Audrey Roloff, one of the stars of the TLC series Little People, Big World, shared her own experience with breastfeeding on a recent episode of the show. Roloff, who is no stranger to online controversy, told fans in a confessional that she had tried to avoid giving her baby, Ember Jean, anything but breastmilk because she thought that baby formula was “like a sin.”
Audrey Roloff explained that her views on breastfeeding versus baby formula were challenged when she developed an infection in her breast a week after Ember’s birth, says People Magazine.
“The last few days have been really, really tough. I spend 16 hours a day, in a 24-hour period, feeding.”
After going to the pediatrician for a check-up, Audrey Roloff explained that the doctor told her she needed to supplement the baby’s nursing with baby formula, and she was very upset, feeling as if she had failed.
“At our 1-week doctor’s appointment I was like, ‘I’m nursing every hour all night,’ and he was like, ‘That’s not right. At that point, they were like, ‘You need to supplement, ’cause you’re not giving her enough.'”
According to Audrey Roloff, it was her intention to breastfeed exclusively, and she thought that bottle-feeding her baby formula was a terrible thing.
“I was very adamant about breastfeeding exclusively. Formula was, like, a sin. I just never thought I would do that but at the same time, I need to feed my baby, so we have to do it.”
Many fans of Little People, Big World have taken to Twitter and Facebook after the episode aired to express anger and disappointment with the way Audrey Roloff portrays pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, as if it is a competition. Many women thought that by calling baby formula a “sin,” Roloff was judging those mothers who chose to bottle feed rather than nurse their babies.
Little People, Big World fans posted on Twitter that they thought Audrey Roloff needed to check herself after making statements on baby care as an authority.
“I officially cannot stand Audrey!! ‘Formula is a sin’? Get over yourself!!!”
Another fan explained to Audrey that it would be a sin to deprive her child of food, but that it isn’t an issue to provide a nutritional alternative to breastmilk.
“Oh Audrey, formula is not a sin. Fed baby is all that matters.”
In the past on Little People, Big World, Audrey Roloff rankled people when she presented natural childbirth as the proper way to have a baby. Roloff was critical of the use of an epidural for pain relief. But one woman tweeted that nobody gets extra points for suffering.
“I wish someone would inform Audrey that no one gives out points for going thru natural childbirth. It’s about choosing a birth experience — nothing virtuous about unnecessary suffering.”