This Post About Battling Mastitis Is As Real As It Gets

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 
Image via Instagram/Lauren Paul

Her Instagram post touches on the pain of mastitis and the difficulty of breastfeeding

New motherhood frequently feels like an uphill battle. Couple being a new mom with being a first-time breastfeeding mom, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Lauren Paul recently opened up about her own struggles on Instagram in an incredibly emotional and relatable way.

Lauren, co-founder of the Kind Campaign, and her husband, actor Aaron Paul, welcomed their little girl a few weeks ago. In her post, she talks about the indescribable love that overcomes all new parents. But she also says she wants to talk about some “other real stuff here.”

“This post labor chapter has been rough at times,” she writes. “Recovering from labor is no joke. I’m definitely on the mend in that department but…breastfeeding. Oh man.”

As a mom who breastfed for 13 months, my nipples are already inverting themselves just thinking about those early days of newborn feedings. You have pretty much no idea what the fuck you’re doing, what they’re doing, how much they’re getting, and if it’s supposed to feel like a thousand needles are clamped down on your boobs.

“While it’s been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, I have developed mastitis twice within 3 weeks,” she says.

Mastitis is an incredibly common, incredibly fucked condition that develops due to clogged milk ducts and makes moms feel feverish and flu-like. Paul says her own fever hit 104 degrees, making her “the sickest she’s ever been.”

“The pain and aches were unbelievable,” she writes. So she decided to use her platform to share her struggles. “I feel like all these very common issues that can come up immediately after having a baby are not really talked about and being here now, I’m feeling a responsibility to share this so that any new mamma-to-be reading this is aware of these potential issues.”

When I was pregnant, I remember dreading breastfeeding more than labor, more than stitches, more than the epidural. I’d heard horror stories about the pain and the demand and it definitely peaked my anxiety. I didn’t take a class, and once my daughter was here and permanently HANGRY, I wished I had. The lactation consultants at the hospital were amazing, but I couldn’t take them home with me and I felt so utterly clueless.

“If I could give an upcoming mother any advice for this chapter it would be to become well-educated about breastfeeding,” Paul writes. She recommends taking classes, doing research, or simply just having conversations with other moms. Between learning about latches, infections, oversupply, undersupply, reflux, dietary changes — it’s A LOT. So it can’t hurt to be as informed as possible going in.

“So with that, I wanna give a big virtual hug to all the mammas out there who have had any type of issue breastfeeding or are dealing with anything physically or emotionally difficult, be it with you or your child,” she says. “You are not alone.”

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