you're kind of breastfeeding for 10 hours a day total," she said, adding,
"It's very loving and sweet, but it's not easy. It's hard to work your entire day around getting her the nourishment she needs because [babies] are just little animals."
Welcome to being a mom of a newborn, Chrissy! Good thing little Luna is so darn cute.
The actress/singer had only been a mom to daughter Jolie Rae for two months, but she told People she'd already got the whole motherhood thing down. "The second she came out and we got home, it was like, "Oh I got this!'" she said. "The mom instinct just totally kicked in."
What didn't kick in, however, was her flow of breast milk. "[It] never came in," Kramer said. "I had trouble with that...there's so much mommy shame about not breastfeeding."
On the bright side, feeding her little one formula is helping the new mama catch some much-needed Zs. "I do the first night feeding and Mike does the next one," she explained. "We're sleeping probably like four to five hours. That's not bad."
Star mom Adele isn't exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to speaking her mind. So when the topic of breastfeeding came up at her concert at the O2 Arena in London (likely as a response to celeb chef and dad Jamie Oliver's recent remarks that every mom should do it), the singer sounded off.
"It's f---ing ridiculous, and all those people who put pressure on us, you can go f---yourselves, alright? Because it's hard. Some of us can't do it. I managed about nine weeks with my boobs... Some of my mates got post-natal depression from the way those midwives were talking. Idiots," Adele said.
She went on to declare: "Breastfeed if you can but don't worry, Aptamil [formula]'s just as good. I mean, I loved it, all I wanted to do was breastfeed and then I couldn't and then I felt like, 'if I was in the jungle now back in the day, my kid would be dead because my milk's gone.' It's not funny that's how some of us think."
Amen, Adele! As if we needed another reason to simply adore you!
The actress and host of "Dinner at Tiffani's" on the Cooking Channel tapped into what a lot of breastfeeding moms feel during an interview on SiriusXM radio show "Wake Up! With Taylor." "My poor husband [Brady Smith] hasn't touched my boobs in six years or so. I feel bad for him," Thiessen said. "He goes, 'Will they ever be mine again?' and I'm like, 'Yeah, probably when they're tightened up and fixed after I nursed two children!'"
The mom to daughter Harper and son Holt, who were born five years apart, also sounded off on the subject of public breastfeeding, saying, "I'm not that person who is going to whip up my boob and show everybody my breast. I just know how to cover it the right way."
No doubt about it, musician and mom Gwen Stefani was disappointed when her second child, Zuma, self-weaned at age 1. "I didn't want him to [quit]," she told USA Today. "It felt like a total rejection. It was really hormonal, and trying to stop in the middle of the tour was insane."
The model mama to Flynn, now 4 years old, wasn't shy about breastfeeding, and shared a sweet, intimate image of herself nursing her baby boy. "I intend to breastfeed for as long as I can," she wrote on her skin-care website KORA Organics. "My breast milk will give our little Flynn the nutrition he needs for his continued healthy development, and to all the mums out there, I am sure you will make the right choice for you and your baby." She later said that she was happy to promote breastfeeding and that it felt like "the most natural thing in the world."
Breastfeeding was a different experience than the one that the Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day actress expected. "All I ever heard was everyone bitch about it—nobody ever said 'You are not going to believe how emotional this is,'" she told Allure about breastfeeding her firstborn, Violet. "It's like I'll say I'm going to stop, and then I'm there feeding her."
The model mama and actress was all set to breastfeed her baby boy, Brooks Alan, but he was born with a tooth—making her attempts to nurse extra painful. "I did nipple shields, nipple guards, supplemental nursing system, it was horrible," she told Anderson Cooper on Anderson Live. "He was literally like a vampire on me for three months; it was unbelievable. Cut to: I'm not breastfeeding and I'm proud of it."
Queen Bey nursed daughter Blue Ivy for 10 weeks, and is a believer in one of breastfeeding's biggest reported perks: weight loss. "I lost most of my weight from breastfeeding and I encourage women to do it," she told People.com. "It's just so good for the baby and good for yourself."
Like Beyoncé, the former Hills star -- now pregnant with baby number three!—credits the boob with helping her get back her pre-baby body after giving birth to her first child, son Camden. "I can honestly say I owe it all to breastfeeding," she told People.com. But she later told HollywoodLife.com of breastfeeding for five months: "It's hard. It was the hardest part of the whole thing and no one tells you that. I was a slave to pumping."
A proud public breastfeeder, the actress famously (awesomely!) told People, "We all have nipples. I don't care who I offend. My baby wants to eat. If I can't get a cover over me quick enough, so be it."
The model mom made waves with her breastfeeding views when she said there "should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months." Bí¼ndchen later clarified her comment on her blog, writing, "My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law. It comes from my passion and beliefs about children. Becoming a new mom has brought a lot of questions; I feel like I am in a constant search for answers on what might be the best for my child. It's unfortunate that in an interview sometimes things can seem so black and white. I am sure if I would just be sitting talking about my experiences with other mothers, we would just be sharing opinions. I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge. I believe that bringing a life into this world is the single most important thing a person can undertake and it can also be the most challenging. I think as mothers we are all just trying our best."
The actress and singer told Life & Style that she first found breastfeeding to be "tough" with her now 3-year-old son, Luca. But after they figured out the routine together, she said it became her favorite time with him: "We bonded a lot during feeding. It was very, very special."
The model, actress, and former Miss USA blogged for People.com about breastfeeding, calling it "one of the most amazing experiences for me"—but that doesn't mean it was always easy, or that it went according to plan. She nursed her now 8-year-old daughter for 10 months and wrote, "As a new mom, I was determined to ... nurse as long as possible, but when her teeth came in she started biting me. I talked to other moms, my doctor, and a lactation consultant in search of a solution, but nothing helped. I even tried hand-expressing my milk directly into her mouth, in a desperate hope that I could nurse without letting her little piranha teeth anywhere near me, but in the end, I decided it was time to wean."
Common Breastfeeding Myths
The Kind Mama author and actress has been a pioneer for eco-friendly mamas ever since giving birth her son, Bear Blu. She's also been a big supporter of breastfeeding on her blog, TheKindLife.com. "It can be [painful], but just at first," she wrote. "What I've been told is it's important to have the bonding latch right away. Everyone I know who had pain in the beginning says how amazing it was after the first two weeks—that the insane feelings of ecstasy while baby nurses are the best ever, and that it's so worth the barracuda jaws for two weeks. Also, I have seen and heard so much about how the baby, when first put on the chest immediately after birth, will crawl up to your nipple after a while and open its mouth like a little bird looking for the nipple. How cute and precious is that?"
Shortly after giving birth to her third child, the actress stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show and ended up discussing breast engorgement after the host showed a photo of Peet with cabbage leaves in her bra. "After the babies are born [and] the milk comes in, some people get very painful engorgement and you can put cold cabbage leaves on your boobs and apparently it stops the milk," she explained, adding, "This is my husband being very amused by my porno boobs even though I'm in excruciating pain."
When the actress visited Sierra Leone in 2009 with UNICEF, she stepped in to help a mom who was too malnourished to feed her baby. Although the child was healthy, he was also hungry. "I was weaning, but I still had a lot of milk that I was pumping, so I breastfed the baby," she said. "You should have seen his eyes. When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying."
After that TIME magazine cover that supported extended breastfeeding past toddler ages, singer and mom to two Morissette stood up for those moms who choose not to wean. On Good Morning America, she said she would continue to feed her son until he self-weaned: "I'll stop whenever he wants. Some kids naturally stop at two, some stop at a couple of years later; it's up to the child. I will stop when he says it's time to stop."
The actress and mom of two has been frank about her experiences breastfeeding her sons, Story and Easton. "There are familial barriers and institutional barriers [to breastfeeding]," she told Celebrity Baby Scoop. "In my prenatal classes, breastfeeding was talked about for five minutes. It was like, Hold your boob like this, and I didn't even know what she was talking about. And these were private lessons. My mom didn't breastfeed me. My generation was all formula-fed mothers. The first time I saw someone breastfeed I was 11 or 12. And I was like, Whoa. I thought it was awesome, and I wanted to do that. It felt so right to me."
The former First Daughter told Today Parents it was a struggle to continue breastfeeding baby Charlotte when she returned to work full time after her maternity leave. "I still was breastfeeding and I was pumping and I was so committed to ensuring I could keep doing that for Charlotte, and balancing those logistics were really hard," said Clinton, who is vice chair of the Clinton Foundation. "I figured it out, but it took a while to figure it out," she said. "It also just took lots of, like, swallowing my pride and being comfortable with pumping in airport bathrooms and kind of wherever I needed to get it done."
Breastfeeding wasn't easy for the former Destiny's Child diva and mom to son Titan. As Rowland told Parents in an exclusive interview in the February 2016 issue, "I had my heart set on breastfeeding, but I wasn't producing enough milk. I got down on myself, which I think was mentally limiting my supply." Eventually, she supplemented with formula.
Like many new moms, Haylie Duff wanted to lose her baby weight fast, but she soon learned exercise negatively affected her ability to breastfeed daughter Ryan. "I had sort of an interesting situation when I was nursing where if I was working out too much or cutting my calories, my milk supply really went down," the "Real Girl's Kitchen" host told Wonderwall. "So for me, it was a struggle because I really wanted to focus on losing weight and getting my body back. But at the end of the day, I had to sit down and make the decision that meant the most to me — and that was breastfeeding my baby."
Emily Maynard Johnson
Former "Bachelorette" Emily Maynard Johnson breastfed her first two children but told People she chose to stop breastfeeding 7-month-old son Gibson. "I got mastitis which is like the worst, worse than childbirth I feel like.” But though her choice stemmed from intense physical pain, the reality TV star admitted to feeling a lot of shame about her decision. “I didn’t want to tell anybody that I quit. I was trying to hide formula,” Maynard said. “I saw all of these beautiful breastfeeding pictures, I don’t know if I would post a picture like that, but I would love the option. I wanted to so bad.”