From Bleeding Nipples to Low Milk Supply: Gisele, Khloé, Chrissy and More Get Real About Breastfeeding
These stars have no qualms about sharing the pains and perks
In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, the model opened up on Instagram to talk about her own special experience nursing her children.
"One of the most special moments I've shared with my kids was while breastfeeding," Bündchen began her note. "That special look you get, that feeling of connection is unlike anything I have ever experienced."
"I love how #breastfeedingawarenessmonth shines a light on the importance of breastfeeding," she continued. "Yes, in the beginning it can be difficult, it can hurt (the cracks, bleeding, engorgement), but no matter how challenging, I would not change that experience for anything in this world. I feel blessed that I was able to nourish them in this way."
The model concluded her post, writing, "Congratulations to all mamas out there for the effort that we put in, the ones who breastfeed, and those who could not and have had heartbreaking moments trying to. I celebrate all of you! 💕💗"
"It's just frustrating when women [are told] breast milk is the best," Kramer, who welcomed her second child, son Jace, in November 2018, said on her Whine Down podcast. "I understand that - [they] don't need to tell me something that I [already] know."
The actress and singer was open about her decision to use formula over breastfeeding, telling Us Weekly she was struggling from day one. A follow-up Instagram post revealed the new mom was being shamed by fans and followers.
"I feel like I have to hide the bottle when I'm in public because people are judging me. I feel judged," added the "I Got the Boy" singer, revealing that she was not breastfed as a child.
"I actually don't even think we should or need to [explain] because then it's like you feel like you have to defend why we're not," her husband Mike Caussin agreed. "We're the only two people that matter in this entire situation."
"I guess I'm saying this to, also, the moms out there that feel this way too," Kramer continued. "Let's not feel like we have to defend our decision. Let's just be the best moms that we are."
The reality star connected with fans via Twitter in July 2018, revealing she "had to stop" nursing her infant daughter True. "It was really hard for me to stop (emotionally) but it wasn't working for my body. Sadly," she wrote in one tweet.
Khloé also shared that she "had a lactation specialist and everything" and had tried "every trick in the book" like drinking more water, eating specialty cookies, "power pumping" and massage, admitting she was extremely relieved when she didn't have to "stress and worry" about it anymore.
Another difficulty was the comparisons she felt to sister Kourtney Kardashian's experience with her three children. Wrote Khloé, "It was so frustrating because for Kourt it was sooooooo easy for her to breastfeed. My experience was very different."
Although the human rights lawyer remarked to Vogue that her son is "quite a healthy eater," breastfeeding her fraternal twins Ella and Alexander - whom she shares with husband George Clooney - proved to be challenging.
"When I was nursing, it was much more complicated, because there are two," she explained. "I had all manner of weird cushions and pillows and machines."
In April 2018, The Sopranos alum got real with her Instagram fans about her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, and how it's affected breastfeeding newborn son Jack.
"All my fellow mommies that deal with MS or anything that causes them to have to make choices they didn't necessarily want to … this is for you. I'm having to stop breastfeeding soon so I can get back on meds," Sigler wrote. "The truth is, the toll of two kids and a newborn lifestyle is not the easiest on me … and I need some help."
She lamented: "What sucks is that I live with a disease that makes decisions for me a lot, and with breastfeeding I took SUCH pride that I was able to do something really awesome with this body that I am constantly at war with."
Kym Johnson Herjavec
Leaks happen - and the Dancing with the Stars pro and first-time mom isn't afraid to share her experience with her Instagram followers. "Thanks @robert_herjavec for capturing these VERY REAL New Mom Moments!!" she wrote, crediting her husband for taking the candid snapshot. She continued: "I'm just a rookie at this job and learning every day but I've never done anything more challenging or amazing!"
The wife of actor Aaron Paul got real about life after childbirth, sharing her breastfeeding struggles on her Instagram. "This post labor chapter has been rough at times. Recovering from labor is no joke," wrote Lauren. "I'm definitely on the mend in that department but … breastfeeding."
"Oh man," she continued. "While it's been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, I have developed mastitis twice within 3 weeks."
"For those of you who don't know what that is, it's an infection from breastfeeding that creates severe flu-like symptoms," Lauren explained. "Yesterday I was fighting a fever that almost hit 104. It was the sickest I have ever felt. The pain and aches were unbelievable. For the mammas who have been there, I know you feel me."
Having to nurse your child can be totally impromptu, as The Honest Company founder proved during a day of shopping. Alba's trip to Target was interrupted when the actress had to stop and breastfeed son Hayes in the store's dressing room.
"Breastfeeding in a Target dressing room," Alba wrote on the photo, which she posted on her Instagram Story. She also pointed to her face, writing "Tired eyes."
Mollen - who recently welcomed her second child, son Lazlo, with husband Jason Biggs - shared that she was feeling rejected by her newborn, whose desire to breastfeed seemed to be waning. "[As of] this weekend, Laz has decided … one feeding, he'll breastfeed, and then the next feeding he's just like, 'F- that, give me a bottle,' " she wrote on Instagram. "I feel like … he likes his milk like he likes his women: easy, with big nipples," she joked. "I don't know anybody who has bigger nipples than I do right now except a bottle. I'm so pissed. I'm really sad, I'm really f-ing bummed."
"I thought I was doing really well and the nurses said that the latch was good," Port confessed of breastfeeding her son, Sonny Sanford. "But after about 24 to 48 hours of doing it, it just started to get so incredibly painful. And we came home and I just hit a breaking point and said, 'I can't do this. It feels as though someone is slicing my nipples with glass.' "
After having her first child, the former reality star was on the fence about when to stop nursing.
"I barely had any pain when I started, and I always had a great supply," she shared in her Fit Pregnancy and Baby cover story. "Every time I breastfeed Molly, I'm famished afterward. I feel it's like a workout. I'm afraid when I stop breastfeeding, I'm going to gain a bunch of weight."
"You want real? I'll give you real," the Southern Charm star wrote on Instagram after welcoming daughter Palmer. "This is leaked breastmilk from one morning of feeding."
"All that gnawing at your nipples will take its toll!" the R&B singer - mom to son Titan Jewell - wrote in her parenting guide, Whoa, Baby! "In those early days, I was fascinated (my polite way of saying 'horrified') by the transformation of the boobs." When it came time to breastfeed her child, Rowland was shocked by the physical changes her body immediately underwent. "My nipples were HUGE - we are talking the size of Frisbees - and sometimes I could see these veins bulging out while I was nursing," she shared. "My boobs themselves were so long and stretchy that I sometimes felt like I could've swung them over my shoulders."
"I do miss my breasts being where they were. And, yes, I have nipples like fighter pilots' thumbs," the actress joked to Allure, recounting her breastfeeding experience with daughter Marlowe. "But I also sort of like that they're a little '70s. And that they fed my kid."
"I could last only about an hour because my boobs were exploding," Blunt explained to InStyle, recounting a dinner date with husband John Krasinski a week after welcoming their second daughter, Violet. "When the milk first comes in, it's like a tsunami. But we went, just to prove to ourselves that we could feel normal for a second."
As a somewhat new mom to son Shai, the Dancing with the Stars pro has encountered many new things, including breastfeeding with "leaking boobies." Murgatroyd shared the moment with her Twitter followers after posting a mirror selfie. "Oh the joys of motherhood Leaking boobies are so NOT hot right now ... LOL #mustremembermyboobpads," she wrote.
Although Teigen had an idea of what to expect when becoming a mom to daughter Luna, the swimsuit model was unaware of how often she'd have to breastfeed. "The feeding schedule surprised me a lot. If you kind of do the math, you're kind of breastfeeding for 10 hours a day total," she told Entertainment Tonight. "It's very loving and sweet, but it's not easy. It's hard to work your entire day around getting her the nourishment she needs because [babies] are just little animals."
Chrissy Teigen ... Again
The model and Cravings author continued to keep things real while breastfeeding son Miles. Teigen showed off prominent blue veins on her chest during a selfie video on her Instagram Story in June 2018. "Please look at my veins going to my milky boobs. What is this?" she said, making a sad face.
"There were many times where I didn't bring a cover with me, and so I just did it in a restaurant, in the subway, in the park, at airports and in planes. Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She's hungry," the Bad Moms actress told Vanity Fair of having to endure judgmental stares while breastfeeding her daughter Wyatt. "It took us a little back because people actually looked at us in a shameful [way], and we were like, 'Oh my God,' because it's so not a sexual act."
"I didn't want him to [quit]," The Voice coach told USA Today of son Zuma, who self-weaned after a year of breastfeeding. "It felt like a total rejection. It was really hormonal, and trying to stop in the middle of the tour was insane."
There are many, err, perks to breastfeeding, as the former Laguna Beach star was quick to address on Instagram. "I just wanna thank breast feeding for making my left boob perkier than my right," she wrote, commenting on her cleavage-baring Grammys look.
When it came time to star in husband Dax Shepard's movie CHiPs, the actress made the decision to forego breast pumping for the sake of her onscreen character - which proved to be Bell's "physical sacrifice" while filming her scene in the movie. "I was like, 'My craft deserves it. I gotta do it. I'm a serious actor,' " Bell told Seth Meyers during an appearance on Late Night. "I was breastfeeding at the time. I wanted my character to have an aggressive boob job, like it's the only thing you can think about when you see someone … so I didn't pump for a full day," she explained. "And I said to the kids, 'Daddy's making a movie, go to the fridge, the food truck is closed.' "
"I lost most of my weight from breastfeeding and I encourage women to do it," Queen Bey told PEOPLE, sharing the key to her post-baby weight loss after welcoming daughter Blue Ivy. "It's just so good for the baby and good for yourself."
"After the babies are born [and] the milk comes in, some people get very painful engorgement and you can put cold cabbage leaves on your boobs and apparently it stops the milk," Peet explained during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "This is my husband being very amused by my porno boobs even though I'm in excruciating pain."