Since her documentary The Business of Being Born took the world by storm in 2008, television host Ricki Lake has become a celebrity voice for natural birth. Now she's back with Breastmilk, a documentary about the period after pregnancy that opens May 7 in theaters. Directed by Dana Ben-Ari, the film tackles the struggles and triumphs of women trying to breastfeed in America.
And Ricki herself knows from breastfeeding struggles. In an exclusive interview with The Stir, the actress shared what it was like to feel like her body was failing her as she tried to nurse her child, and the extreme lengths she went to to ensure her child got breast milk:
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It's good to hear Ricki acknowledge her own privilege, isn't it? Most moms can't afford to truck in breast milk at those prices! Or have a lactation consultant come to their house!
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But even more to the point, it's good to hear someone actually talking -- openly -- about their struggles to breastfeed, despite their overwhelming desire to do so. Some moms have it easy; baby latches immediately, there's a good supply, and they have all the support they need and more. But for others, the breastfeeding story is much darker. What Ricki, partner Abby Epstein, and Ben-Ari seem to be doing is shining a light where moms most need it.
What was your biggest breastfeeding struggle? How did you mount the hurdle?