Jeannie Mai just got really candid about her breastfeeding journey. The new mum, who gave birth to daughter Monaco Mai-Jenkins four months ago, spoke with PEOPLE on one of her biggest postpartum challenges.
“[Breastfeeding is] difficult because it’s a full-time job every three hours,” she explained. “Like every three hours I pump, massage my breasts, try to get enough to fill a feed, take the pills, drink the tea, eat the cookies. I do everything to maximize that every three hours.
Mai added: “It’s just a lot of pressure – yes, I put myself on myself – to perform. But I try and I want to reward myself just for doing this. The TV host was candid about the ups and downs of breastfeeding, from her wonderful first experience to the ongoing challenges of milk production.
“The day I gave birth the nurse put Monaco on my breast and I was moved by the colostrum my breast was producing naturally,” she wrote in a March Instagram post. “I couldn’t believe nature happened so fast! I fell in love at the first latch. I had never felt anything like this connection before, looking at my body for this sweet face. I became obsessed.
After this heartwarming moment, Mai found she couldn’t produce enough milk. Since then, she has kept to a rigorous schedule. “Every 3 hours was like this: Lock in, top up with formula since I could only give her an ounce, (IF that), go pump to signal the body to produce more milk, set the alarm to take some milk thistle pills, sunflower lecithin pills, drink fenugreek tea, massage the breasts, in an hour prepare the breasts with a hot compress or towel, wake the baby, start again.
Mai’s breastfeeding difficulties put her in a “dark” state of mind as she compared herself to other mothers and was frustrated with the inconsistency of her milk. She offered a sweet and inspiring shoutout to moms on their own nourishment journeys – no matter how they choose to go about it.
“I’m not complaining, actually here to give moms, breastfeeding or not, all the flowers and congratulations for doing your best to take care of your formula or your breasts,” she wrote. . “I have more respect for moms than ever in my life. And I have to remember myself included 🥴✨🥇Hugs to all the moms out there❤️.
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