After giving birth on Oct. 26 to her son, Bo, Heyona Cho is opening up about her struggles with breastfeeding. It's something many moms can relate to but is rarely spoken about, so in a brutally honest and emotional post, the new mom is detailing her "unspoken reality." She asks for support from other moms who have gone through similar struggles — both physical and emotional — and encourages them to not hold back or be ashamed of their breastfeeding issues.
The feeling you get when your newborn cries for milk is hard to describe. The heartbreak you feel when your newborn cries and you don't have milk is even harder to describe. Nevermind that the nipples are cracked and sore, baby's cries sound like ringing alarms INside the brain and I'm desperate to do anything to alleviate his discomforts and meet his needs. When the night hits, I have to make a choice to supplement with formula or let him sleep hungry. Or more like wake up every hour, stress and fuss to calm his hungry cries, fight with my loving partner, and feel like a failure--shame. And still, which ever choice we make, nobody wins--shame. What the hell is in formula? Why does this stuff smell like rubber? Will my milk ever come in? Am I doing something wrong? Nobody ever told me. Nobody ever told me about the challenges of breastfeeding.
Heyona is detailing her personal new mom insecurities, but is asking the community to stand together. "This must be an unspoken reality for SO many new moms. I speak to myself and whoever may be struggling to feed their newborn. Feel no guilt or shame as you continue into your journey of motherhood," she wrote on Instagram. She also wrote about her feelings of failure as a result of not being able to provide her son with enough milk and the need for all new moms to speak about this familiar struggle.
"God is good and community is even better. Because milkmaids are a thing and I have sisters. Sisters with babies who love me and love my baby!! Community community community community," Heyona wrote. After seeing the positive reaction to her Instagram post, Heyona told the Huffington Post that she wants to create a website and build a platform for all breastfeeding moms to find a safe place to discuss these issues that are rarely spoken about.
"When I had the baby, I was told that milk should come in approximately three days — that a thick and sweet substance called colostrum would nourish the baby in very small yet potent amounts until a more substantial flow of milk comes to replace it," she said. "But I didn't know that often times, milk production takes longer than three days. . . I wouldn't have felt so inadequate for not being able to produce milk in the allotted 'time limit.'"