Kristen Bell says her husband sucked out her clogged duct while she was breastfeeding
Gossip Girl narrator and The Good Place star Kristen Bell just took being open about her breastfeeding experience to a-whole-nother-level.
Speaking on The Ellen Show's online series, Momsplaining, the 41-year-old revealed how her husband, Dax Shepard, once sucked out her clogged duct when she struggling with mastitis while breastfeeding.
Mastitis is a common condition that many women develop when breastfeeding, due to the build-up of milk. "Mastitis is when your breast becomes swollen, hot and painful," the NHS points out, adding that it can lead to flu-like symptoms and clogged milk-ducts.
"I said to my husband, 'I just need you to suck this out','" Bell explained of her experience with mastitis, "We could talk about it. We could be weird about it, or you could just go ahead and nurse."
She continued: "He pulled it out. He had a cup next to him. He was pulling out and spitting into this cup, and I've never been more in love in my life."
While relieving your breast of the build-up of milk is one way to soothe the symptoms of mastitis, the NHS still recommends a visit to your GP. Doctors can prescribe antibiotics to help clear things up, or refer you to a midwife/breastfeeding specialist.
In the episode, Kristen and co-host Katie Lowes also talked about how pregnancy can change your nipples, and how this can impact breastfeeding. "My nipples are inverted, which is an absolute nightmare," explained Katie. "That's tough for the baby," agreed Kristen, to which Katie responded "that's the most painful thing, 'cause they have to suck and pull it out." The Scandal actor even suggested the experience was worse than the pain of childbirth itself.
After talking about all-things-nipple, the duo also explored the impacts of postpartum on mental health. "I should have been on high alert, that if you've had it before it can be worse with the second," pointed out Katie, before revealing that her "scary" experience with postpartum depression "brought me to my knees."
The 40-year-old emphasised the importance of checking in with loved ones and seeking medical attention if you're experiencing any symptoms of postpartum depression, like suicidal thoughts. She also encouraged viewers to challenge the stigma surrounding medications like anti-depressants, which can help those suffering with postpartum depression.
"I started my medication journey and I have to say, thank god for science, friends, support systems and my doctors," she added, "once you get on it [medication] and stabilise, you will feel like yourself again."
If you're struggling with your mental health and need some support, find more information at Mind. Alternatively, call the Samaritans helpline 24/7 for free, on 116 123.
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