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Moms and dads know, the best intentions we have for our kids don’t usually go as planned. First-time mom Ashley Tisdale is discovering this just six weeks into life as a mother with baby Jupiter Iris French, and we can totally relate, especially with the breastfeeding challenges she’s experienced.
The actress and singer opened up to Today Parents about what’s she learned so far in the “fourth trimester,” as she and husband Christopher French take care of their daughter, nicknamed Juju.
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“The hardest thing for me was breastfeeding,” Tisdale said. “Because from the very beginning, she didn’t latch. Then I was trying to use a nipple shield and she was getting really frustrated. And then I was frustrated because she was frustrated. So I felt like I didn’t really have that experience that a lot of people have with breastfeeding. Emotionally, it was hard.”
The High School Musical star eventually switched to formula feeding, which she said helped relieve the stress and pressure she felt related to breastfeeding challenges. She has partnered with Enfamil to share her feeding journey with her daughter.
“At that point, I said, well, 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,” she said. “The main priority is her and that she’s getting the nutrients she needs.”
While some women have a blissful nursing experience, others, like Tisdale, struggle. Unfortunately, there has been a pushback against discussing any difficulties with breastfeeding out of fear that it will discourage new moms from attempting it.
“People make it seem very easy,” Tisdale said. “And I was excited, because in my family, my sister didn’t actually produce milk. And I was producing milk. I was like, this is great! But it just wasn’t working. I just thought it was supposed to be a very easy thing to do. … No one prepared me for how hard that is.”
Fans of The Masked Dancer watched Tisdale’s baby bump grow as she appeared as a host on the competition show. The actor also chronicled her pregnancy and now her postpartum life on Instagram and her lifestyle blog Frenshe.
Despite the difficulties with breastfeeding, Tisdale is enjoying to adapting to her new life as a mom. In a makeup-free selfie on April 4, Tisdale began her post: “Slowly healing, slowly finding myself.” She added: “I’m not trying to get back to who I was, there’s no way. I’m on the road to discovering who I’m truly meant to be and there’s something in my daughters eyes that tells me she knows exactly who that’s gonna be ❤️.”
“The first couple weeks are always the hardest, they say, because it’s all new,” she told Today. “But at this point we have a little routine. It’s really nice. I mean, she’s the cutest thing ever.”
The new mom is eager to celebrate her first Mother’s Day this weekend with a brunch at her house with her family.
“I’m so excited,” Tisdale told Today. “My mom lives close, but my mother-in-law and father-in-law just moved closer to us, so that’s even better. And everyone is fully vaccinated, so we’re just really excited to get together.”
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