Chrissy Teigen Wants Society to “Normalize Formula” Alongside Breastfeeding
She shared her own experience with the shame she felt "having to use formula because of lack of milk from depression and whatnot."
New parents face an endless barrage of opinions, societal expectations, and, oftentimes, shaming about how they feed their new babies. Outdated debates about breastfeeding versus pumping often make new moms feel stressed and anxious about the ways that work for them. On Sunday, Chrissy Teigen opened up about the “shame” she felt about using formula when her own milk supply was low, taking to Twitter in the hopes to help “normalize formula.”
“Ok I'm gonna say something and you all are definitely gonna make it a thing but here goes: normalize formula,” she wrote. Acknowledging that discussions about breastfeeding are a “huge, wonderful thing,” she added, “I absolutely felt way more shame having to use formula because of lack of milk from depression and whatnot.”
She reminded her followers that “people have surrogates, people have trouble breastfeeding and all you hear as a new, anxious mom is how breast is best.”
Teigen has been open about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety, and recently shared she’s been “in a bit of a grief depression hole” since experiencing the loss of her son, Jack, in late September. It seems she’s hoping to shed light on the messages new parents receive about feeding their little ones, and how harmful and damaging those messages can feel.
She added in her thread, "’normalize breastfeeding’ is great. ‘normalize formula’ is great, too! so yeah. that's all! normalize formula! your baby is gonna be BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, AND OKAY.”
Teigen then spoke a bit about the “stress” of forcing her own body to pump out of fear that her babies weren’t getting enough milk through breastfeeding, writing, “I remember pumping my ASS OFF, highest mode, so often, because I didn't trust milk was going into their mouths if I breastfed. it drove me mad to the point I could only get an ounce. an ounce!”
“The stress of it, combined with the guilt that you cannot do nature's most natural thing for your own baby is too much,” she added. “I dunno why this is my crusade now. I just remember the sadness I felt and want you to know you are doing it right if your baby is fed, mama.”
Naturally, Teigen's tweets sparked debates, with the star receiving her fair share of responses from trolls. But plenty of followers responded to share their own similar experiences.
Teigen ended by infusing her signature brand of humor by reminding people, plainly put, to mind their own business when it comes to the ways other people parent babies. "IN EVERY ASPECT," she wrote, "'normalize minding your fucking business as long as it is not hurting anyone else' needs to be a t-shirt lol."
That's a mission statement we can get behind, TBH. As for anyone out there feeling pressure about providing nourishment for their own little ones, Teigen is right: You're doing a fabulous job no matter what anyone else says or how anyone else makes you feel.