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I can’t thank Whitney Port enough for her raw video on the struggles of breastfeeding

“I admire Port for doing her crying so publicly. I did mine alone, in the shower.”

I can’t thank Whitney Port enough for her raw video on the struggles of breastfeeding

It’s not often that I can relate to the day-to-day struggles of reality stars, but a new video by The Hills alum Whitney Port does look a lot like my own reality. Wearing the uniform of new moms everywhere (hoodie, ponytail, bare face), Port confesses to the camera something I have experienced myself: Breastfeeding can be frustrating and painful.


In an eight-minute video that’s part of a series called I Love My Baby, But, Port opens up about the pain she’s felt while breastfeeding her newborn son, Sonny.

“I just hit a breaking point,” the star explains through tears, “and [I] said, ‘I can’t do this. It feels as though someone is slicing my nipples with glass.’”

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Like a lot of other moms, I know how painful breastfeeding can be. I admire Port for doing her crying so publicly; I did mine alone, in the shower, while looking down at a very inflamed breast.

Like Port’s son, my baby was born with a tongue tie. Like Port’s son, my baby had his tongue-tie corrected shortly after birth. Like Port, I still struggled after the procedure.

Breastfeeding complications related to tongue or lip tie is surprisingly common, says Diana Spalding, a midwife and Motherly’s birth editor, who notes as many as one in 10 babies is born with one of the conditions. “A lot of parents report that after having it corrected, it takes a little while to be effective,” she says of tongue or lip tie fixes. “[That is] sometimes because the baby has to ‘relearn’ how to latch, or simply due to the healing process.”

For the moms going through it, that can lead to physical and emotional pain, as Port so freely demonstrates in her video testimony.

“I tried it after we came home from the doctor yesterday morning once he had the procedure done, and then I tried it this morning and it's just it's really painful,” Port says in her video. “I'm not really sure if it's painful just because I'm getting started again or if it's painful because he's not latching on correctly.”

I know latching was still a big issue for my son immediately after his tongue-tie was fixed. For awhile afterward, his father and I still had to feed him with eye droppers. When he did latch, it hurt and didn’t last long. Eventually, I started pumping and supplementing with formula, and my son initially seemed to like bottles better than the breast. It wasn’t an easy journey for me, just as it hasn’t been for Port, who wonders aloud if it would be better to “just give up on it and just pump and give him the bottles and be okay with it.”

That’s a question every women can and should make for herself.

“Feeling pressure around breastfeeding is unfortunately so common—and it's such a hard thing to work with,” Spalding says. “Breastfeeding is of course so amazing, and the research indicates that it is the best thing for babies. But at a certain point, we also [need] to be considering the mom's emotional and physical well-being. A super stressed mom isn't healthy for the baby either.”

For me, pumping and bottle-feeding didn’t spell the end of breastfeeding. We kept nursing and eventually my son got the hang of latching. On my end, the pain of bad latches and oversupply went away, and we eventually got to put the pump away for good.

In her video, Port says it’s not just the pain that’s getting to her—she’s also been feeling a lot of pressure to succeed at breastfeeding, and that’s a reality many new moms can relate to. That’s where the rest of us can help: It’s important for us to remember that whether we nurse, pump, bottle feed or supplement, as long as our babies are nourished, we are succeeding.

It may not be her most glamorous on-camera experience, but Port’s video shows the real-life struggles of a new mom. My hope is that it encourages moms to talk about their pain. You don’t have to cry on camera, but you don’t have to cry alone either.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.

$79

Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.

$30

Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.

$32

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.

$37

The Snoo bassinet

Snoo

Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!

$1295

Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.

$59.99

Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!

$46.99

Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.

$259.00

Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.

$27.95

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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