The Pretty Little Liars alum, who welcomed her first child with husband Patrick J. Adams last October, opened up in a candid Instagram post on Tuesday about her “complicated” relationship with breastfeeding.
Though Bellisario, 33, admitted to feeling frustrated and exhausted by the constant need to pump or regulate what she’s putting into her body, the actress said she ultimately feels lucky to experience the ups and downs, as “not every mother gets that.”
“I would never have thought something so simple would be so complicated,” she began her post on Tuesday, which coincided with World Breastfeeding Week. “My milk came in immediately (so lucky!) my daughter has always eaten well (little bit of reflux but all good) and breastfeeding her was never painful or frustrating (SO RARE)”
“But the mastitis, waking up in the middle of the night to pump, pulling off on the freeway to pump, or hiding in dark corners of houses while pumping or else I can’t sleep it’s SO PAINFUL” she continued, alongside two photos of herself from the breastfeeding process.
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The first photo featured Bellisario feeding her daughter, while the second was snapped in the bathroom as the actress was pumping breastmilk. “The most glamorous I’ve ever looked while feeling like an effing cow,” she joked of the mirror selfie.
“Having to be conscious of everything I put or do not put in my body (it’s been almost two years if you count pregnancy) and that means alcohol, medication, even melatonin!” Bellisario went on. “I can’t even join in all of this cool CBD stuff that’s happening.”
Still, she said, “no matter how much I HATE pumping or how complicated MY relationship with food is, it has been a joy, an honor and a no brainer to feed my daughter this way. 🙌🏽”
“My body has made it easy for us and I have loved every moment I get to spend this kind of time with her. Not every mother gets that,” the actress pointed out before vowing to do what’s best for her and her daughter in the future.
“I don’t know if I will have it for much longer, but I will always take care of her and do what is best for us. (Once again f— pumping. Love you forever babay [sic] girl)” she finished.
Bellisario and her former Suits actor husband, 37, welcomed their first child, a daughter, in October 2018.
The pair both announced the exciting news on Instagram, alongside a photo of the newborn baby girl grasping her parents’ hands. It was one of the only photos to be shared of their daughter, as the couple has remained very private about their child.
“I cannot express how grateful I am. To the people who have protected us and kept our growing family safe and respected our privacy. To our tribe for expanding with grace and exponential amounts of love,” Bellisario captioned the snapshot.
“To my @halfadams for being so supportive during every moment of my pregnancy and her birth. And to whatever incredible force of fate that brought this baby girl into our lives,” she continued.
“I couldn’t be more proud to be her mother,” added Bellisario. “To bring a new girl into this world and to do my best to raise her to be kind, strong and whatever the heck she wants to be.”
In February, however, Bellisario admitted on an episode of Katie’s Crib podcast that when she learned she was expecting a baby girl, she was “floored” and “shocked.”
“Of course I was worried,” she said. “I was thinking about my relationship with my mother. I was thinking about my history with my eating disorder. This is horrifying … I didn’t grow up with girls. It was such a foreign, alien landscape to me.”
Despite this, the star said she found comfort and support in a specific group of people to prepare for motherhood.
“Thankfully, I had a really wonderful group of women around me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become better friends with women,” she explained.
Bellisario also revealed how her and Adams’ initial fears of parenthood vanished once their child arrived and she felt an “instant connection” to their daughter.
“Immediately, I just didn’t want to be apart from her,” she said. “I couldn’t stop staring at her. I felt immediate love, responsibility, admiration for her. She was awesome.”