Jillian Harris wants to put an end to bottle-shaming. “People used to say ‘breast is best,’ and now they’re saying, ‘fed is best,’” new mom Jillian Harris tells Us Weekly while sharing her decision to transition her 6-month-old son, Leo, from breast milk to formula. “I’m not breast-feeding anymore, which is so sad, but it does make life a lot easier,” the former star of the Bachelorette tells Us. “It’s controversial, as you know.”
Harris, 37, exclusively breast-fed her son (dad is fiancé Justin Pasutto) for five months, and was very open and passionate about the process. “When I was like two months postpartum, I was blogging about milk supply and I was so proud that I had that much milk,” Harris tells Us. “It was amazing for me. I had followed every blog, I took the fenugreek [vitamins], I drank so much water, I had my placenta encapsulated, so I was taking that, and so my milk supply in the first two months was just abundant.”
But when the Love It or List It Vancouver host’s schedule ramped up, her milk supply unexpectedly started to dwindle. “I started supplementing with formula … and a little bit of express milk,” Harris tells Us. “I would have a rule with my nanny and say, like, ‘OK, if you feed him three bottles a day, I’ve got to come back with three bags of pumped milk a day.’”
Harris’ intense TV job made it difficult for her to stop and pump every two hours, so eventually she ran out of express milk. “We were doing lots of traveling and I had anxiety about the amount I was producing,” the JillianHarris.com blogger tells Us. “I didn’t want my baby to feel that anxiety. … I was beating myself up over the fact that I should be trying harder, I should be taking more of my lactation pills, I should be drinking more water.”
Making matters worse: All of these worries were taking away from Harris’ time with baby Leo. “I was always stressed and I was always saying to Justin, ‘I have to pump, I have to pump. Nothing is coming out! I’ve got to go! Now I’m late! Now the baby is crying!’ Justin eventually was like, ‘Babe, maybe we should just go straight to formula.’”
Though her decision to stop breast-feeding was a difficult one, “it made life so much easier for us as a family,” she tells Us. “I still struggle with it. I have to hand it to moms who breastfeed for two years and have multiple kids.”
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