Jana Kramer gave birth to a baby boy named Jace on Nov. 29, 2018. Everything following the delivery has been smooth sailing for the most part, minus the issue of breastfeeding. Kramer didn't breastfeed her first daughter, Jolie, and now she plans to follow suit with baby number two. But why isn't Jana Kramer breastfeeding Jace? Kramer answered this question with a very honest and candid anecdote.
It might be hard to believe, but Kramer's little guy is already 1-month-old. Now Kramer is past the delivery glow and deep in the trenches of parenting a newborn, which hasn't been without a few challenges. As for her biggest struggle? Look no further than a little thing called breastfeeding. Kramer admitted in an interview with Us Weekly published Tuesday that she had to abandon the effort after it became too difficult.
Kramer, however, tried her hardest to make things work before submitting to the bottle. The mom recalled one particular moment when she invited two of her friends over for support as she tried to breastfeed, and how her husband, Mike Caussin, reacted to the scene.
“I tried so hard the second time around because I didn’t want to get re-shamed,” Jana told Us Weekly. “I had two of my girlfriends over at my house, right after Jace, trying to get milk out of my boob, and I’m just like, bawling my eyes out and Michael’s like, ‘Why are you doing this?’ And I said, ‘Because everybody’s telling me what I need to do.’”
As one might expect, having your friend poke your boob in hopes that a drip of milk comes out was a wakeup call. “My girlfriends were pressing on my boob trying to get milk out,” she added in the same interview. “So I was like, ‘OK. I’m stopping. I’m done.’”
Circling back to Kramer feeling pressure to breastfeed, this isn't her first rodeo with mom-shaming. Back when Jolie was born in January 2016, Kramer had trouble breastfeeding, admitting to People that her "breast milk never came in."
Kramer addressed the controversy (yes, there was backlash... ugh) about not breastfeeding Jolie in an essay for Motto, writing: "Breast milk or formula? Well, like so many moms I didn’t have that option. Shame on me #1: I could only offer Jolie a bottle. She is now 4 months, and I am happy to say she’s doing just fine, despite the lack of breast milk.”
It goes without saying, however, that Kramer's message about breastfeeding probably won't end the ongoing argument about breastfeeding versus bottle feeding. Claire McCarthy, MD, the Faculty Editor of Harvard Health Publishing, highlighted the feebleness of this debate in an essay titled, "Why We Shouldn’t Demonize Formula Feeding."
McCarthy, who breastfed all six of her children and encourages her patients to breastfeed, wrote: "When we demonize formula we also run the risk of shaming women who, for any number of good reasons, choose not to breastfeed. There are many other ways besides breastfeeding to help babies grow and be healthy; it’s important to keep that perspective."
As for Caussin's take on the breastfeeding versus bottle fed debate? He's happy Kramer is giving herself a break.
“I think it alleviates some stress for the relationship in general,” Caussin told Us Weekly about breastfeeding. “As husbands we don’t feel as helpless. We’re able to take feedings. We’re able to do more as opposed to just, ‘OK, you’ve got to feed him again. Should I wake up with you or just keeping sleeping?’”
Of course, each family is different and there's no "right" way to feed your child. But for Kramer and baby Jace, bottle feeding is what works best.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.