June 29, 2011 04:00 PM

Alison Dyer

Her second child, daughter Sydney J., meant a second chance at breastfeeding for Laila Ali — and the mother-of-two was ready to do anything to prevent making the same error she made with now 2½-year-old son C.J. Muhammad.

“About a week into it I made the mistake of giving my son a bottle so my husband [Curtis Conway] could help, and then the baby started liking the bottle, and I ended up having to pump,” Ali, who eventually exclusively pumped, tells Best for Babes.

“I wasn’t going to give up or stop. I feel like God gave us, as moms, our own custom formula specifically for our child. Why would I want to go buy something from the store instead, that’s made in a factory?”

Fortunately, nursing her daughter has been smooth sailing and everyone is thriving, including Conway, who has found other ways to bond with his 3-month-old baby girl.

“He knew that I didn’t want to introduce the bottle too early with Sydney, but it wasn’t like I had to say, ‘Honey, you’re going to be able to help in other ways,'” Ali, 33, explains.

“He already knows, when it comes to the baby and feeding the baby and doing things the best way, I’m in the lead as far as that’s concerned. We don’t have an issue with that.”

After all, adds Ali, nursing is a mother’s right — and shouldn’t be challenged!

“Breastfeeding is a job made for moms to do. I don’t see arguing with that, though I am sure people will,” she says. “It’s such a short period of time in a child’s life that you are going to be breastfeeding, so let Mom do her thing.”

For more from Laila, read the full interview at Best for Babes.

— Anya Leon

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