Breastfeeding seminars

Olivia Munn battles guilt over breastfeeding challenges

When Olivia Munn was expecting her son, Malcolm, in late November, she likely took new-parent classes and read as much as possible about “breast is best,” the idea of ​​long-running public health campaigns that Breastfeeding is healthier for babies and mothers.

As the “The Predator” actor explained on Instagram, she turned to bottle feeding after weeks of trying to breastfeed her son while having a low supply. In a video, she said she felt like “a failure”, while detailing the efforts she made to increase her milk supply while trying to make sure her son got enough to eat. Her post resonated with many of her 2.8 million followers, some of whom shared their own struggles with breastfeeding and the guilt they felt for not doing what they were told was best. for their babies.

Munn listed his efforts: “Two lactation consultants, lactation soups, gallons of coconut water, nipple ointments, heating pads to increase circulation, three nursing pillows, lactation teas, gummies, vitamins, cookies, skin to skin, three different breast pumps.

She also showed how she wore an additional breastfeeding system, a device that wraps around her neck and is filled with formula that drips into thin tubes that are stuck to her nipple. The idea is to “boost milk production while giving my baby the nutrients she needs,” Munn added.

Munn, who shares Malcolm with comedian John Mulaney, said ‘none of it worked out’, leading to fears she couldn’t bond properly with her baby and feelings that she didn’t. wasn’t trying hard enough to be a good mother to give her the well-documented benefits of breastfeeding.

“I cried and cried. I felt like my body was failing,” she said. “But then I said it (expletive).”

Munn’s frustration is familiar to many women who find they can’t breastfeed, even though they’d like to, according to a 2021 report. by The 19. Her guilt is also familiar to women who say the ‘breast is best’ messages that have long circulated in parenting circles and in maternal and child health have put overt pressure on them to breastfeed at all costs.

“Breastfeeding is good and so is formula,” Munn said, sharing a photo of herself both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding Malcolm. “Moms, do whatever you need to feed your baby and don’t let anyone hurt you.”

While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life, the reality remains that breastfeeding just isn’t feasible for many parents, The 19th said.

For some women, this can be painful and lead to dry, sore nipples and breast infections. All women find it exhausting, especially if they have to feed as often as every one or two hours while recovering from childbirth or a C-section, or if they have to care for other young children. Some women also have medical histories that prevent them from breastfeeding or find pumping and maintaining their milk supply while working can be a challenge.

For these parents, being told “breast is the best” implies that right from the start, they have already let their children down by giving them something inherently not the best, like Laura Modi, co-founder and CEO of Bobbie, an organic formula company, says The 19th.

Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, a board-certified emergency physician and investigator of breastfeeding complications that lead to illness, injury or disability in newborns, recognized the benefits of breastfeeding, according to The 19th.

These benefits include providing the best nutrition to help a baby grow and develop. Breast milk also boosts the baby’s immune system, is easy to digest, and can reduce a child’s risk of developing allergies and asthma later on. It also promotes mother-baby bonding and provides long-term health benefits for mothers.

That said, parents who struggle with breastfeeding should understand that “feeding is best no matter what,” del Castillo-Hegyi told 19. “Any child who receives all nutritional needs without starvation or dehydration has best results.”

This is the message that Munn offered to his followers. He received over 132,000 likes and was praised by other mothers, some famous and some not. Actress and director Briane Davis wrote: “You haven’t failed ma’am! (You do it well. Breastfeeding is hard work no one talks about!!!!

Another mother wrote: “Thanks for sharing! I had my son seven weeks ago and my milk still hasn’t arrived; I only get half an ounce with each pumping session. Thank God for the formula and for providing my son with what I cannot.

Another also added: “Oh my heart I felt that. I tried EVERYTHING when it came to breastfeeding our daughter. I nursed her until she was 4 months old but it was a fight. Fed is the best. That’s all that matters…it was a struggle and I drove myself crazy. You got that, mom!!! And about a million moms are behind you.