Breastfeeding may be the natural way of feeding an infant, but let's face it: Sometimes nursing a baby can feel anything but natural. Between figuring out a semi-comfortable way of holding your baby, to helping your newborn achieve a proper latch, to engorgement, sore nipples, supply issues, and more — feeding a baby with your body isn't always easy. And it can leave new moms feeling like failures before they even leave the hospital. Well, 'RHOP' star Ashely Darby shared how she struggled with breastfeeding and coped through it.
If you're not familiar with Darby, she's a regular on the Real Housewives of Potomac — oh, and she also happens to be former Miss District of Columbia. She and her husband, real estate mogul Michael Darby, welcomed their first child on July 7 after Darby suffered a miscarriage in 2018, according to People. “Michael and I are overwhelmed with joy and love,” Ashley told the publication of her baby boy. “Dean is absolutely perfect. We couldn’t be happier.”
Fast-forward to several days later, and Darby decided to provide an update about her life as a new mom via social media. While holding her sleeping son, Darby shared a series of video clips on her Instagram Story describing their breastfeeding journey so far, according to Us Weekly.
"I wanted to share that I woke up the day after I got home from the hospital with severely engorged breasts that were painful rocks. I couldn’t really walk because they were so heavy in my chest," she explained. "I started to feel really [disheartened] because baby wasn’t latching onto my hard nipples. I started feeling like a bad mom. I was crying, an emotional wreck.”
After meeting with a lactation consultant, however, it seems Darby has been able to successfully breastfeed her little guy. And the look of pride on her face says it all. “I didn’t quite want to give up on not being able to share in breast-feeding with Dean,” she continued. “I called a lactation consultant … and I am literally about to cry because I was able to fully feed my son with my breast milk. She was able to help me replenish my breast milk and to get rid of these hard lumps that are milk in my breasts. And Dean ate to satisfaction. I am just the happiest gal ever.”
Before ending the update, Darby encouraged her followers to seek out the help of a lactation consultant if they find themselves in a similar situation. She also noted that many insurance companies cover or offer reimbursement for their services.
So far, the only other Instagram post about baby Dean was shortly after Darby give birth to him, according to ET Online. The new mom shared a photo of herself resting in a hospital bed while her husband held their son. "I never thought this day would come," Darby captioned the post. "When I learned I was pregnant, I started thinking about when I'd feel the first kicks. Then, when I was feeling the flutters, I wanted to know when I'd finally start to show. After watching the bump grow, my mind went to birthing day (WILL THIS REALLY HAPPEN?!)" She continued:
And when the day finally came that this sweet child came into our world, it felt like the sunniest day after a sky filled grey. The most sensational day of our shared life. Mickey and I are savoring every moment with our wonderful son.
As someone who has breastfed four babies, I can say feeding a tiny human with your body is hard. The fact that Ashley Darby is sharing her nursing struggles while they are still so recent and raw is honestly refreshing. And I have a feeling her transparency will help so many other moms who are in the exact, same situation.