Eva Amurri Martino is opening up about an extremely personal experience.
The 31-year-old actress got candid in a recent post on her website, HappilyEvaAfter.com, about her decision to stop breast-feeding her son, Major, when he was three months old. Amurri Martino says she had trouble producing milk due to extreme stress, which started after Major suffered a major accident — his night nurse fell asleep while holding him and dropped him, cracking his head on the hardwood floor.
“My breastfeeding journey got totally thrown off,” Amurri Martino writes. “While we were in the hospital with him, and in the next couple of weeks, my milk supply dipped big time. The stress was just too much for my body, and I had to start pumping to up my supply, as well as use lactation tea to increase it. … But then, my post-partum anxiety began, and my milk supply has been so troubled ever since.”
Amurri Martino says her sense of guilt only exasperated the situation.
“What made this even worse is how much I would blame myself for it all,” she says. “I would put so much pressure on myself to battle the anxiety so that my son’s food source wouldn’t suffer. When I would fall short (which you always do when you try to strong-arm anxiety!), I would feel even worse for ‘failing’ my son.”
Eventually, Amurri Martino’s husband, Kyle Martino, intervened.
“Kyle finally stepped in and asked me to stop torturing myself,” she recalls. “At this point, Major was 11 weeks old and my morale was in the toilet. Between my pumping and feeding schedule, and my hyper-vigilance surrounding Major and his safety, I was barely leaving the house.”
“Even though it made me emotional, I had to agree,” she says of her husband’s suggestion to start giving Major formula. “Freeing up my time would allow me to seek therapy and get more fresh air, as well as start to implement a little more self-care — all things I needed if I was going to begin to get myself back on track mentally.”
Of course, the experience wasn’t easy.
“When I gave him the first bottle of formula, I was fighting back tears,” she shares. “I felt like a failure and was worried that he wouldn’t accept the change. But Major took a few gulps, and then he pulled away from the bottle, and looked up at me. He cooed a bit and then gave me the biggest smile. My heart just burst with gratitude. I felt in that moment like he was telling me it was OK — not to worry, and that he knew how much I love him.”
This isn’t the first time Susan Sarandon’s daughter opened up about her difficult journey being a mother to Major — whom she welcomed in October — as well as her 2-year-old daughter, Marlowe. Earlier this month, she revealed her depression caused by her son’s freak accident which occurred just five weeks after his birth.
“The guilt I bore in the days and weeks after this accident was damaging,” she shared. “I finally made peace with the fact that this freak accident could not have been avoided by me.”
“It’s nearly impossible for me to trust anyone but myself to take care of Major now,” she admitted, adding that she’s forgiven the night nurse, but that she no longer works for the family. “Hearing [him] cry immediately triggers my memories and instigates an immediate panic attack. My appetite has decreased to nothing, and my milk supply goes up and down depending on the stresses of the day.”