Nikki Reed: Fed is best whether that’s with formula or breastfeeding

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A couple of weeks ago, Nikki Reed shared a beautiful photo where she’s nursing her daughter, Bodhi, 20 months, in matching white linen jumpsuits her mother-in-law gave them. Nikki wrote in the caption that Bodhi doesn’t like baby food at all and prefers finger food. She said that Bodhi wanted to continue to nurse and that she often gets asked when she’s going to stop breastfeeding her. The majority of comments were kind and supportive of her. Many people mentioned baby-led weaning. It’s worth noting that Nikki was only sharing her experience and that she never mentioned other mother’s choices only to say “whatever you’re doing you are doing it right!” Of course Nikki got some judgment for it because it’s the Internet and that’s what happens. (See Pink. Of course that’s somewhat different.) In a new interview with E!, Nikki clarified her stance on breastfeeding and spoke a little about the topic of mom shaming. She was so thoughtful about it. I really like her.

[Nikki's] post prompted mostly positive reactions but also some mom-shaming about breastfeeding toddlers as well as criticism of moms who choose not to breastfeed their children at all.

“I don’t believe that mom-shaming is ever OK,” Reed told E! News. “Fed, whether that’s with formula or breastfeeding or whatever works for your child and for you is what’s best. All moms are just trying to do what’s best. And for some moms, breastfeeding just doesn’t work out, whether that’s an issue with milk supply or going back to work right away or whatever that thing is, and it is not our job and responsibility as parents to judge or shame other parents. It’s our job and responsibility to support and spread information and uplift and share tips.”

“Children are born who they are born, that’s the one thing that I think I’ve really discovered is you’re a part of it, sure,” she said. “And you’re nurturing that development and you’re hopefully in some way encouraging that development but they are who they are, and they gravitate towards what they gravitate towards. That’s why I wrote that piece on social media a couple of weeks ago just about our journey with food is because I’m a first-time mom, this is my first child so I’m learning as I go.”

In her Instagram post, Reed also said Bodhi had recently shown interest in also eating food and didn’t like it served mushy, so the actress took someone’s advice and started her off on finger foods.

Reed was recently named a celebrity advisor to Raised Real, a plant-based baby food meal service focused on helping parents eliminate time-consuming tasks of making baby and toddler food while maximizing nutrition.

“No one told me that not every baby wants to eat mushed banana and jarred sweet potatoes,” she told E! News. “I didn’t realize that. I thought it was that you go from breastfeeding to mushy food to solid food to finger food and that’s just the way that is it.”

The Twilight star added, “That’s something that I discovered that all kids are different and they’re all on their own path, and I really felt compelled to share that because the second a mom shared that with me and I discovered Raised Real, that was what led me to discovering Raised Real was finger foods. The second I discovered that, I was like, ‘Wow, what a relief.’”

“I was a genuine fan of the company,” she told E! News. “I was just another mom who discovered a wonderful and let’s face it, convenient—which is what all moms are looking for—stress-free way of incorporating this into our daily life.”

[From E!]

I agree with her that children have a lot of traits inborn and that we should nurture those. She reminds me a little of Jenna Dewan, who just said she’s a hippie and she knows it and wasn’t at all defensive or haughty about her choices. This is how you do it, celebrities and all humans. You say we’re all learning, we’re all making hard choices, and that we should do what’s right for us (within reason and that doesn’t include not vaccinating our kids). I also like that she was able to parlay this into an endorsement deal that seems genuine for her. This is an actual issue she faced with her baby and it sounds like she used that product and either reached out to the company or they contacted her. This seems like a smart, genuine endorsement and those are the best kind.

As for her relationship with husband Ian Somerhalder, she said, in part, “We have a very similar approach to lifestyle and to parenting” and “he’s a very, very special, very caring person and I knew that by the way he parented our animals prior stepping into this chapter.” My spidey sense is tingling that’s all I’m saying about that.

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Photos credit: Backgrid, WENN and via Instagram

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38 Responses to “Nikki Reed: Fed is best whether that’s with formula or breastfeeding”

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  1. Veronica S. says:

    That’s probably the best way I’ve heard it stated, honestly. Yes, there are benefits to breastfeeding that you won’t get with formula, but in the era of modern medicine, does it really matter all that much? As long as the kid is cared for properly, it shouldn’t matter.

  2. Gutterflower says:

    That bfeedinf pic is such a sweet shot

  3. gemcat says:

    ” Hmmm…yikes. Shouldn’t we be talking about this?”.. is her questionable stance, at least back in late 2015..on flu vaccinations.

    So I would keep that in mind when saying she is thoughtful when it comes to parenting. I am hoping she learnt from that though, and that maybe it is not the case anymore..dunno?

    https://twitter.com/nikkireed_i_am/status/673189750212321281

    • Wilady says:

      People can grow and learn a lot in five years. We all have asked questions, learned we were wrong, went oops, and carried on.

      Also, she literally said we should talk about it, have a conversation about it, which I appreciate. She didn’t say she’s anti vax, just concerned about ingredients. I’m pro vax but that doesn’t mean I’ll let them shoot me up with anything. I want conversations about what is in them so we can evolve into a healthier more conscious society. I’m not that worried about a four year old tweet.

      • Lucy says:

        She’s just asking questions /s.

      • gemcat says:

        and I left it open-ended for that reason, saying oh I hope she did learn from that.. but also noting it in relation to the commentary that she is thoughtful. Basically it was me “bitching” about that yeah, she might be now..she wasn’t in the past about this though.

        The tweet presented something as facts, that to me is not questioning or asking questions. The image/chart equates methyl mercury with ethyl mercury which are two different things..just read the comments to the tweet..but sure, I’ll see my way out.

    • Wilady says:

      Gemcat I do see you too are asking questions. I’m sorry. I may have jumped a bit into diplomat mode. Cancel culture drives me crazy because I too have made stupid mistakes and even reading my journals from years ago is cringey. I see you though. No hard feelings, sis.

  4. launicaangelina says:

    When my baby was 10 days old, he started crying nonstop. He would quiet down when I was breastfeeding him. As soon as I took him off, because I thought he was full, he’d cry nonstop again until he latched back on. Each time he latched on lasted longer and longer. This happened for a few hours. My husband and I were so scared and had no idea what was going on. We called the emergency pedi line for advice.

    Finally, it dawned on me that I wasn’t expressing enough milk and I remembered we had some sample formula in the cabinet. We fed him with formula and he was so peaceful and content afterwards. We were so relieved to learn he was simply hungry. For five weeks, I mixed breast milk and formula. Ultimately, I just couldn’t produce enough, so fully switched to formula after.

    I never felt immense pressure to strictly breastfeed, but wanted to try. My mom had mentioned before that she never could produce enough milk for breastfeeding, so I knew that would possibly be the case for me. After going through what we did, I always tell new moms that “fed is best – period”.

    Also, I also sense that something is off with Nikki and Ian, which sucks because initially, I liked them together.

    • Wilady says:

      Sorry that happened and you had such a hard time.

      Babies also go through periods where they need to increase supply and will nurse for a couple days nonstop before going back to normal, and that could have been that.

      Btw You are an awesome mom and did exactly what you needed to do. I’m not knocking your decision at all. You did perfect. Just throwing that out there for others experiencing the same thing.

    • Marlene says:

      I had a somewhat comparable experience with my son (minus the scary episode). But I got ill with a nasty cold/chest infection when he was 3-4 weeks old (lasted two weeks) and we had to supplement with formula because I couldn’t keep up. So he got a bottle “for dessert” after I had fed him. Afterwards, when I got better (and he got bigger), we kept giving him an extra bottle, because he had a very healthy appetite. We’d been “warned” about supplementing with formula because he might prefer formula over breast milk, but that never happened. But the moral of the story is that some kids just have a very healthy appetite, and there is no shame in not being able to keep up.

  5. Emily says:

    I agree, fed is best.

    There’s actually some evidence that breast milk contains a lot of the chemicals we put in our own bodies through processed foods and beauty products. So breast milk, while so so beneficial, isn’t perfect. There’s no shame in using or supplementing with formula. I’m due any day now and breastfeeding already gives me some anxiety – will I make enough, will the baby latch, do I eat healthy enough to provide “good” milk, will it hurt, when can I start pumping so I get a break etc. Def not for everyone.

    • gemcat says:

      Fed is best, and good luck with everything Emily! I hope you find what works for you and that you feel supported and strong in that choice, it sounds like a very healthy grounded way to enter into the newborn stage of parenting -kudos to you.

    • Andrea Wenke says:

      I breast fed both my kids for 2 years a piece. Breastfeeding can hurt and can be extremely painful when initiating (my nipples bled). At the first signs of discomfort contact a Lactation Consultant – ask about one after delivery, even. La Leche League has free support too. If you can make it through the first weeks (assuming you’re producing enough milk and baby is healthy), stick with it because it’s very rewarding, easier than mixing a bottle and huge bonus: you burn a ton of calories nursing. Good luck.

    • Betsy says:

      The chemicals in breast milk also come from pollutants in the environment. I don’t know why the message around nursing is for each woman to keep her body as pure as a temple when in reality if we don’t start giving some teeth to the EPA and actually cleaning our environment, it’s a penny wise and pound foolish activity to remove “toxins” from our diet and homes.

  6. GoTDang says:

    Yep. “Breast is best” is so shaming, problematic, and the only part that is scientifically supported about the claim is the immune protection:Breast milk only protects babies for SIX MONTHS. The nutrition of formula is the same. The baby’s ability to digest formula is exactly the same, unless your baby has a health issue (which will most likely be present if it is on a breast-only diet).

    Waaaaay too many gay couples, working couples, single dads, grandparents, aunties, and adopted parents are feeling like failures becaue of the complete and utter ignorance and privilege of stay at home mommies and anti-vaxxer morons who have no idea what a blessing and evolutionary gift formula is.

    If you have extra milk, BY ALL MEANS donate to a milk bank. Otherwise, stfu!

    • gemcat says:

      honest question GoTDang, what do you mean by “unless your baby has a health issue (which will most likely be present if it is on a breast-only diet)”? ..are you saying that breast-only is more likely to bring on health issues, isn’t that just shaming the other way?
      Or did I misconstrue your words here?

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I can’t speak for GoTDang, but I think she meant that if a baby has digestive issues, it could present itself regardless of the source; breast or formula.

      • GreenBunny says:

        That’s how I took it too, that if there is a health issue, it’s not the source of food, i.e., breastfeeding or formula feeding didn’t cause the health issue, and that the health problem would present itself regardless to what the food source was. i.e., breast milk or formula wouldn’t have prevented anything. So neither one is better than the either and feed your baby however you want to and need to.

      • gemcat says:

        Then I take that back, I was honestly confused by how it was phrased but having read your takes there Paranormal and Greenbunny I get how it also could be, and probably was, meant another way. Thank you.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I had to read it twice to make my inference. LOL. Don’t function well in the morning.

    • Betsy says:

      Such an expansive post and then you have to slap at “stay at home mommies” AND lump us together with anti-vaxxers? I beg your pardon? This stay at home “mommy” believes in full vaccinations on the schedule and that FED IS BEST. Think next time before you write such an a narrow minded post.

  7. Elena says:

    I made it 14 months with BF but also supplementing when needed. Going back to work, pumping was the hardest part. I also had mastitis once and almost fainted!

    Everyone has to do what is best for them. My baby also hated the expensive formula, but liked the CVS brand.

  8. BchyYogi says:

    I’m obsessed w “Call the Midwife”, a netflix series that grapples w this very issue. The whole midwife thing was a trend when my kiddo was born in our very liberal community. Some moms were on board, but it was too foreign for me- I love hospitals, but now I understand how midwifery was once a mainstream health service. Anyway, the series is vintage madness from 40s to 70s, and for both style and substance I highly highly recommend. One reviewer called it “homely”, but I find it refreshing, soulful & historically enlightening.

  9. Lucia says:

    I’m not a mother. I wish I could be one but I made a decision to set it aside.

    The whole Mommy Wars thing bugs the hell out of me. Why does it matter how you raise your children or if they’re breastfed or bottle fed as long as you love them?

    • Betsy says:

      Because we all have insecurities and it makes some people feel more secure in their insecurities to sling $hit.

      Frankly, I prefer just to sit over here and be certain that I’m doing it wrong and every one else is doing it right, but that’s just me.

  10. Wow says:

    I completely blame my postpartum depression on the pressure to breastfeed. I felt like I literally lost my mind over it. I was trying to feed two premature babies who I was constantly told NEEDED the breastmilk for their best chance at survival.

    Cue 8 weeks after coming home I spilled 16oz of breastmilk because my hands were shaking from exhaustion trying to close the bag and my reaction was to fall on the ground and smash my head into the ground until i was bleeding and my husband physically had to restrain me.

    I cannot stand the breast is best crowd. You know whats not best? Psychosis.

    • Wilady says:

      Hugs to you. That period can be so effing hard. Hope things are better. ♥️

      • Wow says:

        Much better, the first 3 years were a constant health crisis and guilt of being the working parent because I have the higher income. All worth it though. When I see feeding issues in my ER I definitely share my experience.

    • Elena says:

      Yes! I did the stupid pintrest power pumping thing and that’s how I got mastitis. Never again.

    • Amanda F says:

      I’m so sorry. That sounds so stressful.

  11. elimaeby says:

    Yeah, her husband 100% gives me the creeps. I will not be surprised when something comes out on him. I can’t help but really like her, though. She’s really grown on me since the Twilight era.

  12. snowqueenM says:

    These comments are so refreshing (at least at the time I’m writing this). I had huge trouble breastfeeding with my first. Our lactation specialist recommend we supplement from the get go, so every feeding was this incredibly complicated process of half formula and half breast milk via nipple shields and medical grade tubing. It was an emotionally draining process, because I felt like a complete failure for not being able to do something that everyone else seems to do with such incredible ease. Even today, I feel ashamed with myself.

    I’m pregnant again with a surprise baby, and the thought of going through that again is like mental anguish. I just want to formula feed so I don’t have to go through that intense shame, depression and anxiety again, but the judgement from others just feels too great. I hope someday we’re able to move past this as a society.

    • Kelley Bentley says:

      I’ve had 3 kids and all three were formula fed. All 3 healthy. I have a sister in law who only believes in breastmilk and both her kids were sick all the time. Do what’s best for you! Don’t sacrifice your mental health for someone else’s opinion.

    • Deedee says:

      Enjoy your surprise baby and don’t worry about what others think. You’re the mom. Whatever you choose that helps you and your baby be healthy and happy is the best choice.

    • Betsy says:

      You’ll have to buck the peds and nurses and OBs (and with my third I felt like they’d gotten really intense about nursing when I was ever more on the fence) but you do you. Do not wreck the babyhood with a sweet surprise baby by nursing against your will.

  13. Sleanne says:

    I love love love that shot of her and the baby feeding. I am so jealous I don’t have any pictures of me feeding my kids and I really wish I had something like that shot. Bit late now…

  14. Amelia says:

    Can I just say PREACH LADIES! I am an L&D nurse, and when I ask patients their feeding plan I get so many looks of fear/guilt when people say bottle. They seem so surprised when I cheerfully say “Ok!” to whatever they’ve decided. Fed is best and I could care less how. You can’t take care of your baby if you aren’t taking care of yourself. We ship you off home after 1-2 days, no milk supply in yet, minimal teachings and hope for the best. It’s hard and we need to stand together as women, not judge and be kind to one another. Love this conversation. Great post!