Audrey Roloff Faces Backlash After Saying She Thought Feeding Daughter Formula Was a 'Sin'

Jeremy and Audrey Roloff are committed to overcoming the hurdles of first-time parenthood.

Mother Feeding Baby Bottle of Milk Pink YanLev/Shutterstock

On the latest episode of TLC’s Little People, Big World, the spouses got candid about some of the early challenges they’ve faced since welcoming daughter Ember Jean, now 7 months.

“The last few days have been really, really tough,” admits Audrey in an aside, revealing that she developed mastitis — an infection of the breast tissue — five days after her daughter was born, and dealt with “blistering and bruising” as a result of breastfeeding. “I spend 16 hours a day, in a 24-hour period, feeding.”

“At our 1-week doctor’s appointment I was like, ‘I’m nursing every hour all night,’ and he was like, ‘That’s not right,’ ” she adds. “At that point, they were like, ‘You need to supplement, ’cause you’re not giving her enough.’ ”

“I was very adamant about breastfeeding exclusively. Formula was, like, a sin,” Audrey continues with a laugh. “I just never thought I would do that but at the same time, I need to feed my baby, so we have to do it.”

I never even thought I would be one of those moms who just wants to lay on the floor playing with their baby all day... Before I became a mom I used to hear other moms saying things like, "oh the newborn phase is my favorite" or "3-6 months is my favorite age." I always figured that my favorite age would be when they can actually communicate with me and are able to do more than eat and sleep. But I was wrong. And now I get it. 👶🏼 • • When you run your own business or ministry you don't get "maternity leave" or paid time off. Being an entrepreneur means that if you don't work you don't get paid. I love love the work I get to do running my shop @shopalwaysmore and our ministry @beating50 and I always assumed it would be so easy to keep working from home with babies. I used to think, at least I wouldn't have to leave them and go into an office for 8 hours every day🤷🏼‍♀️ • • But once I had Ember I realized that being present physically isn't enough. It's so easy to be physically next to her but emotionally and mentally somewhere else. To be feeding her but also on my phone, or rocking her but thinking about the e-mails I need to respond to. I feel guilty sometimes for not being able to just stay in bed and play with her, or for putting her in the play gym to be entertained by the dangling animals instead of me. • • Turns out finding the balance between working and momming is pretty dang hard. Turns out that I love the newborn phase, and 3-6 month phase, and probally the phase after that, a lot more than I thought I would. Turns out I'd rather just BE with my baby girl than DO all the other things my days demand. Turns out raising this little girl feels more like my calling than anything I’ve ever done. I can only imagine this becoming more challenging as our family grows. How do you working moms do it?! And by working I don't just mean from an office. #emberjean #motherhood #mamapreneur

A post shared by Audrey Mirabella Roloff (@audreyroloff) on

Many fans of the show were quick to comment on Audrey’s latter remark, with one user pointing out that she formula fed all three of her children “and they are happy and healthy” today. Another piped in to advise the new mom, “Oh Audrey, formula is not a sin. Fed baby is all that matters.”

Earlier in the episode, before Ember’s arrival, Audrey emphasized her priority of having “a natural childbirth.” She also recalled how she “never laid down on her back, never sat” during labor, noting how having an epidural means you often have to remain lying down — which led to more backlash on Twitter.

“I wish someone would inform Audrey that no one gives out points for going thru natural childbirth,” one user mused. “It’s about choosing a birth experience — nothing virtuous about unnecessary suffering.”

Another added in support of the new mom, “If I was in Audrey’s position, I’d be so nervous to [deliver] natural. Good for her!”

Jeremy’s rep confirmed to PEOPLE that Audrey, 26, had delivered their daughter on Sept. 10 at 9:40 a.m., when she weighed 7 lbs., 13 oz.

In February on YouTube, Instagram and Audrey’s blog, the couple announced that they were expecting a baby.

“The secret is out … I’m going to be a dad!” Jeremy, 27, captioned an Instagram photo of the couple holding up a miniature version of a hooded brown jacket, along with a series of ultrasound snapshots.

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