Elaina Bellis is a mom and art director with a gorgeously curated Instagram account—but she decided to get really real on her page recently, exposing a truth about motherhood that isn’t hidden behind a sepia filter.
Bellis’s Instagram is chock full of photos of her adorable children and at first glance, anyone would think she has the perfect mommy life—a supportive and loving partner, beautiful children, a sweet family unit—but Bellis revealed a struggle she’s had that isn’t so picture perfect. And it’s one so many women deal with but few ever discuss.
“I tried everything in my power to build a supply for my girls,” she posted. “Pumping, lactation consultants, mothers milk tea/vitamins, formula wired to my nipples, up all hours of the night and having emotional breakdowns not understanding why my body couldn’t build up any milk over the last month. Due to the way my birth went and excess of fluids in my body and trauma, my breasts aren’t able to supply even enough milk for one baby. I never thought I would have problems breastfeeding and realize now I did the absolute best I could do.”
She thanked her friends who helped supply her twins with their milk, and urged other moms to talk about the issue. “I also feel like people don’t talk about how hard breastfeeding can be and if you can BF you’re incredibly lucky,” she said. “I pump all day to be able to provide my girls with one ounce of my milk, and I’ve excepted that’s the best I can do. All I can give them is my love and that’s most important.”
Bellis’s admission is so important. The number of women who struggle with breastfeeding is staggering—and this is often the reason women stop breastfeeding. According to a 2015 study by Lansinoh, most women in the US (74%) believe breastfeeding is the best way to feed their babies, yet only 49% were able to breastfeed for as long as six months.
This post helps so many of them feel like they’re not alone. Maybe it will even be the encouragement another young mother so desperately needs and that’s a beautiful thing…perhaps even more beautiful than Bellis’s perfectly put-together Instagram account.