Gretchen Rossi Opens Up About Breastfeeding Struggles and 'Guilt': 'I Have Cried So Many Times'

No matter how much research you do beforehand, nothing can fully prepare you for the reality of becoming a first-time parent — just ask Gretchen Rossi.

The former Real Housewives of Orange County star, 41, capped off World Breastfeeding Week on Thursday morning with a snapshot of herself nursing her 4-week-old daughter Skylar Gray. And despite the serene nature of the photo, Rossi insists the real experience has been anything but.

“Breastfeeding has been no where near this magical as I imagined in my head,” Rossi captioned the image. “I have cried so many times from being frustrated, from being freaking exhausted, from the pain and horrible sore nipples (as they literally scabbed over and or were bright pink from all the skin being rubbed off).”

“From the guilt of feeling like ‘I don’t want to do this anymore because it is uncomfortable, exhausting, painful, takes way to much time, and quite honestly was not anything like I imagined in my head,’ ” she went on.

Rossi continued, explaining she “took every class you could take, read so many books, did so much research and was determined to ‘push through’ the tough parts so I could give my baby girl the very best.” But even through all her preparation, she “quickly realized it just wasn’t that easy.”

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Gretchen Rossi Admits She Had “Anxiety” About Leaving Her Baby Girl for the First Time Due to Work

“If I wasn’t at ‘my best’ I couldn’t give her ‘the best’ because my body wouldn’t cooperate or produce enough milk etc.,” Rossi said. “This was my real and raw struggle and even though I am still breastfeeding and ‘pushing through it,’ I have written a whole blog about it, hoping to help open the conversation for any other new mommies out there who have gone through the struggle, and or who will be going through what I have this past month.”

“I will share soon all the details of my first month as a determined breastfeeding new Mamma, who struggled with guilt, frustration, total physical & mental exhaustion, sadness yet happiness and array of so many other emotions,” the reality TV alum promised.

Rossi concluded her post by asking her followers to share their own stories in an effort to “help uplift each other up as woman and Moms who are just trying to do our very best, at one of the toughest jobs in the world.”

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Since Rossi and fiancé Slade Smiley welcomed their first child together on July 10, the new mom has been open about various struggles she has had in adjusting to life with a newborn.

On Monday, she opened up in a post on Instagram, where she admitted to experiencing “so much anxiety” over leaving her daughter for the first time while she attended a work engagement the day prior.

Though Rossi knew Skylar was in good hands with the newborn’s grandparents, she couldn’t help but think about her little one while she was gone and said she felt overjoyed when they finally reunited at the end of the night.

“Yesterday was the first day I had to be away from my baby girl for a work engagement, and I’m not going to lie I had so much anxiety over it 🙈,” she wrote candidly alongside two photos of the pair together and a number of videos of Rossi returning home from her work commitment.

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