Despite the long road it took to get her baby boy Moses finally into her arms, Tamron Hall admits she feels “insecure” about being a new mom at times.
In an exclusive chat with PEOPLE for this week’s issue, the host of the upcoming daytime talk program the Tamron Hall show opens up about how her goal of breastfeeding her newborn baby boy shifted shortly after his birth due to limits on her body’s natural milk production.
“I went into this thinking, ‘Breastfeeding is my goal, but if it doesn’t work, fine. There’s formula. I’m going to look at this rationally,’ ” recalls Hall, 48, of the time ahead of Moses’ April 24 arrival. “But cut to three weeks later, and I’m not able to pump out enough milk, and my supply just isn’t there.”
“And I’m getting freaked out by, ‘Is he drinking enough?’ Because you can’t measure milk from your body,” she continues. “When he was crying, I’m thinking, ‘Is it because he’s starving?’ The anxiety went from my feet all the way up, and it affected my production of milk. It affected my self-esteem.”
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It was even more difficult for the former Today host to deal with when she saw other moms succeeding at milk production, finding it hard not to compare her own situation.
“Jessica Simpson posted something showing how much breast milk she had produced, and I was shaking my fists at the sky like, ‘Jessicaaaa Simpsonnnn! You and your milk supply!’ ” Hall jokes. “[Husband Steven Greener] came home one day and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I was just lost behind the eyes because something I swore three weeks ago would not break me had, in fact, broken me. I was feeling so insecure.”
Luckily, Hall has since come to terms with the “fed is best” mentality, versus the oft-touted “breast is best.”
“A mentally healthy mom is best, and this was breaking me down,” she reveals to PEOPLE. “I started calling all my friends who have breastfed, and a couple of them confessed to me, ‘Listen, at night I gave formula so I could sleep.’ I’m like, ‘You’re just telling me this now? I’m about to knock back a bottle of Jack Daniels!’ “
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Reaching out to her friends made Hall realize they were one and “the same” with their struggles, and allowed her to breathe in knowing they were part of a community — not a competition.
“You see how afraid we are of being judged, and then when I would get one-on-one with my friends, we’d all peel back those masks that we put on as women, as moms, and suddenly we’re all the same,” she says.
“I’m like, ‘No one told me this,’ but I probably didn’t ask,” Hall adds. “Once I asked, I got the truth.”
For more from Tamron Hall, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
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