Whitney Port is not a fan of the “fake it ’til you make it” approach to breastfeeding, and it’s so refreshing.
The erstwhile Hills star recently admitted in a powerful video that she’s struggling to nurse her brand-new son, Sonny Sanford. She posted the poignant, tearful video to Instagram yesterday — with the hope of helping other exhausted moms feel less alone.
As heart-wrenching as the video is, it’s also truly inspiring; it’s not every day we see a celebrity parent’s refusal to put on the serene happy face society encourages them (and really all of us parents) to wear. And if you’re a mom going through similar challenges with breastfeeding — or postpartum depression or you name it — it can be beyond reassuring to know you’re not the only one barely keeping your head above water. So many of us have been there.
In her video, Port bursts into tears when an interviewer asks her if everything “felt like it was working out” in the hospital before she brought Sonny home. Her face says it all: She’s exhausted and more than a little afraid.
“I’m not obsessed with breastfeeding,” Port admits in her caption. “There. I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the fact that my baby is getting all the amazing nutrients from my milk and that I am literally giving him life, but it has been quite the challenge. A challenge I didn’t feel prepared for at all. In this Chapter of I Love My Baby But… I discuss my trying journey through breastfeeding. I have gained so much confidence just through the support you guys have given me, so if any of this rings true or you have any tips, I am all ears. We mothers have to be there for each other. I sincerely believe this community is what has given me the confidence to feel I am not doing anything wrong. Yes, there are times the opinions and judgements of other [sic] seep in, but then I remember I have you guys and it makes all the difference. I am really looking forward to reading all the comments and tips this week. I need them more than ever…”
We won’t lie. We braced ourselves for the usual “lactation is the only way” mom-shamers, but we were pleasantly surprised by the compassionate, supportive responses of solidarity and encouragement that flooded in from Port’s fans.
One commenter wrote, “Watching your video this morning made me relate 100%. My baby girl is 10 days old and I had an emotional break down the first weekend we were home as I came across challenges with breastfeeding. I kept looking down on myself and thinking I was a horrible mom, but my husband would look at me and tell me, ‘Do you see how happy she is and how much she loves you even if you’re providing your breast milk through a bottle?’ No matter how your little one is fed, all that matters at the end of the day is that they’re happy, loved, healthy and growing.”
Another told Port, “Proud of you for doing it despite what feels like everyone else having a different opinion. I breastfed far longer than I ever intended to because of online support, and then meeting some mothers in person. I really changed the way I viewed being a mother and I started to just follow what my instincts were telling me, which all happened to be what made my children thrive the best and be the happiest.”
All we can say is: yes. When parents aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and open up, it’s surprising how much real dialogue — and even real bonding — can finally happen. Kudos to Port for being so authentic — and for being a terrific mom to Sonny, no matter how their breastfeeding journey turns out. Fed is best, period.