'Bachelor' alum Carly Waddell praised for raw postpartum post: 'There is such a stigma about breastfeeding'

Carly Waddell is being applauded for sharing a candid Instagram post regarding the stigma surrounding a woman's decision to breastfeed or not, and her unapologetic admission that, after a week, she has decided to switch to formula. 

The new mom-of-two and former “Bachelor in Paradise” star shared a photo of herself, with cabbage leaves, used to relieve pain and swelling, covering her bare chest on Instagram, along with a powerful message just one week after welcoming her second child, Charles "Charlie" Wolfe, to the world with husband, Evan Bass. 

"I had all these hopes and dreams that postpartum would be easier this time," the 34-year-old reality star wrote. "But I still ache. I’m healing. I’m tried."

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Waddell went on to describe the difficulties she faced while trying to breastfeed Charlie, recalling a similar experience she had with her now 20-month-old daughter, Isabella "Bella" Evelyn.

"She cried and cried for months. Threw up. Had gas pains. I breastfed for months because that’s what I was told was 'best,'" Waddell wrote. "When I changed Bella to formula, she was a new, happy little baby."

Waddell says that she followed her mom instincts and decided to try the same formula her daughter eats with Charlie. The change, she says, was instant. 

"I had hopes that Charlie would be different. But it just isn’t the case. I decided to stop breastfeeding and try him on the same formula Bella was on, and within a bottle or two he was so happy. He stopped crying. He could relax. He could sleep. He smiled," Waddell shared.

Despite having a happy and healthy baby, Waddell went on to address the "stigma about breastfeeding" and the possible backlash she would face for deciding to use formula. 

Imaging the negative comments she might receive, Waddell wrote: "If you don’t [breastfeed], you don’t care about your children’s health. You don’t love [your] kids enough. You’re being selfish. You just aren’t being a good enough mom. Honestly, I know my comments will [probably] be full of people telling me all sorts of things I could have/should have done to make it work for us."

However, instead of unsolicited advice from commenters, Waddell is receiving praise for being so candid, and fellow moms are standing up to say that whatever works for her and her babies is best. 

"Fed is best," a fan wrote. "I stopped breastfeeding at 6 weeks and my baby is so healthy, is hitting all her milestones, and is happy & loved!"

"The whole 'breast is best' thing is stupid. It’s all about 'fed is best,'" another chimed in. "I know tons of people who didn’t breast feed (inc my mum) and what matters is that you have a healthy, happy and fed baby. You know what’s right as a mama to your kids."

"Love love love this!!! I had so much mom guilt for not nursing my first. Then I tried with my second and he was allergic to everything I ate. Fed is best! Hope things get easier," a third wrote. 

Waddell wrote that her son Charlie “is soooo happy and that is all that matters.”

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