At this point, all mothers have heard the endless 'breastfeed vs bottle' debate about how mothers should be feeding their infants. While there are those who will argue for either side of the debate, most mothers agree that fed is best, regardless of the method. The decision to breastfeed or not is a very personal one, and one that is often made for a new mother.
Many women want to breastfeed, only to find out after having their baby that it just isn't possible for them. Women are led to believe that breastfeeding should be easy and come naturally to them, but we all know that isn't always the case at all. Many women fail to produce enough milk, or their child wouldn't latch properly, or the act of breastfeeding was simply too painful to continue with.
There are also many women who simply choose not to breastfeed because of personal decisions. Maybe there was a surrogate involved or adoption, preventing breastfeeding from being an option. Or perhaps the mother simply opted not to breastfeed because it wasn't for her. Regardless of how or why a women does or doesn't breastfeed, that is her decision to make.
Celebrity moms are just like regular moms and have also faced their own struggles with breastfeeding. Here are 15 celeb moms who couldn't breastfeed, and 5 who chose not to!
20 Couldn't: Jessica Biel
Even celebrity mothers who can afford the best lactation consultants and nannies have troubles when it comes to breastfeeding.
Actress Jessica Biel, who is mom to son Silas with husband Justin Timberlake, told Yahoo! Lifestyle that she experienced many issues making it hard for her to breastfeed.
"I had a very hard time breastfeeding and getting good amounts of quality fatty milk. For whatever reason, it was just harder for me," she explained.
Fortunately for Biel, her nanny Connie Simpson, who has been a treasured Nanny to the stars for years, assured her that formula feeding was sometimes exactly what both mom and baby need.
19 Couldn't: Adele
During one of her concerts superstar singer Adele a mother of one, spoke out against the "ridiculous" amount of pressure put on new mothers to breastfeed, admitting that she struggled to feed her son Angelo past 9 weeks.
“It’s [...] ridiculous, and all those people who put pressure on us, you can go [screw] yourselves, alright?," she said.
"Because it's hard. Some of us can't do it!"
"I managed about nine weeks with my [chest] (I mean I trip over them – I’ve got a very good push-up bra). Some of my mates got post-natal depression from the way those midwives were talking. Idiots," she went on.
"Breastfeed if you can but don’t worry, Aptamil’s (formula'a) just as good. I mean, I loved it, all I wanted to do was breastfeed and then I couldn’t and then I felt like, ‘if I was in the jungle now back in the day, my kid would be dead because my milk’s gone.’"
18 Couldn't: Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have three children together, daughter North, son Saint and daughter Chicago. Chicago was born via surrogate so Kim was unable to breastfeed her third child, which it turns out didn't upset the mom of three at all. In fact, not breastfeeding was such a relief for the reality star that it has her contemplating a fourth child. While appearing on Live! With Kelly and Ryan, Kardashian spoke openly about not breastfeeding Chicago.
"I would have maybe one more [child]. I really, really enjoyed the surrogacy process. I will say, when it came to the breastfeeding time, I was like, “Okay, this is the best decision I ever made,”" Kardashian admitted.
"It’s a game changer, having to not go through [nursing] every few hours. I can spend so much more time with the older kids and getting them used to the baby."
17 Couldn't: Jana Kramer
Former One Tree Hill star and current country singer Jana Kramer was one of those moms who just couldn't breastfeed because she didn't produce enough milk.
The singer spoke openly to PEOPLE Magazine about the guilt she felt for formula feeding her daughter.
"Unfortunately, my [breastmilk] never came in."
"I had trouble with that –there’s so much mommy shame about not breastfeeding. She’s on formula. It does help with getting some sleep though. I do the first night feeding and Mike does the next one. We’re sleeping probably like four to five hours. That’s not bad," she said.
She openly addressed the mommy shaming on Motto writing, "[Breastmilk] or formula? Well, like so many moms I didn’t have that option. Shame on me #1: I could only offer Jolie a bottle. She is now 4 months, and I am happy to say she’s doing just fine, despite the lack of [breastmilk]." Kramer is currently expecting her second child, a son due in November.
16 Couldn't: Bethenny Frankel
Bethenny Frankel may be a reality star, businesswoman, philanthropist and mogul, but she admitted that she struggled with breastfeeding like so many other women do.
Frankel revealed that daughter Bryn, who is now 8 years old, was mostly formula fed by the time she was 3 months old, stating that she felt "like a failure" for not being able to exclusively breastfeed.
"[Breastfeeding was] the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life,”
she said, adding, “It’s so time-consuming and you really don’t have your own life … not that having a child you have your own life anyway …. But the feeding and the pumping is very time-consuming," she said.
15 Couldn't: Christina Applegate
After actress Christina Applegate was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, she underwent a double mastectomy.
In 2011 Applegate and then-fiancé Martyn LeNoble welcomed their daughter, Sadie Grace. Despite physically not being able to breastfeed Applegate told PEOPLE that she and her daughter were bonding just fine.
“I felt my heart literally open up for the first time and like wrap itself around her. It was profound,” she said after Sadie's birth. “And I’m more in love with her every minute of the day.” She added, “I’ve had to talk about that word [cancer] more than I’ve ever had to talk about a word in my life,” she says. “After a while you’re like, ‘There’s got to be something else to me.’ ” Being a mom was exactly what Applegate wanted and needed in her life.
“Yeah, now I’m Mom. She’s healed me in so many ways,” she told the magazine. “She’s just made my life so much better. She’s opened my whole soul.”
14 Couldn't: Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie may be a Hollywood A-lister and mom to 6 children, but that doesn't mean that motherhood didn't pose any struggles for her. Like so many other women, Jolie made the choice to stop breastfeeding after it presented many issues for her.
Jolie opened up to British morning show, GMTV about her struggles breastfeeding her twins with Brad Pitt, Knox and Vivienne explaining that at three months she decided to transition the infants to formula full time.
“[That was] about as much as I could do,” she explained. “It’s very hard … very hard. You think, ‘Ah, if anybody can do that, I can do that.’ But it’s a lot harder than it looks in the books. I did [simultaneous feeding] a few times, but [mostly] I would take turns. It just takes a long time.”
13 Couldn't: Khloe Kardashian
Khloe Kardashian, who welcomed daughter True with boyfriend Tristan Thompson in April revealed on Twitter in July that she “had to stop” breastfeeding her daughter. “It was really hard for me to stop (emotionally) but it wasn’t working for my body. Sadly.”
She revealed that she “had a lactation specialist and everything” to try to allow her to continue breastfeeding, but it just didn't work out for her.
She also took to her app to explain the issues she was having. "Because I don’t produce enough milk, I also have to give a bottle with every feeding," Kardashian wrote on her app when talking about a favorite bottle she uses for True. "With the formula I use, I have to give True the bottle within 30 minutes of making it, so it’s amazing to have this machine make it for me. It’s super easy to use—and fast, so when I'm exhausted and can’t even keep my eyes open in the middle of the night, it’s a total lifesaver."
12 Couldn't: Kelly Rowland
Like so many new mothers, Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland struggled with breastfeeding her son Titan after he was born.
"I had my heart set on breastfeeding, but I wasn't producing enough milk," she told Parents Magazine.
"I got down on myself, which I think was mentally limiting my supply," says Rowland. Rowland began to supplement with formula because she simply wasn't producing enough milk.
In her parenting book, Whoa, Baby! she described in detail what happened to her chest as a result of breastfeeding, leading her to see a plastic surgeon. “All that gnawing at your [chest] will take its toll!” she wrote. “My [chest] themselves were so long and stretchy that I sometimes felt like I could’ve swung them over my shoulders.”
11 Couldn't: Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba got candid with Motherly about her breastfeeding struggles with all three of her kids, and what led her to decide that it was finally time to stop for good.
"I felt like he (son Hayes) wanted to nurse 24/7, which was obviously really challenging when you're trying to go back to work," Alba told the website.
"I was actually bummed about it, I really did want to take four months but I got the pilot offer and it just happened to be shooting, so it cut into my maternity leave," she explained about landing a new show.
"Also my milk supply was challenged with him. I felt like I had the most milk with Honor and then it got less with Haven and even less with Hayes. And so that was just tough for me," she said. "I produced a lot of [breastmilk] with my first, but my baby didn't want to feed on me. My second child was into it, but my milk supply was not as much," Alba also told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "And with my third, my supply was not enough for him, so after three weeks I did a combination feed."
10 Couldn't: Coco Rocha
Model and mom of two Coco Rocha received A LOT of criticism after writing about a service she used to have formula delivered to her while on vacation when her daughter, Ioni, was just 6 months old from commenters who shamed the new mom for not breastfeeding. Rocha quickly took to Insta to put the haters in their place, noting that she could no longer breastfeed and that it was really no one's business anyway.
"Getting a lot of unwanted advice based on my last post," the model wrote on Instagram. "Not that this is anyone's business - I loved breastfeeding Ioni for the first 5 months of her life and then one day my milk went dry. It happens to every mom at different times. She's been on formula for a few weeks now and seems to be doing just fine. In the last 4 weeks she gained another 2 pounds, grew another inch and is in the 90th percentile for her age. Anyone who has a negative comment to make on the way I raise my baby will be blocked. This is not a democracy, everyone doesn't get a say."
9 Couldn't: Guiliana Rancic
Giuliana Rancic was another celeb mom who used a surrogate to fulfill her dreams of motherhood. Rancic and husband Bill struggled through infertility issues for years trying to have a baby together. The couple had endured several rounds of IVF as they tried to conceive. Rancic suffered a miscarriage and was diagnosed with cancer which led her to undergo a double mastectomy. Needless to say breastfeeding wasn't an option for the television host.
Guiliana and Bill welcomed their son, Duke, who was born via a gestational carrier in 2012 and the couple documented much of their journey to parenthood on their reality show, Giuliana & Bill that aired on the Style network.
8 Couldn't: Emily Maynard
Former Bachelorette Emily Maynard Johnson knows a thing or two about having babies! The mother of four welcomed three children in 2.5 years with husband Tyler Johnson, joining her how 13 year old daughter Ricki. Despite having lots of practice with breastfeeding, Johnson decided to call it quits when her youngest son was 7 months old.
“Breastfeeding is really hard,” she explained. “I breastfed Ricki, I breastfed Jennings for a while and then Gibson, it’s so hard with other kids running around. I got mastitis which is like the worst, worse than childbirth I feel like,” she told PEOPLE. “I didn’t want to tell anybody that I quit. I was trying to hide formula,” Maynard said. “I saw all of these beautiful breastfeeding pictures, I don’t know if I would post a picture like that, but I would love the option. I wanted to so bad.”
7 Couldn't: Jamie Lynn Sigler
Former Sopranos star Jamie Lynn Sigler is all grown up and a mom of two sons now, and she revealed back in April in an emotional Instagram post that due to her Multiple Sclerosis she was forced to stop breastfeeding her son.
"All my fellow mommies that deal with MS or anything that causes them to have to make choices they didn’t necessarily want to.. this is for you," she began her post. "I’m having to stop breastfeeding soon so I can get back on meds. The truth is, the toll of two kids and a newborn lifestyle is not the easiest on me.. and I need some help. What sucks is that I live with a disease that makes decisions for me a lot , and with breastfeeding I took SUCH pride that I was able to do something really awesome with this body that I am constantly at war with. This little guys tummy is struggling with the formula, and I KNOW we will both be fine, but I’m emotionally having to deal with the guilt and sadness that is coming along with weaning us both off this magical time."
6 Couldn't: Elisa Donovan
Actress Elisa Donovan opened up in her blog on PEOPLE about her decision to stop breastfeeding, explaining like many others that the shame involved in stopping kept her doing it longer than she wanted to. After writing about how she was completely prepared to breastfeed as long as possible, she wasn't prepared for the pain that would come along with breastfeeding.
"It also goes without saying then, that I was utterly and completely unprepared for the reality that I couldn’t do it," she wrote about breastfeeding. "Not only was it not working, and excruciatingly painful for me beyond anything imaginable (yes, even beyond the pain of labor), I also realized that (wait for it, this is gonna be a doozy) … I HATED IT. There. I said it. I didn’t like it," she wrote.
"I thought it was weird and I couldn’t wait to stop. But the tremendous guilt and shame that I felt compelled me to continue." After one week Donovan decided to transition her daughter to formula. "If you had told me in the past that I would one day feed my child out of a can for the first year of her life, I would have told you in no uncertain terms that not only were you very, very wrong, but that clearly you didn’t know me at all. Now, I might say something like … Well, I guess you never know."
5 Chose Not To: Allison Holker
Dancing with the Stars pro Allison Holker, who is married to actor and Ellen DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss, was unapologetic when explaining to PEOPLE about her decision to formula feed their son instead of breastfeed.
“We have found our own path with our child, and honestly, the milestones he’s hitting are right on target and he’s laughing and he’s giggling and he is rolling over,” Holker, 28, told PEOPLE. “More than anything, he is a people person. He loves the attention, he loves people holding him.” Boss added that he loves being able to share those special feeding time bond with his son.
“It’s a really dope time for me to get a little bit of quality time,” he added. “[Allison] carried him around and grew him for nine months. So for me, at night, if she doesn’t get up — and also, I’m so paranoid that any sound he makes, I jump out of the bed — those are the times that I get to [spend] with him,” he stated.
4 Chose Not To: Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez is no stranger to the spotlight, but it was when she revealed her stance on breastfeeding that people really had a lot to say to the superstar.
In 2008 Jenny from the Block gave an interview with PEOPLE magazine where she very succinctly explained why she chose not to breastfeed her twins Max and Emme.
"My mom didn't breastfeed, and I think that was the thing for me. You read and figure out what’s the best thing for them.” Despite Lopez very clearly making the decision that was right for her, many people felt their need to chime in with their own opinions on how wrong Lopez was.
3 Chose Not To: Molly Sims
When model and actress Molly Sims welcomed her first child, son Brooks, she didn't expect her newborn to be born with a tooth! During an appearance on Anderson Live she explained to host Anderson Cooper how difficult breastfeeding was for her.
“Early on in the hospital, they really want you to breastfeed, so I’m trying everything,” she said. “And I’m like, ‘Gosh, this really, really hurts.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, we know.'”
“I did nipple shields, nipple guards, supplemental nursing system, it was horrible,” the now mom of three said before explaining that she simply couldn't deal with the pain anymore. “He was literally like a vampire on me for three months,” she said. “Cut to I’m not breastfeeding and I’m proud of it.”
2 Chose Not To: Beyonce
Women are inundated with 'breastfed is best' messaging the minute they get pregnant, and while we all know this, not all women can dedicate a year to breastfeeding their child, especially one as busy as Beyonce.
When Queen Bey welcomed daughter Blue Ivy with husband Jay-Z the superstar singer breastfed for 10 weeks before unapologetically switching to formula. She also wrote on Instagram that she breastfed twins Sir and Rumi, but didn't specify how long. Given that Beyonce is one of the hardest working women in showbiz, it should come as no surprise that she chose to breastfeed for the first few months before opting to formula feed.
1 Chose Not To: Whitney Port
Former reality star Whitney Port has been very open and honest about her difficulties with breastfeeding, documenting them on her web series, "I love my baby but..." Port tearfully described the incredible pain she experienced trying to feed her son, and even after discovering he was tongue tied things didn't get better.
"From the day I started, it never felt right. From the pain of latching, to mastitis, to the overwhelming burden of time spent pumping, I tried and tried and suffered from that self-imposed guilt from quitting that so many of us new moms suffer from," she wrote on her Instagram page." At 5 months I finally decided to introduce formula into Sonny's life," she revealed. Port writes that it was definitely the best decision for her and her family.