Whitney Port gets candid about 'rough' breastfeeding experience: 'Smashed my spirit'
Whitney Port is getting candid about her "breastfeeding saga."
On Wednesday, the 37-year-old "The Hills" alum took to Instagram to open up about her struggle with breastfeeding as a new mom with her now five-year-old son, Sonny, whom she shares with her husband, Tim Rosenman.
Paired with a video compilation of her son as a baby, Port explained that "it was far from easy" for her to breastfeed and that she wishes someone would have told her sooner that it isn't necessary.
"Most of you know my experience as a new mom and my whole breastfeeding saga. But, for those who don't, it was far from easy. Just plain rough, honestly. Breastfeeding totally smashed my spirit," she shared.
"I had the most challenging time with it and ended up pumping exclusively, which resulted in getting mastitis three times. I endured so much pain, both mentally and physically, that I should have never allowed it," Port continued.
"When you're so deep in it, it's hard to see outside your reality and realize there are other options. Ugh. I wish someone had told me that I didn't have to breastfeed and that formula could be my new best friend," she added. "I wish I didn't impose this pressure on myself so I could have enjoyed this phase."
Port pointed out that parents often endure "unnecessary trials" because of what society expects of them.
"We need to change how we talk about parenting," she wrote. "There are so many 'shoulds' engrained in all of us and society that it sets us up for chaotic experiences. We force ourselves to undergo unnecessary trials because of what is expected of us. Instead, we need the freedom to create personal plans and ways to approach parenting."
Port's message was quickly met with applause from fans who appreciated her effort to "normalize not breastfeeding."
"Thank you so much for sharing this. Normalize not breastfeeding. If it causes you pain, if you're unhappy, or even if you simply don't want to. There is nothing wrong with choosing an alternative. Fed is best, and a happy, comfortable mama bear is best," one Instagram user commented.
"This is the advice I give every new mom! If breastfeeding is not for you, move on and be happy!" another wrote, while someone else added:
"Yes, this happened with my first and it made me miserable! Started with formula right away with my second! Fed and mama’s mental health is best."
"Honestly couldn’t have said this better myself!" another person chimed in.
"Thank you for this!" one fan commented.
Port has opened up about her struggle to breastfeed as a new mom on more than one occasion. In February, the mom-of-one told "Me Becoming Mom" podcast host Zoë Ruderman that breastfeeding was "so painful" that she had no choice but to stop.
"This [was] when things got really hard for me emotionally, and I started to feel really ridden with guilt," she shared. "I stopped breastfeeding after two weeks because it was just too hard for me. It was just too painful."
"I was able to get enough milk to feed him exclusively with breast milk for six months," Port continued. "I told myself I was going to get through the six months.
"I would never put that much pressure on myself. Looking back on it, those six months were a complete blur. I was just so focused on getting through the pumping ... the whole job of it."
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