The Bachelor Nation star, who welcomed first child, Dawson Demitri with husband Jared Haibon in January, wrote in a March 22 Instagram post:
“I’m not breastfeeding. I know myself well enough to know that I’m a better mom and therefore Dawson is a happier baby because of this decision. I had a gut feeling during my pregnancy that this would be best for us.”
After a rough pregnancy, Ashley said she made the choice because her body needed a break and also to have her body “be only mine again”. As she put it,
“My body needed a break. It didn’t need to learn to do something new again. Growing a human was enough for this year.”
Looking back at Dawson’s debut, Ashley recalled how she “felt ‘normal’ again” almost immediately after she gave birth and how she’d feared she’d never feel this way again.
“It was awesome how pretty much instantly after birth I felt “normal” again. This is a feeling I feared I’d never feel again.
“I didn’t want my body to have to struggle again if breastfeeding didn’t come easy, which it so often doesn’t,”
the Bachelor in Paradise alum continued.
“I knew the frustration that could come with that challenge wasn’t going to be good for my soul. Dawson deserves the best version of me.”
For Ashley, that meant formula. She added:
“I knew that formula feeding would allow for less middle of the night sleep interruptions and that getting as much sleep as I could would help with my mental health in the delicate postpartum period.
I knew that quality sleep and Jared being able to share feeding duties would lead to increased patience, alertness, calmness, and energy for me. And it truly has. I’m fortunate to say that over the past 7 weeks there have only been a few days I’ve felt tired. It’s made this huge life transition easy to adjust to.”
“I’m lucky that this decision was so well supported by my inner circle. Jared and I were both formula fed from the start and we know plenty of other healthy adults and babies who were formula fed.
Happy to report, Dawson has 100% of the time been excited to slurp down a bottle. I think breastfeeding is beautiful and I’m in awe of the women who choose to do it. I just know the choice I made was right for our family.”
Ashley’s message was greeted with overwhelming support from other moms who praised her decision in the comments.
Married at First Sight‘s Jamie Otis commented,
” I’m so proud of you for choosing to do what is BEST for you and your sweet boy… It’s funny bc in a lot of ways breastfeeding needs to be normalized, but so does bottle feeding.??? Mothering – were damned if we do, we’re damned if we don’t.??♀️”
Colleen Ballinger also wrote,
“??? So proud of you for making this decision! you are a super mom!!!!”
“You are the best momma!” Added Jen Saviano, “Ashley! This is amazing & so refreshing to read. Whatever brings out the best version of you is always going to be what’s best for baby—what a great mama.”
Ashely has always shared her journey with her followers. Before Dawson, who was named after Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character in Titanic, arrived, Ashley documented both the highs and lows of pregnancy, acknowledging that it’s “not often picture perfect.”
She told E! News in July,
“I’ve been very raw and open ever since I’ve been on TV and I think I should continue with that. Plus, I think other people would like to hear about these experiences.”