Woohoo! Alyssa Milano and her son Milo, born August 31, are breastfeeding champs! The super cool actress was super quick to respond to questions from our readers and staff, and we’re thrilled to share them with you. (As usual, we’ve footnoted our trusted tips and resources in this exclusive celebrity interview so YOU can Beat the Booby Traps and have a successful nursing experience!)
How is breastfeeding going now? What do you like most about it? What was the biggest surprise? Breastfeeding is going great. I didn’t really know what to expect[i] (BfB tip: read our Expecting Moms section). I was lucky to have a baby who from the moment he came into the world, was a pro at latching on. Between Milo and a wonderful lactation consultant[ii] from the hospital I was in such good hands. I think the thing I like best about breastfeeding is the closeness I feel to Milo and knowing that he’s getting the best of me. The biggest surprise was how something that is so natural can be so awkward in the beginning.
Were you “Booby-Trapped“? If so, how did you overcome any obstacles? I think the only booby trap I came across stemmed from just the unknown. I had 6 friends that gave birth before me that ALL had a hard time breastfeeding in the beginning. I listened to their stories and got really worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I worried that it wouldn’t be able to get past the obstacles. But I had one dear friend who had given birth 4 weeks before me who kept encouraging me that no matter what happened, to just hang in there with it[iii]. She told me it keeps getting easier every day and more and more rewarding.
You tweeted about having raw, sore nipples in the early days. Did you see an IBCLC? I saw a lactation consultant in the hospital. I did not see one when I got home[iv]. I just kept covering my nipples with nipple cream (the Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter is my favorite) and everything healed up after about 10 days[v].
You’re an active tweeter[vi]–our moms love your interesting comments and useful links–has social media impacted your nursing experience? Support from others, encouragement to others? The greatest thing about twitter is the interaction. I can ask a question about anything at all and get a good variety of opinions from everyone. When I tweet about breastfeeding or baby stuff in general, it feels good knowing that women are there to support each other. The mommy club is pretty special and I love being a part of it.
How do you feel about nursing in public, and how do you handle it as a celebrity? Recently, a mother was humiliated by a judge for nursing discreetly in a courtroom, even though breastfeeding is legal and protected in public places. I wish I could breastfeed in public without feeling as though a picture would show up on TMZ[vii]. I’ve breastfed Milo in my car numerous times and in fitting rooms at stores. But mostly, when we go out I bring a bottle of expressed milk because sadly, I’m just not comfortable feeding him in public.
What are your breastfeeding “must-haves” . . . besides boobs and a baby, lol! Well, I love the Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter. I use the Freestyle Medela[viii] pump and Medela’s nursing stool. I like Elle MacPherson’s Intimates nursing bras. I use the My BrestFriend nursing pillow. And I just bought an awesome deep freeze freezer to store my expressed breast milk.
What surprised you most about breastfeeding? Any words of encouragement for Alyssa Milano?
[i] Not knowing what to expect with breastfeeding can be a Booby Trap! Read our 3 Easy Must-Dos for Expecting Moms , psych yourself for the Learning Curve and bone up on the basics of how to “Get Your Best Game On, Girlfriend” so you’re ready to hit the ground running.
[ii] With only 4% of U.S. maternity centers following the full protocol for adequate breastfeeding management, getting good help with breastfeeding can be a crap shoot. “Your A-Team” will tell you how to interview your hospital, and make sure you know the difference between a real lactation consultant and an imposter and know what to look for in a consultant you see after you leave the hospital
[iii] Kudos to Alyssa for taking one of the most important steps to breastfeeding success: finding a mentor who can cheer her on, coach her and point her towards resources! If you don’t have a successfully nursing friend (and even if you do), find a support group in your area: check out La Leche League, Breastfeeding USA, or your friendly doula or IBCLC (lactation consultant).
[v] A good nipple butter is a life-saver for minor discomfort; if you have recurring pain, see an IBCLC or go to a support group. Chances are, a quick fix to the latch will make all the difference. If tongue-tie or another issue is the culprit, you’ll want an expert to solve problems so you can get back on track quickly!
[vi] Holy smokes! Alyssa Milano has almost 2 million followers . . .
[vii] We hear ya, babe. For tips on getting comfortable, here is a great guide from A Mother’s Boutique. If you do get caught by the paparazzi, know you’re in good company, lots of celebs have been snapped while baby is nursing!
[viii] Best for Babes does not recommend or endorse products by non-WHO CODE compliant companies.