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Khloe Kardashian isn’t holding back about her struggles with breastfeeding.
The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star recently revealed that she switched daughter True, now 7 months, over to formula in July because she wasn’t producing enough milk.
“I tried breast-feeding for weeks and weeks!” Kardashian, 34, wrote in response to a fan account on Twitter. “For me it was so painful but I also was not producing a lot of milk. So I had to pump every time she was napping. I guess due to my stress my milk was not coming in.”
Days before she gave birth in April, news broke that her boyfriend and baby’s father, Tristan Thompson, had cheated on her.
In a follow-up tweet, the “Revenge Body” host went on to explain it certainly was not for lack of effort. “Yes I tried literally EVERYTHING!!” she wrote. “Doctors came to check, I met with the lactation specialist, I did power pumping, I drank the tea, ate the cookies, did special massages etc. it just wasnt working for me. Once True started loosing [sic] weight bc of it. I had to give her formula.”
Kardashian isn’t alone. Stress can significantly affect the hormone that supports lactation, according to Jada Shapiro, a lactation consultant, birth doula and the founder of Boober, an on-demand breastfeeding support service based in Brooklyn. “High levels of stress can potentially impact milk supply. So can the circumstances surrounding the birth and the first week,” Shapiro told TODAY Parents. “The mom’s mental health is just as important as the baby. Breastfeeding should not come at the expense of the mother’s health.”
When complications arise, Shapiro recommends consulting a lactation professional ASAP (just like Kardashian did). “You shouldn’t assume pain is normal,” she explained. “When people get help early, they are much more likely to make more milk and breastfeed longer. It can also clarify for you what the next steps are.”
“Not everyone can 100 percent breastfeed,” Shapiro noted. “It’s a personal choice to decide to supplement. You need to parent in the best way possible for you. Shaming somebody who decided to stop breastfeeding doesn’t help anybody.”
In fact, following Kardashian’s revelation, there was an outpouring of appreciation from Twitter users who shared their hardships with breastfeeding.
“It was painful for me too,” wrote one mom.. “I made it 3 weeks then that was it, my son wasn't eating enough. I pumped too. You're certainly not alone”
“I’m so glad you opened up about this,” wrote another. “I got mom shammed for having the same issues with breastfeeding even though I tried everything possible. It made me feel like a failure but failing would have been giving up and not trying formula.”
There are plenty of other ways to foster a bond with your baby other than breastfeeding. “If you are bottle feeding, you are still holding and cuddling your baby,” Shapiro said. “Look into their eyes, pay attention and connect with them. Feeding is just one part of the day!”