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Khloe Kardashian on the difficult to decision to stop breastfeeding: 'I tried every trick in the book'

Like her sister Kim, Khloe has embraced formula feeding because that's what works for her.

Khloe Kardashian on the difficult to decision to stop breastfeeding: 'I tried every trick in the book'

When you have a new baby, there are any number of potential stressors. For many parents, feeding is at the very top of the list for one big reason: Newborn babies eat around the clock—and if plans to breastfeed aren't working out as hoped, it can feel like a constant struggle.

For Khloe Kardashian, the best solution for her and baby True, was to accept that breastfeeding wasn't a good fit for them. As the new mom shares in a new series of tweets, coming to that decision was initially heart-wrenching, but then helped her feel much more at peace.

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Kardashian made the revelation on Twitter this weekend after a follower asked if she pumped while at work. "I had to stop breastfeeding," Kardashian responded. "It was really hard for me to stop (emotionally) but it wasn't working for my body. Sadly."

Women who had similar struggles then chimed in with what worked for them, but Kardashian says she "tried so very hard to continue" without any luck. "Ugh it wasn't that easy for me," she said. "I tried every trick in the book—water, special cookies, power pumping, massages etc."

Kardashian is far from alone: While about 3-in-4 American mothers breastfeed at the beginning of their babies' lives, only about 1-in-5 exclusively breastfeeds by the time the baby is 6 months old. Kardashian's sister, Kim Kardashian West, is among the 80% of moms who don't.

In 2016 Kim revealed how her breastfeeding journey with her second child, Saint, ended early as she adjusted to life as a mom of two. Kim was worried her oldest wasn't getting enough attention during nursing sessions, but a lot of moms have a different worry—one that's more similar to Khloe's than Kim's. Research has shown that many mothers stop breastfeeding in the early months because of concerns with the amount of milk the baby is receiving.

Of those who stopped, studies also show many report a sense of guilt, failure or "shattered expectations." While Kardashian says she can relate to that—especially after watching how "easy" it was for sister Kourtney Kardashian to breastfeed—she's also positive about the decision to switch to formula.

"I fought and fought to try and continue but then when I actually stopped, I didn't realize what a relief it was for me to not stress and worry anymore," she said. "Any sec I had of downtime I was stressing to produce more for the next feeding."

While there is very good reason to promote increasing breastfeeding rates and make society more supportive of breastfeeding mothers, we would also benefit to remember that decisions about how to feed a baby are personal—and a mothers' emotional health deserves to be valued, too. For Kardashian, that meant letting go of breastfeeding so she could better embrace everything else that motherhood has to offer.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

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Life

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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