Bethenny Frankel: Breastfeeding “Is The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Done”

Bethenny Frankel: Breastfeeding "Is The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Done"

Known for her popular role on Real Housewives of New York, Bethenny Frankel is set to create her own drama in Bethenny Getting Married? The new docu-series chronicles her day-to-day life: “It’s not big blowouts over cocktails or charity events,” the 39-year-old breakout reality TV starlet says, and adds, “It’s more dedicated to the struggles I go through: Being 39, getting engaged, getting pregnant, doing everything backwards.”

In a press conference to promote her new spinoff, Bethenny opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about entering motherhood: “It’s been very fish-out-of-the water.” The new mom also dished about her pregnancy (“I didn’t read any of the books”), her struggles with breastfeeding, and how she was once a commitment-phobe “runaway bride,” but is now “loving” her life with new hubby Jason Hoppy and their 3-week-old daughter Bryn.

CBS: We were so shocked when Bryn arrived 5 weeks early. Do you know why she was born premature?

BF: “I thought it was because I had been doing walking and yoga and active. The doctor said that there’s only two reasons that a baby would be premature and it’s either infection or unknown. They had no idea why [my] water broke early. I like answers and I have no idea.”

CBS: How is Bryn doing now?

BF: “She’s great. She’s perfect, she’s so sweet. She’s a really calm and good baby. I think because I’m so crazy, she’s just really calm. She’s definitely well over 6 pounds now. She eats so much so she’s making up for being so small. She was 5 lbs, 7 oz, so she’s well over 6 lbs now.”

CBS: Are you breastfeeding?

BF: “I am which is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. It’s so time-consuming and you really don’t have your own life…not that having a child you have your own life anyway. I haven’t even taken a shower today. I’ve been editing my book and [working]. But the feeding and the pumping is very time consuming. It’s worth the sacrifice and I love it and I love the time with her and I know it’s healthy and I should be on the cover of Juggs magazine. It’s rewarding, but it’s definitely challenging.”

CBS: We hear you’re also supplementing?

BF: “We supplemented when she was in the hospital. First of all, she was small and in the hospital they were feeding her in the NICU. I was going down there every 2 hours, but I had had the C-section so I couldn’t move the first day. It’s been very fish-out-of water.

So we started with me just getting the hang of breastfeeding and her doing the formula. And then we came home and she was spitting up all the time. Me being a natural food chef, I know about food intolerances and I could tell that something was wrong. Then we put her on soy which she was good with in the hospital, but once she started breastfeeding, it started getting better. She’s really now all on breastfeeding, but lots on the bottle.”

CBS: Are you feeling exhausted?

BF: “I’m feeling really exhausted because she sleeps when she’s supposed to sleep but they get up every 3 hours. Sometimes she goes 4 hours. Even if I can get a night’s sleep – because she’s drinking from pumping – I have to pump too because I’m all full. I didn’t realize that even if you have help with the baby, you still have to get up. So no, I’m not sleeping much.”

CBS: Do you have a nanny?

BF: “No not a nanny, we have a baby nurse. She’s here the whole entire time which is really great because I had never really changed a diaper, I had never really held a baby, so it’s been a real learning curve. Jason and I change her and feed her and bathe her. But it’s nice to have a baby nurse to tell you that you ‘have’ to get the burp out every time, or that you don’t put alcohol on the bellybutton thing. It’s comforting to have someone explain to you what’s going on.”

CBS: Were you relieved it’s a girl and how did you choose the name Bryn?

BF: “I was very relieved it was a girl! I really did want a girl for a number of reasons. We chose the name Bryn because my husband’s brother’s name was Bryan. He passed away in a car accident 19 years ago. I was with Jason visiting his brother at the cemetery when we were dating and I heard that name and I logged it and thought it would be a really nice name for a boy or a girl.”

During the press conference, Bethenny also commented on various hot topics such as her fellow RHONY costars. Where exactly does Kelly Bensimon stand on the crazy scale? Bethenny’s diagnosis: “She’s certifiable.” She adds, “Kelly’s got this nonsense bullying angle she’s working right now which is idiotic. She’s a 41-year-old woman! So anything she says you can’t really even listen to because she’s out of her mind.”

Bethenny considers giving birth less painful than observing Kelly’s infamous St. John breakdown. “The C-section was less painful than being away with Kelly. It was horrendous. Horrendous.”

And what about Jill Zarin‘s bogus birth announcement where she Tweeted that Bethenny gave birth a boy? “It wasn’t like she had to pick the winner of the Kentucky Derby,” Bethenny jokes. “All she had to do was do a 50/50 guess and she still didn’t get it right.”

Will Bethenny be saying farewell to RHONY now that she’s starring in her own series? “I don’t believe in staying at a party too long and I just don’t know what else there is to do there,” Bethenny says, and adds, “If I had a lesser part in it and I just dipped in and dipped out occasionally, then maybe. I have nothing to say to Jill. I see Alex and Ramona on my show which is nice and pleasant. The purpose I have on RHONY is to comment on how I feel. You’ll be seeing my life [on my new show], so I just don’t know what I’d be doing there.”

In reaction to the criticism about losing too much weight just 3 weeks after the birth of baby Bryn, Bethenny says, “You can’t win for losing and you have to take it with a grain of salt.” She adds, “I gained 35 pounds when I was pregnant and I gave birth 5 weeks early, so I probably would have been at 40 pounds which is a completely healthy amount to gain.”

But is she sending out the wrong message to women? Bethenny disagrees: “It sends out a message to be healthy before, during and after your pregnancy. I don’t think it’s a bad message. I didn’t do anything drastic and I didn’t do anything different.” She adds that her books help “women stay naturally thing without obsessing about it, without dieting and without worrying about it.” Bethenny adds that “I was in the hospital for 6 days,” and explains that she didn’t eat for many of those days due to labor and her C-section, which lead to a 6-7 pound weight-loss. She adds that the remaining weight was “baby stuff like water and things.”

She says that throughout her pregnancy she ate well, but not without indulgence. She adds, “I ate cheesecake, but not for dinner if I had it for lunch.” She says, “They say you should eat about 300 more calories a day and I’d say I ate about 4-500 more a day.” She adds, “Walking, doing yoga and just being normal,” helps the weight come off. Bethenny says that the people who have a “major struggle probably go off the rails and go to McDonald’s and Taco Bell.” She closes with, “I didn’t do anything different. I did exactly what I do all the time.”

Did Bethenny read all the pregnancy and motherhood books prior to Bryn’s arrival? “I did not read any of the books because I feel that when you read those books, you think all of those things are going to happen to you and then you expect it,” Bethenny says, and adds, “I didn’t have hemroids, or constipation, or throwing up, or lower back pain. The same thing goes for motherhood. If I have an issue, I’ll ask my girlfriend. But in general, I’m not a big fan of unsolicited advice. I don’t know any perfect people. Therefore, I don’t know any perfect mothers and I want this to be my own experience.”

Bethenny says that it’s been like “baby college” for herself and Jason and “there’s lots that we need to know about taking care of a baby.” She adds that the nurses at the hospital taught her and Jason a lot about babies. “I found out that babies wake every 3 hours – that was news to me,” Bethenny admits. She adds that the biggest shock of motherhood is that you “just don’t have any time to sit and rest.” She adds that she’s always on-the-go and is surprised how much work it takes to care for a newborn.

But just because she didn’t read any of the pregnancy and motherhood books, doesn’t mean she isn’t a conscientious mother. With Cookie the dog, Bethenny has been sure to make the transition as easy as possible for her 10-year-old “first love.” She says, “Every time I have the baby, I try to pet Cookie and talk to her in a nice voice. It’s been a bit of an adjustment. I’m just more concerned when the baby is a toddler. My vet told me to read Child Proofing Your Dog.” Bethenny adds that Cookie is “very cautious, but she seems to be OK” with baby Bryn around.

What are her summer plans with her new family-of-three? The Frankel-Hoppys will be making a trip to the Hamptons. While she’s looking forward to their getaway, she’s already dreading packing up baby Bryn. “The baby’s never leaving the house,” the cautious new mom jokes, and adds, “Just so you know, I’ve only taken the baby out once and I had a nervous breakdown.” She says, “I am excited, but the thought of how much it takes to schlep out to the Hamptons could give me a nervous breakdown.”

And what about her new show Bethenny Getting Married? RHONY “doesn’t really show me in my true light,” she says, and adds, “I’m not a woman who really hangs out with a lot of women. I focus mostly on work and my relationship.” Bethenny adds that she is often in her pajamas at home, and says, “I don’t really go out that much.”

Bethenny says that “the devil’s in the details” in Bethenny Getting Married? and while she admits, “I don’t pull my baby out of my you-know-what,” it does cover “what it’s like to have your water break 5 weeks early and what you put in your bag to go there [to the hospital].” She adds, “I’m the type of person that could have a C-section without any pain medication, but if you give me a smaller portion at the ice cream store, I might have a nervous breakdown.”

She says that the show will also highlight her therapy sessions. “It’s an ongoing theme,” Bethenny says of the televised counseling. “It was actually my idea to do therapy on the show because I need therapy!” She adds that working on herself is an important preventative measure to avoid a “mental breakdown.”

And will any of the housewives make an appearance on her new show? “There’s nothing orchestrated, there’s no drama, there’s no fighting,” Bethenny says, and adds, “Jill’s not on my show because Jill’s not in my life.”

In terms of including Bryn in the world of reality TV, Bethenny says, “She’s a little baby so it’s not like she does anything but it is a concern and it’s a conversation with my husband and myself. Once she’s older and when she’s more of a person, do we put her in a life that she didn’t sign up for? The answer is probably no and in moderation.”

And what about baby No. 2? Bethenny admits Jason would love to have another baby right away, but admits she’d have a “nervous breakdown” if another baby came along right now.

Bethenny’s new show, Bethenny Getting Married? premieres on Bravo June 10 at 10/9c.

Filed under: Bethenny Frankel,Bryn Hoppy,Celebrity Interview,Exclusives

Photo credit: Startraks

28 Comments »»

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  1. Fifi

    I commend her for admitting that breastfeeding isn’t coming easily for her. I had a 100% natural, drug-free delivery, and honestly, breastfeeding was much, much more painful for me. Granted, I found out later that I had flat nipples, and my daughter had severe feeding issues, so we were a bit of a lost cause. But, it’s misleading for women to just say, “oh breastfeeding is natural, it shouldn’t ever hurt if you’re doing it right.” Even if you are “doing it right” it will hurt early on, most women aren’t used to someone sucking on their nipples every 1-2 hours. But, it’s important to know that it might take a while to get better, so that even when it’s bad, you have the motivation to just stick it out (if possible), until it does get better. Thanks for your honesty, Bethenny!

    Reply
  2. Courtney

    please she’s not even a real actress she should shut her trap some women are more predisposed to give birth prematurely look at Faith Hill two of her three daughters were born premature right her oldest daughter Gracie Katherine was 3+ weeks early in 1997 and her youngest daughter Audrey Caroline was 2 months early in 2001 but the second one was due to an amniotic fluid leak so she & husband Tim McGraw had no choice but to deliver Audrey early and she weighed less than 4 pounds at birth so Bryn wasn’t as bad off as Audrey Caroline was yet Audrey Caroline is perfectly fine now Bethenny should count her blessings

    Reply
  3. TEAM BETHENNY

    OW CONFUSEDANDBAFFLED YOU SOUND LIKE YOU COULD BE KELLY FROM THE RHONY. I THINK YOU MAY HAVE ACTUALLY HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN WRITING YOUR COMMENT. YOU SOUND BITTER, BETHENNY NEVER SAID SHE WORKS HARDER THAN ANY OTHER MOM OR A SINGLE MOM, AND SHE SAID THAT SHE WAS LEARNING BY HERSELF MAKING HER OWN EXPERIENCES WITH HER NEW FAMILY. SO SORRY YOU’RE A SINGLE MOM, BUT SHE DIDN’T ATTACK YOU PERSONALLY OR ANY OTHER MOTHER FOR THAT FACT.

    SO SHE VACATIONS IN THE HAMPTONS; FAMILIES VACATION ALL OVER THE WORLD (MAYBE YOU SHOULD SLAM FAMILIES THAT SPEND MONEY VACATIONING AT DISNEY WORLD B/C THAT IS COSTLY TOO). NOT TO MENTION SHE WAS ANSWERING A QUESTION ABOUT WHERE SHE WAS VACATIONING FOR THE SUMMER .I AM SURE JUST GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE IS NICE, AS A MOM I WOULD THINK YOU WOULD AGREE A CHANGE IN SCENARY IS NICE.

    CONGRATS BETHENNY & JASON, YOUR BABY IS BEAUTIFUL. SHE’S BLESSED TO HAVE SUCH A HARD WORKING & INTELLIGENT MOMMY WHO HAS A WONDERFUL SENSE OF HUMOR. GOD DOESN’T GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE AND HE KNEW THIS BLESSING WAS JUST RIGHT FOR YOU BOTH. ENJOY YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR SUMMER!

    Reply
  4. Roxxie

    Dear Bethenny,

    Like you, I gained 35 pounds during preganancy, but have, more than a year after giving birth, continued to lose and then rapidly regain the last 10 pounds due to post-partum hypothyroidism. This is not because “I went off the rails and went to McDonald’s or something.” I am generally a fan or yours, but this statement is ignorant and insensitive coming from somebody who purports to be an expert on helping women with eating and body image issues.

    Reply
  5. CDionFan21

    Oh jesus freakin h#ll leave the woman alone! she’s doing the best she can being a first time mother. Just back off and leave her alone, I’m so effing tired of people bashing her for no good reason. So what she only gained 40 pounds during pregnancy, she’s right its NOT healthy for you or the baby to gain a massive 80, 90 pounds during pregnancy. So she has trouble breastfeeding, a LOT of moms do. Give her a break and stop being so critical, like you all did EVERYTHING PERFECT when you had kids. NO so SHUT UP!

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Such a Hollywood mom: She’ll read a book on how to best transition her dog to the baby, but she won’t read any pregnancy or baby books.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Boy, I find it hard to believe that a bunch of grown women could be so mean. I feel like I’m back in high school. I had no idea that Bethenny was so hated. I don’t have an opinion on her either way – I was just shocked by the response on here.

    Reply
  8. jennifer

    wow.. terms of service not followed.. where is the editor?

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    I have never watched the reality show that she is on, and I’m not a hater. (Some of the crazy, awful things that some people are posting are ridiculously stupid.) But just from reading about her, she does sound pretty selfish and obsessed with physical appearances (beyond what is healthy).

    I can’t believe she wrote “I didn’t realize that even if you have help with your baby, you have to get up.” How horrible. And she complains about being busy, but she is doing all these television programs and other publicity stunts — I wonder if she even spends any time with her new baby! What a joke…

    Reply
  10. Angeli

    She has problems breastfeeding because she has breast implants… not the healthiest thing for a baby…. and the stress during her pregnancy likely contributed to an early delivery. Nevertheless the baby is adorable and will be well loved. Her husband seems like a true gem and glad the family is happy. The comment about McDonald’s is very misinformed regarding weight loss. Just because you know about food, doesn’t make one an expert about the organ functions or lack thereof in a body. A lot of women cannot lose weight due to true exhaustion with no support. We cannot begrudge B for her success and good fortune as she has worked hard, but I certainly feel comfortable begrudging an ignorant comment regarding weight loss.

    Reply
  11. Da

    Cute baby. She’s so little, was she premature? I think I recognize the mom from Housewives of NY? I was all into Atlanta but I haven’t really watched the other locales.

    Reply
  12. Da

    Didn’t start (reading) at the top. I see she was. I’m glad everything worked out.

    Reply
  13. Mary Jane

    Angeli… “stress” does NOT contribute to early deliveries. As a mom of 5 and an RN who worked L&D I find these old wives tales annoying. I assume your goal was to lay responsibility on Bethanny for bringing a child into the world a little too soon. And that’s more than a little ignorant.

    Confused and baffled is a 43 year old single mom who works harder than Bethanny… OK fine…now what’s your point? If your sense of self was strong the last person on earth you’d be comparing yourself to is a chick on a reality show. Clearly you’ve over-identified with her. And no one said Bethanny was their “role model”. She just makes me laugh, she’s articulate. You’re wasting enormous emotional energy on a total stranger and I find that disturbing. You don’t sound grounded and that’s not good for YOUR child.

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    There is no way this bitch is only 39.

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    Happy to hear baby Bryn is home and putting on weight.

    I appreciate B.’s honesty about the challenges of bf ing. In fact, I thought she’d never have the patience to be tied down that much. Me thinks our ambitious B. is mellowing now that she’s got a a little girl!!

    I think she jokes around alot but deep down will give this little family her heart. And it sounds like she’s already left Real Housewives behind and has moved on…. Timing of that appears appropriate… Glad she’s done with Jill. Smart.

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    “I’m the type of person that could have a C-section without any pain medication, but if you give me a smaller portion at the ice cream store, I might have a nervous breakdown.”

    This woman is the picture of an eating disorder. I hope she gets help before her daughter is hurt by her mother’s obsession with food and being thin.

    Reply
  17. Mary Jane

    No, actually, sweetie…I mean, Anonymous, she’s NOT the picture of an eating disorder……Her BMI looks fairly average for a woman who’s just given birth (I don’t know about you but I think her milks come in!) and the admitted interest in ice cream also appears fairly typical for the average female. I personally never eat ice cream…. bmi of 16… :) I’ve always started working out again within 2 weeks of delivering and all my children are teen athletes now, strong, muscular……setting records in track. A lean mom does NOT indicate an eating disorder…more misinformation here….

    Although your concern for her baby is without a doubt admirable, I’m under the impression that this little girl will be exposed to all the culture, education and fashion that NYC has to offer! So, no need to worry.

    All any child ever needs is two parents who love them and cherish them and Bethanny and her husband appear to be pretty happy about this new baby.

    Reply
  18. Anonymouse

    Mary Jane- and you think YOUR BMI of 16 is considered healthy? According to heal care professionals (AHEM) that would be considered very UN healthy. Quite underweight actually. Also, BMI is pretty useless if you are muscular, as you can have a low body fat percentage and therefore a higher BMI. And as far as Bethanny goes with her eating disorder, people here are referencing her book, where she more or less touts not eating (a “sample” day of hers has her eating 800 calories) Are you telling me that is healthy? Funny, in not one of my nutrition or nursing courses have they ever said that that is acceptable.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      So here is my question…if you are breastfeeding…and trying to get a good supply and have plenty of calories for the baby…and if you are doing that all correctly…and as any pediatrician or OB would recommend…which is not to diet or workout heavily untiL 2 months post-baby IF you are breastfeeding and building milk-supply….
      well, then is it no surprise breastfeeding has been more difficult for her?
      regardless of weight loss or not…it is so important, if breastfeeding, to do what is best for the baby until milk supply is there and baby has learned well how to feed.

      Reply
  19. Anonymous

    Some of you are disgusting to say such hateful things about another woman. Some of you are no better than the worst of those housewives! Shame on you.

    As for the BMI, BMI is crazy anyway. A high BMI due to muscle mass is classified as obese, so many doctors don’t take it as seriously. The less calories you take in, the healthier that is. Calories aren’t great, and Bethenny’s recipes are all natural. Nothing processed like the crappola most people get in the freezer aisle.

    Reply
  20. Kaz

    As a mother of two grown children and one grandchild, I find this woman hasn’t got a “clue” about what it is to be a mother. or decent human being for that matter. Maybe it has something to do with the fact she never really had a relationship with her mother as she had stated on the show. To be pregnant (before you get married) so your child will know one day you were a slut before you married her father? What will that child think of you? She’ll lose respect for you. Then to say you didn’t read one book on pregnancy or for babies or want unwanted advice but to make it you own experience? It’s your own experience regardless…this woman is out of her mind. She is a total nut job! No wonder why she knows she will have a nervous breakdown about ridiculous things…if she’s high strung on RHONY wait until she’s sleep deprived and stressed out with this baby. I give this marriage a couple of years before they are headed for divorce court.

    Reply
  21. Jess

    I don’t think her getting pregnant out of wedlock makes Bethenny anymore a slut than the fact that she was having sex before she was married. Unless you were a virgin in your wedding bed then you could be called a slut as well, and even if you were pure on your wedding night, you should probably keep your comments to yourself because Bethenny’s out of wedlock sex life and/or vagina/pregnancy morals are none of your business. I’m pretty sure Bryn won’t think her Mom was a virgin at 39 so I doubt that she will think that she is a slut. Not everyone holds the same morals and valye systems so stop being so judgemental.

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    @Da:
    CBS: We were so shocked when Bryn arrived 5 weeks early. Do you know why she was born premature?

    BF: “I thought it was because I had been doing walking and yoga and active. The doctor said that there’s only two reasons that a baby would be premature and it’s either infection or unknown. They had no idea why [my] water broke early. I like answers and I have no idea.”

    I understand that everyone has different hardships in life…. but to call breastfeeding the hardest thing you’ve ever done is a bit dramatic. Come on! Try working two jobs, going to school AND raising a kid.
    Carly S.

    Reply
  23. Ethan Morris

    Hah, Italy demonstrators rally against Berlusconi

    Reply
  24. Claire McNeil l

    Do you really feel that Syria spying on dissidents?

    Reply
  25. Avery Rogers

    Any news about A defector’s mystical disappearance?

    Reply

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