The reality star, who welcomed Charlie with husband Evan Bass just last week, shared a topless photo of herself covering her breasts with cabbage leaves Wednesday on Instagram.
"It’s been a week since Charlie was born, he is the greatest blessing and one of the greatest lessons for me as a mom," wrote Waddell, 34, who also has a 20-month-old daughter named Bella. "I had all these hopes and dreams that postpartum would be easier this time. But I still ache. I’m healing. I’m tried."
Waddell wrote that Bella was "colicky" as a newborn. She vomited, had gas and "cried and cried for months."
"I breastfed for months because that’s what I was told was 'best.' When I changed Bella to formula, she was a new, happy little baby," Waddell shared.
"This time, I had hopes that Charlie would be different. But it just isn’t the case," she continued. "I decided to stop breastfeeding and try him on the same formula Bella was on, and within a bottle or two he was so happy. He stopped crying. He could relax. He could sleep. He smiled."
Waddell went on to address the "stigma about breastfeeding."
"If you don’t do it, you don’t care about your children’s health," she wrote, adding that she already expected negative comments saying she just didn't try hard enough to breastfeed. "You don’t love your kids enough. You’re being selfish. You just aren’t being a good enough mom."
"I made a really hard decision within myself as a mom to listen to my gut about what was best for my child," she continued. "And you know what ... it worked. He is soooo happy and that is all that matters."
Waddell ended her post by saying it was important for her to "be real" about breastfeeding challenges. She also added the hashtag #cabbageleavesforthewin in reference to the home therapy of using cabbage leaves to dry up a new mother's breast milk and decrease pain. (It's a technique that even former TODAY co-host Kathie Lee Gifford has said she once swore by!)
Former "Bachelorette" star Aly Fedotowsky-Manno responded to Waddell's post with praise.
"This is so important for so many women to see!" she wrote. "Thank you for sharing it."
Many fans had similar reactions.
"I have a 6 week old baby and stopped breast feeding about a week ago because I just could not produce enough for her, and I really REALLY appreciate this post! Thank you," wrote one new mom.
"FED IS BEST! People immediately forget about us moms after the baby is here, when in reality we need support and love just as much as baby! We have to do what is best for us as moms and our baby, that includes us being sane! Happy baby and family is all that matters!" wrote another.
Kathie Lee Gifford shares her cabbage leaf story with the Kardashians:
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