Big Little Feelings founders Deena Margolin and Kristin Gallant make a living supporting parents, but who do they lean on when times get tough?

Each other.

The friends and colleagues both endured postpartum hardships when it came to feeding their babies, and they got candid about their experiences in an exclusive video produced by Bobbie and shared with Motherly.

Friendship Through the Feeding Journey with Big Little Feelings | The Scoop by Bobbie from Bobbie on Vimeo.

Margolin, who’s a child therapist, admitted that with her firstborn she spoke to five different lactation consultants and struggled to breastfeed her newborn for 10 weeks before deciding that exclusively pumping would be more beneficial to her mental health. She took her own advice with her second kid, and after a week of breastfeeding switched to bottle feeding.

“If I took care of my mental health then I was going to show up as a better, happier, more patient mom for my kids,” she acknowledges in the video. In a society that harps on “breast is best,” it can be difficult for moms to embark on an alternative feeding journey, despite the toll it takes on their mental health.

“Before you become a mom, being a good mom means giving everything to your kids and to this little baby,” Gallant, who’s a parent coach, explains. “I think it’s a really dangerous way of thinking, especially before you walk into it because you don’t know what that means.”

For Gallant, the feeding challenge came when her baby was diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein allergy and needed specialized formula—during the formula shortage.

“The formula shortage really takes away that backup plan. You have to grit through, which is terrifying,” she shares, revealing that her postpartum anxiety became so severe she was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis

“The special formula for his allergy, you can find at random stores. Because of the shortage, I can get five bottles. That lasts us five days,” Gallant recalls, wiping tears from her eyes. “I’m just terrified to stop pumping. Even though it’s definitely taxing, I can’t stop out of good consciousness because I don’t know if in five days it’s going to be sold out in the stores.”

Margolin remembered scanning the shelves at any store she visited to help Gallant stock up, and that support was a saving grace. “Looking back, it’s just showing up with support for each other and being that safe space for somebody to just be like, ‘Hey, I’m not okay. Today I am not okay,’” she says about the importance of mom friends during postpartum struggles. “Suddenly the isolation starts to turn into connection and comfort and remembering that we’re just human and this is part of the journey.