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'Makes me so sad': Shawn Johnson opens up about her breastfeeding challenges

The former Olympic gymnast and her husband, Andrew East, welcomed their son, Jett, in July.
/ Source: TODAY

Shawn Johnson East is opening up about her breastfeeding challenges.

On Sunday, the gymnast revealed she's having a “hard” time nursing her 4-week-old son, Jett.

“There’s always one feed a day where he seems super hungry and gives all the cues but screams bloody murder when i try to feed him,” Johnson East shared on her Instagram story. “it makes me so sad.”

Earlier this month, Johnson East, who is also mom to daughter Drew, 20 months, told her Instagram followers that she “cried happy tears” when Jett latched.

“Drew was such a struggle and ultimately ended with me being an exclusive pumper for 6+ months,” she wrote.

Last year, Johnson East likened breastfeeding Drew to a “wrestling match.”

“I would be bawling, she would be bawling and screaming ‘cause she was hungry, but she wouldn’t eat and she wouldn’t latch anymore,” the four-time Olympic medalist told People.

Determined to make it work, Johnson East enlisted the help of a lactation consultant. It was a decision she would come to regret.

“I all but kicked her out of my house because she basically said that I had ruined my child’s life because I gave her a bottle and formula,” Johnson East recalled. “I was like, ‘You know what? I can’t listen to this anymore.”

Dr. Irwin Bruckner, a pediatrician in Encino, California, says that Johnson East needs to be kind to herself. He tells moms and dads that breast milk is A+, while formula is a solid A, meaning they're both great choices.

“There’s so much more to parenting then giving your baby breast milk. There’s smiling, there’s cuddling, there’s dancing,” Bruckner told TODAY Parents. “So if breastfeeding is wearing you down so much that you’re not doing those other things, it’s not worth going the extra distance to get the A+ in breast milk opposed to the A in formula.”

Meanwhile, Jett appears to be getting all the nutrients he needs. On Sunday, Johnson East shared a photo of the little boy dozing on her chest. The 4-foot-9 athlete captioned the shot, "My 4 week old is already half my size."

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