If you take a step back and think about it, the act of breastfeeding is pretty amazing. But the nitty-gritty, day-to-day reality of it? Often not so pretty.
Mom-of-two Kristen Bell knows all about that. And in typical fashion, she isn’t shy about getting real about breastfeeding struggles. For starters, as natural as breastfeeding *may* be, it isn’t always easy to share your body with a baby around the clock.
“It is a little bit strange to go from an autonomous woman to all of a sudden being a food truck, ’cause that’s essentially what you are,” Bell says in a new episode of her web series, Momsplaining, in which she talks about the good and bad of motherhood with actress Katie Lowes.
Oh, but that isn’t all: There’s also a learning curve when you begin breastfeeding, which includes learning (and teaching baby) how to get a proper latch.
“Isn’t it crazy how much of your nipple and your boob has to go inside of their mouth?” Bell says to Lowes. “You’ve got to flatten it out and put it in their throat... If the latch is wrong, game over.” (Pro tip: If your baby’s latch consistently feels painful to you, reach out to a lactation consultant!)
Then there is the great fear of every breastfeeding mama—the m-word—mastitis. Speaking to Lowes, Bell reveals she fell victim to the painful condition three times.
“I had to get on antibiotics twice, which, look, I’m pretty crunchy, I don’t love antibiotics,” Bell says. “But you know what I like more than antibiotics? Life.”
The third time, though, Bell was traveling, without access to a doctor and weaning—meaning she couldn’t depend on her daughter’s help to unclog the duct. So, what’s a mom in pain to do?
“I said to my husband, ‘I’m going to need you to suck this out,’” Bell recalls. “We could talk about it, we could be weird about it, or you could just go ahead and nurse.”
That’s exactly what Dax Shepard did, which took care of Bell’s problem. “He was pulling out and spitting into this cup, and I’ve never been more in love. In my life,” says Bell.
That sure isn’t a situation most of us would ever envision when sitting across from our future partner on a first date—but parenting is nothing if not a wild ride. And the same is definitely true for breastfeeding!