Shawn Johnson is getting real about breastfeeding.
The retired gymnast wrote about her experience feeding baby Jett James East in a series of Instagram Stories posts on Sunday, Aug. 15.
"When does breastfeeding get easier?" Johnson asked her 3.2 million followers. "It's HARD!"
The athlete then shared what the first few weeks have been like. "There's always one feed a day where he seems super hungry and gives all the cues but then screams bloody murder when I try to feed him," she continued. "It makes me so sad."
Johnson and her husband Andrew East welcomed their son in July. Since then, they've continued to document their day-to-day with their newborn, such as by sharing a video of the birth and giving fans a peek at the nursery.
The Olympian and East, a free agent in the NFL, are also parents to daughter Drew Hazel East. Like with Jett, Johnson has given fans several glimpses into life with the 21-month-old child. Last year, for instance, she spoke to E! News about her feeding journey with Drew.
Initially, Johnson planned to breastfeed Drew. But when her baby girl had other ideas, she fed her bottles of pumped milk. Johnson called a lactation consultant who wasn't the most supportive.
"I was like, 'Well, I bottle-fed her, because there was no way she was eating,'" she recalled telling the consultant. "And it was kind of like, 'Oh, well you've probably already ruined it. I don't think she'll go back.'"
As the 29-year-old star explained to E! News in an interview, "I just felt sad because at that point, as a mom, especially that early on, you're just trying to figure it out. You don't know anything. You don't know how to do anything. And I was trying to feed my kid and I was trying to keep her happy and make sure she was gaining weight. And to feel like I had failed her, I felt so guilty and just defeated."
However, her doctors and nurses reminded her that fed is best. "I started talking to our pediatrician and nurses and friends," Johnson recalled, "and they were all saying, 'Stop stressing. You don't need to breastfeed. Pump. If you can't pump enough, use formula.' It was just so easy for them to say it."
And as Johnson noted in an interview with Motherly, "Every single parent in the world parents differently, as they should."
"I feel like I had so many opinions thrown at me when I was pregnant with my daughter. 'You can't do this' or 'you have to do that.' For everything, literally everything," she said in a June interview with the outlet. "And it's so intimidating. It makes you feel like as a parent you're failing if you can't give that to your child. I feel like, truly if your intention is to love your child as best as you can, you can't go wrong. You're going to do the best you can in your way, and that's how it works for you."