• Fri, Feb 1 2013

Call In The Lactivists, Kristin Cavallari Stopped Breastfeeding Because She Felt Like A ‘Slave To Pumping’

Kristin CavallariAs far as celebrity moms go, we’re beginning to appreciate Kristin Cavallari‘s blunt, no-nonsense responses to the standard tabloid “Celebrity Mommy” questions. First, she shot them down for suggesting she had dropped all of her baby weight. Now, she had no qualms in letting the world know that breastfeeding just wasn’t for her. After the requisite six months, Cavallari just threw in the towel. And while lactivist moms might be organizing a march to her home at this very minute, I say, “Good for you, lady!”

When talking to Us Weekly, the new mom explained about nursing,

“It’s hard. It was the hardest part of the whole thing and no one tells you that. I was a slave to pumping.” As an alternative to breast milk, Cavallari is feeding baby Camden “a goat milk concoction that [fiance] Jay [Cutler] found.”

Alright, I don’t know that I would start feeding my child a “goat milk concoction,” but that’s not the point. The whole issue here is that these parents made the decision that was best for their family. And they aren’t harming their child by choosing not to nurse past the six month. As for the goat milk stuff being harmful? Well let’s assume they’ve consulted a pediatrician about it.

Lots of parents stop nursing for any manner of reasons, and if Cavallari wasn’t enjoying the process, she had every right to call it quits. Still, plenty of those who feel personally invested in the fight to shame every mother who doesn’t nurse until the toddler years are jumping in to guilt this woman. A sampling of the comments:

From $38430589:

Try reading up on what you denied your kids sometime. It’s not just a rabid idea to save money or anything, it’s actually a health benefit, not only for the baby’s immune system but their mental state as well. That bonding that you denied your kids may still have plenty of effect on them. I’m not saying it will, but why risk it just because you find it inconvenient?

From Julissa:

Selfish! she felt like a slave?!…The benefits of breastfeeding are never found on formula…Why not sacrifice and give your baby breast milk  that is call “the gift for life”

From AM68:

So because it was “inconvenient” she stopped??  She doesn’t work so she doesn’t have the same issues that women with babies and JOBS have to deal with while breastfeeding.

I’m just waiting for the La Leche League sponsored social media campaign to get Kristin Cavallari nursing again. Because that’s what happens. A woman opens up about her personal choice not to breastfeed and parents all over the planet feel like they have an inalienable right to tell that mom that she made the wrong choice. Not just the right, they have the moral imperative, because they’re worried about “the child.” The child who will obviously benefit from their mother being torn apart by internet commenters.

Well we here at Mommyish say, “Whatever works for you, Kristin Cavallari!”

Oh, and let us know about this goat’s milk thing. We’re intrigued.

(Photo: Alberto Reyes/WENN)

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  • msenesac

    Ugh! I rue the day that I agree with Kristen Cavallari but I quit pumping for the same exact reason. I didn’t have the greatest pump, though, so it took forever. I hated it!

  • Justme

    First, I think the judgmental and condescending remarks from the lactivists are actually doing more harm to their cause than good.

    Second, I honestly don’t understand the mindset behind people who feel it is their right to judge, shame and cajole other people into believing in what they are trying to push. It doesn’t matter if it’s breastfeeding, Christianity, PETA or the lady trying to upsell me at the mall. Being so rabid about any belief is going to turn people off….I think a better option is to LIVE it and show people the benefits of your beliefs. And then when they inquire, provide the facts and why you chose this path….and leave it at that.

  • KatGisMe

    I stopped BFing at six months also. It wasn’t my decision. It was my infant daughter’s. Once she realized she could do things WHILE holding a bottle, she was off and crawling. Pumping wasn’t feasible for me — not enough milk, PITA, etc. So we gave her formula. Her pediatrician agreed with the choice. She’s now 19 months old and incredibly strong, healthy, and independent. I understand the importance for BFing. However, I think what is more important for raising healthy, happy kids is to have a healthy, happy home — not just breast milk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique VĂ©ronique Houde

    Geez, I TOTALLY understand Kristen – I exclusively pump and even with the best pump on the market, it can take up to an hour when i wake up in the morning since I hadn’t pumped all night. All in all, sitting in front of that machine is becoming tedious! I hope I can last AT LEAST 6 months because I do believe that it is best, and hey, it’s a lot less expensive than baby formula, right? Plus, on a funny note, my boobs DO look great right now ;). 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding is what my provincial government recommends, so all the more power to her for sticking with it all that time.

  • Bottlefeeder

    “Her personal choice not to breast feed!?!” She nursed for six months. As a mother whose post partum depression resulted from my complete inability to produce milk (read 1 or 2 oz a day after 6-7 hours of pumping plus 5 hours nursing daily for 4 months) it’s this kind of bullshit woman on woman emotion violence that disgusts me. Lets start shaming breast cancer survivors who can’t nurse their children too.

    • Belle

      Been there, done that.
      My best friend struggled with breast cancer for 6 years, she had eggs retrieved prior to chemotherapy, and in the end her treatment resulted in a double mastectomy.
      Fortunately, from the eggs retrieved, she was able to undergo IVF once she was out of remission and now has a happy, healthy 2yr old son.

      We were shopping one day a little over a year ago, and she had her little boy, 7 months at the time with her, we stopped into the parents room that this shopping centre had so she could make his formula, sit down and feed him, well, a woman in there felt it was her place to remark on how much better her (very healthy) son would be thriving if she “bothered to give breastfeeding a decent try”.

      I was shocked, sitting there with my mouth open, but my friend (who later told me that this wasn’t her first encounter of this kind so she had her script well rehearsed) simply handed her son to me to continue feeding him, she slipped her hand up behind her t-shirt, slid her bras straps off from underneath and produced a bra, complete with prosthetic breasts for this woman to see, while calmly saying, “It’s called breast cancer, and I don’t see why I should be ashamed to have survived it”

      The woman turned beet red, and hopefully she doesn’t go around lecturing complete strangers any longer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      in the words of my people:
      pwnd

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

    I actually had a lady get snarky with me when I was buying formula for my son (my wife is nursing but had some significant problems with production).
    My wife wasn’t with me so I turned to face her, tried to look like I was barely holding myself together, and told her my wife had died shortly after giving birth.

    Screw folks that get judgmental over stuff like this.

    • Katherine

      Okay, I’m not going to lie, I love this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      I’d normally never have had the chutzpah to do that to someone, but it was almost midnight, I was dead tired, and I was at WalMart for an emergency “OMG he won’t quit crying because he’s hungry and there’s no milk do something” situation. It made me so cranky I didn’t care.

    • K.

      Oh, I love you and your wife.

    • Justme

      That is brilliant.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      That is wonderful.

    • http://twitter.com/darnray Danielle Raymond

      You are a hero.

    • Ellymoemoe

      How did she react? Please tell me she was ultra-awkward!

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      She just got an “oh shit” look on her face, stammered something and walked away.

    • Jenna

      You might be my new favorite person.

    • Dlee

      I love you for this. Even when I was expressing milk, I told my partner to do the exact same thing if I wasn’t around and someone brought it up. I’m almost disappointed no one has said anything to him but this area has low breastfeeding rates so I was actually the one who got more shit. Boo!

    • TheHappyPappy

      Supply problems are a pain for many women, and the judging around formula is really harmful for them. I keep reading stories of women who decided to supplement and were able to keep nursing for months/years, sometimes eliminating the formula altogether. And then I read other stories from women indoctrinated by the woo, convinced that formula was evil poison which would damage their precious babies. They usually struggled for days/weeks/months with inadequate supply and a constantly screaming baby, and all the numerous pains of BF, before caving in and giving formula. Often they just completely gave up on BF altogether.

      It makes me so sad that these lactivists claiming they only want to “help women” are often responsible for shaming mothers with inadequate supply and destroying their breastfeeding experience by demonizing formula. If these women hadn’t been terrified away from supplementation they might have been able to continue BF for longer.

      Obviously the science does generally support the idea that breast is best, but I for one think breast and formula is better than just formula. These lactivists need to stop telling people that formula is a boogeyman that will turn your kid into a moron or a delinquent.

      OK, rant over. Sorry, this BS just ticks me off. >:-(
      Hooray for Kristin and Mayim for their personal choices in infant/child feeding. And way to go Paul, you da man.

  • Andrea

    I am SO sick of those people. It is none of your DAMN business why I nurse or don’t nurse. I don’t need an excuse to breastfeed and I don’t need an excuse not to either. I will do what I will do based on what *I* think it’s best for me and my family. Screw you and mind your own damn tits!

  • Me

    Really, these moms give these organizations a bad name. I thought the idea for these organizations were to give moms who WANT to breastfeed, help in accomplishing that; not guilt tripping and bullying the moms who don’t want to or can’t breastfeed. Hopefully, LLL doesn’t jump on the bandwagon along with these other holier than thou moms, trying to make these moms feel like they’ve failed. You can bond with baby whether you breastfeed, or not. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read! Wow.

  • http://twitter.com/darnray Danielle Raymond

    I am morbidly fascinated but the crazy woman-on-woman judgements in relation to parenting and breastfeeding in particular. So I read this commenting thread on US Weekly–the funny thing is, the “$38430589″ commentor who was the harshest judge and was making comments all over the place finally mentioned that she wasn’t even a parent. Amazing.

    I suggested that she record all the righteous breastfeeding recos she made and guidelines she referenced (including the one she cited from WHO that says you should breastfeed in some capacity until age 7) and stick by them TO THE LETTER once she had a child of her own.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      Till 7? No way in hell. Wife and I are both looking forward to Sam getting on solids.

    • K.

      I’ve heard some people cite the fact that children don’t loose their baby teeth until about 6-7 as proof that women are naturally supposed to breastfeed until then; I didn’t realize it had made it as a WHO recommendation. Huh.

      Still not gonna do it, though.

    • lea

      From the WHO website:
      “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.”

      Also, a LOT of their recommendations regarding breastfeeding are global recommendations and take into account that a lot of women in a lot of countries don’t have access to formula or to a quality water or food source for their children. If I lived in the jungle in South Sudan, then sure, I’d breast feed my child as long as he or she would take it- heaps of kids die every year just from drinking the water, so I wouldn’t be mixing formula up if I could avoid it. But so long as I live in the developed world, where quality food, safe drinking water and formula is available- I’ll make my decisions accordingly.

      Also, the only reason kids have baby teeth is because their little jaws are too small for adult teeth. Once the jaw is big enough, the baby teeth are lost to make room for adult sized teeth. I can’t see how anyone can try and link that to breastfeeding, but there is no limit to the crazy!

    • Kate

      I think the fact that they HAVE teeth is proof enough that they should be chewing food, not living off liquids. Regardless of size of teeth.

    • mls

      Lol, I saw that also. As soon as I saw that I thought that figures.

  • K.

    Motherhood is about much, much more than breasts.

  • eryn

    i stopped breastfeeding when my kid was 2 WEEKS old. I could not do it. it was painful as hell, my nipples were torn to shreds, bleeding constantly, and when the milk came in, it came in on one side. my right breast would grow 5 times its original size, turn dark purple and hard as a rock. my hubby ran in the room many times because I would SCREAM as soon as baby latched on. the pain was too much.
    fuck people who judge. im not ashamed.

    • whiteroses

      Pretty much this. I gave birth to a ten pound baby. If I would have chosen to stick with breastfeeding, he would have been strapped to my breasts 24/7. Plus, I never produced enough to keep up with him.

      What kills me is that people seem to genuinely believe that what other women do with their chests is the business of complete strangers. My in-laws kept badgering me about breastfeeding until I looked at them, smiled sweetly, and said, “If you’re willing to do it, then by all means. In the meantime, my chest is nobody’s business. Obviously, your grandson/nephew is fine, since he’s doubled his body weight. And where am I supposed to get this milk? From thin air?”

    • C.J.

      I had the opposite problem when I had my 11 and 10 pound babies. My body went into superdrive and wouldn’t stop producing milk because the ate so much. I was wet all the time. It didn’t matter how much I ate I was weak all the time. I breastfed them both for the first 31/2 months and them just couldn’t do it any more. Doesn’t do any good to breastfeed if your weak all the time and can’t do anything else. It amazes me that people think it is their business what other people’s babies eat.

  • Mls

    I don’t care if she breastfeeds or bottle feeds. I’m more concerned about her goat milk formula concoction. I highly doubt she consulted a pediatrician especially since she said her fiance Jay Cutler found the formula, which probably means he found it on the internet. From what I read most pediatricians don’t recommend giving a baby goat or cow’s milk before 12 months of age except in circumstances that, that’s the only thing the baby can tolerate. I hope nothing happens to their baby, but they’re taking a risk playing baby formula chemist

    • sigh

      People all over the world give babies goat milk when they have trouble tolerating breast milk. Just because it isn’t common here doesn’t mean it isn’t safe. Do some research into what exactly is in formula, I bet the goat milk concoction is a million times better.

  • Andrea

    LLL and their ilk need to mind their own business. My daughter was a late-term preemie-she was born at 36 weeks, and as a result had zero sucking reflex. I had to pump and finger-feed her with a syringe for the first three weeks, and by then she point-blank refused the breast. I exclusively pumped for her until her first birthday, she didn’t have a drop of formula, and I still caught grief when I was out in public for bottle feeding. Bottom line-it was MY choice, and the people who gave me a hard time needed to mind their own business. There is so much more that goes into being a good mother than breastmilk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alice.longworth.7 Alice Longworth

    What these lactitwats fail to see is that a person who gets pregnant, carries the baby to term and has “signed up” for its care for a MINIMUM of 18 years has already made many sacrifices and will continue to do so. Plus, one always “takes a risk” with their kid every time they choose to take the child outside, in a car, to daycare, or every time they choose a babysitter, what to feed the child, if/what to watch on tv, what school to go to, etc., etc. etc. Bonding with baby via boob v. via bottle is just another “risk” (poster makes it sound like baby is tossed out in the backyard to fend for itself) or as sane people call it, CHOICE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alice.longworth.7 Alice Longworth

    One other thing. I love your post but there is no “requisite” six
    months for BF. It is HIGHLY recommended and a very good idea, but a
    requisite is a requirement. You must do it or you will be penalized (think failure to fill out requisite forms for the IRS). Thankfully the lactitwats have not yet been
    able to implement civil or criminal penalties for failure to BF. (As
    we have read in the comments, the “penalties” of extreme sanctimony and
    intense disapproval are levied even when people do BF or are physically
    unable so we will give them the negligible regard they deserve).

  • EAFCb

    She made it to 6 months, better than most anybody. Sure longer would have been better but its a lot by itself. Babies fed formula from birth are TWICE as likely to die (not counting accidents) as breastfed babies. That’s *here in the US*, not some undeveloped country without healthcare and clean water.
    If all she was doing was exclusive pumping, I am amazed she made it 6 months. Pumping all the time is quite a challenge. Breastfeeding by itself can be a challenge. Most women don’t know where to turn for help, pediatricians and OBs generally know next to nothing about helping women breastfeed. If you made it past 6-8 weeks either you have the help or you ER seriously lucky. A lot of babies nowadays have undiagnosed tongue/lip ties that can easily be fixed but cause serious breastfeeding pain if they aren’t. No one in an average labor and delivery unit knows to check for these. So don’t throw the LLL out completely, they may be all the help you can get when no one else knows WTH they are talking about.

    • Poogles

      “Babies fed formula from birth are TWICE as likely to die (not counting accidents) as breastfed babies. That’s *here in the US*, not some undeveloped country without healthcare and clean water.”
      Yeah….definitely gonna need to see a reference before I believe that, because it sounds like rubbish to me.

    • Not That Rebecca

      Google is your friend.

  • quinn

    I can’t stand these women that think it is their duty to “educate” you on the benefits of breastfeeding. It’s obviously a great thing, but not everyone is able to do it. When I have my next baby I will not hesitate, like I did with my first one, to tell them to suck it when they stick their nose in my business. Every woman’s story is different and personal. How dare they try to impose their judgy advice on a complete stranger’s experience.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LMM67H2BEIRJLH3WDACMUOV3DI reefers the clown

    my son born in 10/87 nursed for a yr with no other food. that is what the doctors suggested. my next son was born 4/89 and he nursed for about 10 months with no food. both weighed in at a whopping 22 lbs at 3 months. both are big healthy boys. one started at 6.15 lbs the other 7.2. i never pumped. i nursed them around the clock for 2 yrs almost. i didn’t find it to be a pain in the azz as ms cavallari has suggested. why not just let your baby nurse instead of pumping. it is so much easier than baby bottles, nipple sterilization etc. we lived and traveled all over on our boat at the time so nursing was the most easiest way

    • AP

      Every body is different. And not everyone is fortunate enough to be a pirate! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gemma.stallan Gemma Stallan

    I agree with most of your points, but for me the worst part of this article is “I’m just waiting for the La Leche League sponsored social media campaign to get Kristin Cavallari nursing again. Because that’s what happens…” Um, what? The LLL is a great organisation and a lot of breastfeeding mothers (whether they breastfeed for 2 years or 2 weeks) would be lost without them. I know some breastfeeding advocates and “lactivists” can be really judgemental and “all-or-nothing” in their attitudes, but we don’t all deserve to be tarred with the same brush. I can agree with the sentiment that a woman who “only” breastfeeds for 6 months doesn’t deserve to be publicly shamed on social media, but I do not agree with the sentiment that ALL lactivists should just go away.

  • Not That Rebecca

    Oh FFS, if every woman would breastfeed for six months I’d be so happy. Giving someone shit for sticking it out to the six month mark is like harassing your kid who got 97% on the math final about that other 3%. Assholes.

    Signed, a lactivist who nursed for 2 years per kid but isn’t an asshole and wishes all mothers the best.