It's fairly common these days to see photos and hear stories about celebrity moms who take a stand against being shamed for breastfeeding in public. Every time a celebrity mother takes a stand, they help to normalize the idea of breastfeeding and remind fellow breastfeeding mothers that they shouldn't be shamed, but supported. But what about the other side of it? Does the celebrity support of breastfeeding in turn make moms who formula feed feel ashamed? Not necessarily. Because, thankfully, there are celebrities who didn't stick with breastfeeding, and they shouldn't be shamed for it.
Breastfeeding doesn't come easily to everyone. In fact, according to a study done at UC Davis Medical Center, 92 percent of mothers have difficulty breastfeeding, and furthermore, only 13 percent of mothers manage to breastfeed exclusively during the first six months of motherhood. Though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed for 12 months, and the World Health Organization says that mothers can breastfeed for up to two years, the study by researchers at UC Davis breaks down the idea that breastfeeding is easy for mothers, and that all successful mothers breastfeed their babies.
Thanks to this study and the following celebrities who have been vocal about not sticking with breastfeeding, the stigma of formula and bottle feeding is falling away. If you're struggling with breastfeeding, you should know that you're not alone, and that there's nothing wrong with pursuing alternative options to breastfeeding to suit you and your baby.
When reality television star and business mogul Bethenny Frankel struggled with breastfeeding, she told Parade that she felt like a complete failure, and felt guilty for not being able to breastfeed more. However, she made the transition, and supplemented with formula, because that what was best for her and her daughter.
Though the singer told People that she loved her time breastfeeding, Beyoncé chose to switch to formula after 10 weeks, and revealed no sense of shame about it. Knowles' decision helps promote the idea that different routes are for different people, and no mother should feel obligated to stick to something that's not working for them.
After having her son Eddie Duke via surrogate, breastfeeding simply wasn't an option for Giuliana Rancic, according to E News. Though breastfeeding was completely off the table for Rancic, it's mothers like her who help destigmatize bottle feeding.
After having a double mastectomy while fighting breast cancer, Christina Applegate's options were limited. However, Applegate told People that she still formed an enormous bond with her daughter through bottle feeding, dispelling any rumors that mothers who formula feed their children aren't able to form a connection with their babies, and helping to normalize formula feeding for mothers everywhere.
In 2005, People reported that Brooke Shields signed on as a spokesperson for Bright Beginnings formula. In a press release about her partnership with the company, Shields attributed her use of the formula to helping her through her battle with postpartum depression. There's no one answer to why breastfeeding is difficult for mothers, but Shields' openness with her struggles helps other mothers through their own battles.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, supermodel mom Molly Sims said she proudly quit breastfeeding after attempting for three month. People reported on the interview where Sims told Cooper that her son, Brooks Alan, was born with a tooth, which made breastfeeding unbearable for Sims.
Queen of styling and fashion maven Rachel Zoe makes no qualms about bottle feeding her two boys, Skyler and Kaius. According to Us Weekly, Zoe fed her children formula. Though Zoe has never spoken publicly about choosing not to breastfeed, the fact that she's been photographed often while formula feeding does plenty to help dispel the stigma around formula feeding.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Lopez formula fed her twins, Max and Emme, from birth. Though she received some backlash about formula feeding her babies, she refused to feel badly about her decision, and did what was best for her and her babies. Now her twins are 8 years old, and have grown into happy, healthy kids.
Model and mogul Coco Rocha breastfed her daughter until her milk went dry at five months, after which she switched her little one to formula. Though the internet did their best to shame Rocha for her decision, she stood up for herself via Instagram and took a stand for formula feeding mothers everywhere.
With her first child, Tamera Mowry found breastfeeding to be difficult. "I was having a hard time keeping up my supply of milk and it was taking a major emotional toll on me," she writes on her blog. She describes breastfeeding as being a different experience with every child. Where it was difficult with her firstborn, she hasn't had the same struggles with her second child. However, Mowry knows that there's no shame in either route. "... women must do what’s right for their baby – which can include bottle feeding of course." She goes on to say that Gentle Gerber formula is the formula that worked best for her when bottle feeding.
Though Kristin Cavallari is a proud bottle feeder, reactions to what she's putting in the bottle have been a bit mixed. According to People, Cavallari writes about only feeding her baby "real, organic ingredients" in her book, Balancing In Heels. There's no shame in bottle feeding your baby, but you should consult a doctor before you start feeding your baby anything outside of recommended formulas during infancy.