Little People, Big World's Audrey Roloff ignited a Twitter firestorm when she called feeding daughter Ember formula a "sin"

By Jen Juneau
May 07, 2018 01:15 PM

Jeremy and Audrey Roloff are committed to overcoming the hurdles of first-time parenthood.

On the latest episode of TLC’s Little People, Big World, the spouses got candid about some of the early challenges they’ve faced since welcoming daughter Ember Jean, now 7 months.

“The last few days have been really, really tough,” admits Audrey in an aside, revealing that she developed mastitis — an infection of the breast tissue — five days after her daughter was born, and dealt with “blistering and bruising” as a result of breastfeeding. “I spend 16 hours a day, in a 24-hour period, feeding.”

“At our 1-week doctor’s appointment I was like, ‘I’m nursing every hour all night,’ and he was like, ‘That’s not right,’ ” she adds. “At that point, they were like, ‘You need to supplement, ’cause you’re not giving her enough.’ ”

“I was very adamant about breastfeeding exclusively. Formula was, like, a sin,” Audrey continues with a laugh. “I just never thought I would do that but at the same time, I need to feed my baby, so we have to do it.”

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Many fans of the show were quick to comment on Audrey’s latter remark, with one user pointing out that she formula fed all three of her children “and they are happy and healthy” today. Another piped in to advise the new mom, “Oh Audrey, formula is not a sin. Fed baby is all that matters.”

RELATED VIDEO: Little People, Big World’s Jeremy and Audrey Roloff Welcome Daughter Ember Jean

Earlier in the episode, before Ember’s arrival, Audrey emphasized her priority of having “a natural childbirth.” She also recalled how she “never laid down on her back, never sat” during labor, noting how having an epidural means you often have to remain lying down — which led to more backlash on Twitter.

“I wish someone would inform Audrey that no one gives out points for going thru natural childbirth,” one user mused. “It’s about choosing a birth experience — nothing virtuous about unnecessary suffering.”

Another added in support of the new mom, “If I was in Audrey’s position, I’d be so nervous to [deliver] natural. Good for her!”

Jeremy’s rep confirmed to PEOPLE that Audrey, 26, had delivered their daughter on Sept. 10 at 9:40 a.m., when she weighed 7 lbs., 13 oz.

In February on YouTube, Instagram and Audrey’s blog, the couple announced that they were expecting a baby.

“The secret is out … I’m going to be a dad!” Jeremy, 27, captioned an Instagram photo of the couple holding up a miniature version of a hooded brown jacket, along with a series of ultrasound snapshots.