AceShowbiz - Actress Laura Benanti felt like a failure as a mother after discovering her baby daughter was allergic to her breast milk.
The Broadway star welcomed her first child, daughter Ella, last year (17), but in a candid essay for parenting site Romper.com, she admits her road to motherhood was a real nightmare, as she suffered from severe pregnancy sickness condition Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and then spent three days in labour.
But when her little girl finally arrived, Laura learned her struggles were far from over, as she was then tasked with trying to completely overhaul her diet to resolve the breast milk allergy issue.
Laura explains she went sugar and gluten-free and ditched eggs, beans, and cruciferous vegetables from her food plan, but nothing worked.
"Toward the end of our breastfeeding journey, my entire diet consisted of turkey, rice, sweet potato and zucchini," she shared. "I was pretty hangry (hungry and angry). And tired. And feeling VERY inferior. Breastfeeding was extremely important to me and my husband, and I was failing".
The Tony Award winner, who suffered a miscarriage in 2015, even tried alternative medicine in her desperate bid to find a cure: "I saw seven lactation consultants, two osteopaths and one medicine woman who covered me in eagle feathers, left the room, and came back three hours later," Laura continued. "I had allergy tests, muscle tests and one test that involved me pooping into bags for three days straight. I saw doctor after doctor and nothing helped".
The growing pressure led her to develop postpartum depression, but now the Supergirl star is back in good health, and her daughter, who no longer has any allergies, is thriving.
She hopes that by going public with her story, she will help other new mums realise pregnancy and motherhood isn't picture perfect.
"I am not sharing this to make anyone feel bad for me, or to bring anybody down," she wrote. "I am sharing this because I feel like the imperfect aspects of motherhood are often glossed over and minimized...
"I rely on the village that is other mothers. That village has been the greatest help of all, and it's what I hope every mom can be for every other mom. That is so much more valuable than being perfect".