The new mom -- who welcomed son Tristan with husband Tarek last month -- said her baby boy suffered from jaundice, and had tongue, cheek and lip ties after his birth.
Heather Rae El Moussa is getting candid about the challenges she's faced so far in her motherhood journey.
On Monday, the "Selling Sunset" star -- who welcomed her first child, son Tristan, with husband Tarek El Moussa last month -- took to Instagram to reveal that her baby boy struggled with breastfeeding and experienced some health issues after his birth, admitting that the challenges made her feel "defeated."
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"Have been in mama hibernation mode for the past couple weeks but soaking up some fresh air today with my lovey🤍🤍," Heather, 35, began in the caption of her post, which featured two photos of herself holding baby Tristan. "As promised, I want to talk to you guys about my breastfeeding journey because it's definitely been a journey !! I thought…. I’ll just pop him on my boob and feed him anytime. Ya no!!!"
"Tristan had tongue tie, cheek tie, lip tie and jaundice which were all caught very early on thanks to my incredible lactation specialist and @tonguetietribe, they're literally baby fairies 🧚♀️," she continued. "I’m so lucky to have found them for the knowledge & support🙏🏻 but it made it very hard for him to latch & suck and it made it so that he was burning a lot of calories because it was so hard for him to eat so his weight was dropping."
Heather added, "We're now 2 weeks past getting his tongue tie fixed and he's latching so well on the left side and we're still working on the right side using non-traditional positions which were shown to me by the baby fairies 🧚♀️."
Due to how much her lactation specialist helped her, the reality star encouraged other new breastfeeding moms to look into getting one as well.
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"Having a lactation specialist and someone you can turn to is something I highly recommend if you choose to breastfeed," she wrote. "I had many tearful nights in the beginning because I'd be up at 3am trying to feed him & felt so defeated."
Heather went on to share more helpful tips for new mamas.
"Nutrition & hydration also needs to be a focus which is a little hard because when you’re breastfeeding & pumping non stop there's not a ton of time to take care of yourself -- you get so focused on your baby & that you really have to remember to take care of yourself so I have lots of water and special drinks like coconut water and greater than drinks," she said. "I also suggest getting on a meal plan if you don’t have time to cook especially in the beginning."
However, despite the challenges, the real estate agent said her experience with breastfeeding has been positive overall.
"Even with all this going on, I genuinely love breastfeeding. I love the skin to skin connection and think it's such a beautiful bonding experience," El Moussa shared. "It might be hard and challenging at the moment but it is such a special experience that I get to share with our baby boy and we're working together to make it easier like we're a little team 🤍🍼."
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Earlier this month, Heather and Tarek announced the news of their baby boy's birth in a joint Instagram post. "Our baby boy is here 🤍 1.31.23," they captioned a photo of their hands resting on the newborn's stomach. "Mama & baby are happy, healthy, tired but doing well. Our hearts are so happy ❤️."
Last week, the couple revealed on Instagram that they named their new addition, Tristan Jay El Moussa, with Heather sharing that "Tristan was the name that Tarek was supposed to have, Jay is my dads middle name & 4 generations of Jay."
Back in July, Heather and Tarek, 41, revealed they were expecting their first child. The latter is already a father to his two children Taylor, 12, and Brayden, 7, from his previous marriage to Christina Hall.
At the time of her announcement, Heather revealed that she got pregnant in the midst of in vitro fertilization treatments.
"It was a huge shock," she said. "We just weren't expecting this. We had just gone through IVF. We had embryos on ice. We had a plan. I think when you least expect it and there's no stress in your life, the world just brought us what was meant to be. I'm so excited that it happened like this."
Heather and Tarek began their relationship back in July 2019 and got engaged the following year. In October 2021, the couple married in a televised ceremony in California.