Whitney Port Is Speaking Out About the Societal Pressures She’s Faced to Breastfeed
Being a new mom isn’t easy — and it’s even harder when parts of the mother/baby bonding experience are causing you pain, as The Hills star Whitney Port can attest. The 32-year-old, who gave birth at the end of July, just posted an incredibly raw and honest vlog titled I Love My Baby, But I Haven’t Loved Breastfeeding That Much, in which she shares that she’s struggling to feed her child naturally.
“I totally went into this whole thing with the intention of breastfeeding and wanting to breastfeed,” she says in the clip. While the fashion designer said she was willing to try and still is, after “24 to 48 hours of doing it, it just got so incredibly painful.”
Upon returning home from the hospital, she reached a breaking point when she says it felt like “someone [was] slicing my nipples with glass.” Ouch!
After switching to pumping for several days, Port met with a lactation consultant, who said that her baby may have “tongue-tie:” a short band of tissue which tethers the tongue to the floor and can affect breastfeeding and range of movement of the tongue.
Yet, even after undergoing a procedure to correct little Sonny Sanford’s tongue-tie, the reality alum says it hasn’t made much of a difference in increasing her comfort. “It’s just really painful. I’m not really sure if it’s painful because I’m just getting started again, or if it’s painful because he’s not latching on correctly, and I just feel like a lot of people are going to tell me to continue to have patience and to try to do it cause it’s only been a week, but… I just don’t know if it’s going to get better or not.”
When asked how she felt about the ordeal, Port began to cry, saying, “I think I’m just tired and obviously want to breastfeed… that’s what people say is the best bonding experience.”
The young mother also revealed that she’s been getting plenty of pressure from people to go the breastfeeding route, which has only made things more difficult. “I’ve been getting pressure from… older people that want me to try it and continue to try it” she concedes while wiping away her tears.
She’s not totally without support — as she shared in the vlog, a lot of what she calls “the new moms” have told her not to put so much pressure on herself.
Still, it’s enough to make her second guess her own heart, which she says is telling her that she’s fine with pumping. “I’ve heard people talk about this pressure from other mothers and other people, and I never thought that I would let it get to me because I think I’m a pretty strong person and I go with my gut and I don’t compare myself to other people and what other people are doing… and now I’m doing exactly that.”
She consequently worries about throwing in the towel too early, hypothesizing that maybe it WILL get better in time, but her gut is telling her to stop.
“Really my gut is telling me that if he’s getting the breast milk, that’s what matters to me.”
Do you relate to Whitney’s struggles? Share with us @BritandCo.
(Photo via Cindy Ord)