Home Town star Erin Napier opened up about her struggle with breastfeeding on Instagram Thursday, sharing an encouraging message to mothers who also cannot breastfeed. The HGTV star advised mothers to brush off any criticism and know that feeding their baby formula isn’t something to be “belittled” because of. Napier and her husband, Ben Napier, welcomed their second daughter, Mae, last week.
“Just a little encouragement for you mamas who weren’t able to breastfeed, like me,” Napier wrote. “Don’t let anyone make you feel less than or belittled because of it.” Napier included a photo of Mae drinking from a bottle, with Mae’s face obscured by the bottle. The couple decided against showing the face of their older daughter, Helen, to protect her privacy and it appears they are doing the same with Mae.
“Helen was a formula baby and has no allergies, has always been a healthy weight, no big sicknesses, slept through the night by 6 weeks, smart as a whip, and is just as in love with and attached to her mama as her breastfed friends are to theirs,” Napier continued. “Formula is our friend at this house! Just watch as these little matchstick legs get chunky and strong.” She added a smiling face with three hearts emoji.
Napier earned plenty of support from her fans, many of whom shared their own experiences. “As a lactation consultant, I support ALL moms and help with whatever feeding method works best! Moms are all wonderful,” one person wrote. “No one looking in on a kindergarten class will be able to point out the Formula Fed or Breast Fed babies. Fed is ALWAYS best,” another commented. “Congrats on your new addition!” Another fan wrote, “On behalf of all is adoptive mamas who had no choice and were shamed. Thank you for this.”
Mae was born on May 28, the Napiers told PEOPLE. She arrived at 8:23 a.m., weighing 7 lbs. 1 oz, and measuring 19.5 inches. She is named after Napier’s Aunt Mae. “While we are excited to have another daughter to love, we are more excited to see the bond she and Helen will have. They’re already so in love with each other,” the couple told the magazine.
Napier isn’t the only celebrity mom opening up about her decision to switch to formula for their newborn. In May, Ashley Tisdale told TODAY Parents she was using formula with her 2-month-old daughter Jupiter. The actress said it was “hard” for her because Jupiter wouldn’t latch and they both became frustrated. “The main priority is the baby, and if the baby is not having a good time in that experience, then it’s not about what I think or what my mom friends think,” Tisdale said. “The main priority is her and that she’s getting the nutrients she needs.”