Breastfeeding is a beautiful, amazing way to feed our babies—but it certainly isn’t without some not-so-beautiful side-effects and Jessie James Decker knows all about that. As a mother of two with a third baby on the way, Decker says she’s preparing to breastfeed by first stocking up on plenty of Vaseline.

“I love breastfeeding and you're going to love it, too," Decker told E! host and expectant mother Carissa Culiner in a new interview. "And when your nipples get really bloody, you know put a little Vaseline, you'll be fine.”

The news was a surprise to Culiner, who asked Decker whether that was really true. And, unfortunately, it is: According to the La Leche League, 80 to 90% of nursing moms experience nipple soreness—with 26% reporting cracking and extreme nipple pain.


As Decker said, though, the good news is that a little help from a protecting agent goes a long way. The pain is also much more common in the early days of breastfeeding, when baby is still working on a good latch and mama’s nipples are more sensitive.

“During the first two to four days after birth, the mother's nipples may feel tender at the beginning of a feeding as the baby's early suckling stretches her nipple and areolar tissue far back into his mouth,” the La Leche League reports, noting this typically subsides after the first week. (If it does not, they advise seeking help from a lactation consultant or health care professional as there may be another treatable cause for the pain.)

Despite the initial struggles, Decker has said time and time again that breastfeeding is worth it to her.

“It’s such a wonderful, intimate thing to share with your child. I remember that full, happy look Vivianne would get when she was done,” she told American Baby during her second pregnancy, adding she thinks it’s important to be honest about the highs and lows of breastfeeding. “Nursing is hard. It doesn’t always come easy and we need to support each other.”

Thanks to Decker for adding her voice to this conversation: When we discuss openly that breastfeeding isn’t easy, we’re also empowering mamas to get help when they need it—whether that’s with a lactation consultant or an extra-large tub of Vaseline.

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:

Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

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