Melissa Joan Hart’s Breastfeeding Story
Mom of three and star of Melissa & Joey (and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Clarissa Explains It All!) shares why breastfeeding didn’t come easily to her, how and why she stuck it out, and the funniest place she ever nursed.
The Bump: Did you always want to breastfeed?
Melissa Joan Hart: My mom is a big advocate of breastfeeding. She has seven kids and breastfed all of us for about a year each and she was part of La Leche League. So I never really thought about anything but breastfeeding. I know that’s the way my body works, and it’s easy and healthy and it just helps them in so many ways and creates good bonding. Plus, it’s free and you can do it anywhere. You don’t have to remember formula or the bottle when you go out.
So I always found it to be convenient and also just the best option for the baby. But, that being said, I know a lot of women struggle with it and while I did think it was super important, it wasn’t my favorite thing to do. I definitely bonded with my child and felt like I was doing the right thing for him, but it can be very physically and emotionally difficult. Nobody warns you about how difficult it is, especially the first three weeks when there can be pain.
TB: How did you deal with the difficulties?
MJH: Well, the first time around, I actually got a lactation consultant. Then, I realized that once you get through those first painful few weeks and you build up calluses, you’re okay. I would use washable organic cotton nursing pads and try to let them air dry as much as possible and not use too many ointments on them to help with the soreness. I did enjoy holding my child, looking into his eyes and bonding with him.
TB: Do you have any funny breastfeeding stories?
MJH: I think I was the first person ever to breastfeed on the Nemo ride at Disneyland! It was at the opening — I'd just had my son Brady. On that ride, you are back-to-back with strangers, so no one can see your chest, except for the two people on either side of you. It’s a dark ride, its quiet, it’s about 30 minutes long. It’s a great place to breastfeed and get a baby to nap at the same time.
TB: Your youngest son, Tucker, is getting so big. What’s he doing now?
MJH: He’s walking! We had a PJ party the other day to reveal his new room — we recently redecorated it. We were in there getting ready for bed, calming him down, playing and all the boys were wrestling around. Tucker just walked from my arms to my husband’s, took about five steps and then he pretty much has been on the go ever since!
TB: You’re an experienced mom, having put together three nurseries for three different kids. What have you learned along the way?
MJH: Things change and you adapt and you don’t put as much focus on minor things with the third that you do on the first two. We used Disney Paint and I’ll tell you that it’s brilliant because their paints are washable and durable, so you don’t have to have that moment when they start drawing on the wall and you can’t get it off and freak out about it. Lesson learned there!
Plus, more from The Bump: