It’s not a feeling you read about in the baby books, but when your little one chooses a bottle over your boob, the rejection stings. Comedian Jenny Mollen just got real about about her son’s nipple confusion in a recent rant on Instagram Stories.
The 38-year-old mom of two admitted to being sad and angry because her 9-week-old son Lazlo seems to prefer drinking from non-human nipples. “I’m gonna win him back, you guys—they all come back in the end,” she joked.
Many moms who have done a combination of breast and bottle feeding can relate. I know I can. Just like Lazlo, my son went through phases. He’d be all about my nipples one week, but prefer Dr. Bonner’s the next. This can be disheartening when you’re willing and physically able to breastfeed.
In her Instagram story, Mollen described feeling pretty defeated that how her nursing experience with Lazlo has been different from her first time around. As she told her social media followers, older son Sid didn’t have any formula for the first six months of his life, but Lazlo has been hitting the bottle a lot.
“I’ve had to supplement Laz now for the past two weeks. I’m just sad... In my head I thought, ‘Okay, at least I can breastfeed him when I have the milk,’” she said. “This morning, I pumped because he seemed to be not hungry, but then the minute I was done pumping, he was ravenous and starving and drank every ounce of the breast milk I pumped. So, it’s almost like he’s playing me.”
Sound familiar? It sure does for me. Like most new moms, I was prepared to cope with some pain or logistical struggles with breastfeeding. But I didn’t realize my own baby may be the one to reject my nursing attempts.
In her Insta story Mollen, imagined what she figures Laz is thinking these days.
“‘Why would I ever breastfeed [from] you? I can have bottles whenever I want, on tap, as much as my heart desires, with free-flowing nipples and no drama from you, so what do you think I’m gonna choose?’"
Mollen is putting some funny words in her son’s mouth, but it’s natural for her and other moms to feel disappointed when breastfeeding doesn’t play out as they hoped. Thankfully, lactation experts and other health professionals are available to help—or there’s always Mollen’s strategy.
“The alternate approach is this: I’m gonna make his life with the nipple on the bottle suck, and I’m gonna bring him back to me,” Mollen joked. “I’m making a soup to up my milk supply and to make my milk irresistible to him.”
We thank Mollen for the laughs and hope she feels better about the situation soon, no matter the outcome. Having to supplement or struggling with breastfeeding doesn’t make a mom a failure. After all, if your kid loves the bottle it definitely doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, too.