Daphne Oz: Why Breastfeeding Is a ‘Luxury’

09/15/2014 at 06:00 PM ET

Chew on this: Daphne Oz is a believer in love at first sight.

From the moment the TV host and her husband John Jovanovic welcomed their first child, Philomena Bijou, in February, the new mom was completely head over heels for her daughter.

“For me, it was like getting a first-hand glimpse of what love at first sight is really like,” Oz says in an interview with Bravado Designs.

“It’s something that I think no one can really explain to you until you have a baby of your own and you feel that immense love for someone you don’t even know.”

Strengthening the bond between Oz and her now 6-month-old was her choice to breastfeed, a decision the new mom says gives her the “peace of mind of knowing that it is the best first choice of food for your baby.”

Daphne Oz Breastfeeding Bravado Designs Baby Buggy
Courtesy Daphne Oz

However, while breast was best for her baby girl, Oz is adamant about celebrating all mothers — even those who choose to bottle feed.

“I think that we should be proud of moms and their babies, period, and feeding them any way that you can,” she explains.

“My big problem is that it is something that I feel is a luxury in some ways because it does take time. I don’t ever want moms to feel like if they don’t get to breastfeed they’re missing out on something with their babies because you will find many other ways to bond with them.”

She adds, “It’s a wonderful time to feel that essential and beautiful mother/baby bond and if it ends up being breastfeeding, as I was lucky enough to experience, is really is wonderful.”

But Oz’s breastfeeding journey — and motherhood — haven’t been without their fair share of bumps in the road.

“There are sleepless nights, there are feeding problems, there are sleeping problems, there are all kinds of new experiences that can be very challenging,” she shares.

Fortunately for Oz, Jovanovic provided her the strong support system she needed to make it through even the toughest of times.

“Having my husband there was so vital and remains so vital to my success and my being able to continue it because, honestly, especially in those first couple of weeks … it’s an out of body experience most of the time and he was 100 percent my emotional counselor,” she says.

But having Jovanovic by her side did more than allow Oz to nurse their newborn. According to the new mama, the couple’s relationship was also affected — in a surprising, and very unexpected, way.

“We were reassuring each other and reaffirming that we were doing the right thing and, even more than that, allowing this new wonderful addition to our family strengthen our marriage and strengthen that bond,” she explains.

Oz continues, “It was really a fringe benefit for me that I didn’t anticipate because when I had Philo and even when I got pregnant — and more so when she was born — it really … made my marriage so much happier and more deeply in love than I even thought was possible.”

And now Oz is paying it all forward. She has teamed up with nursing apparel line Bravado Designs to donate $128,500 worth of breastfeeding supplies — including the brand’s bras and Medela breast pumps — to Baby Buggy, an organization that supports mothers in need.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this donation, because I have recent knowledge of how important it is to have a great support system when you are a new mother,” says Oz.

“In addition to that, having the items I needed to foster the breastfeeding process and give me an opportunity to bond with my baby in this way was something that I felt was so important in my life and my experience as a first-time mom. I love that I am able to play a role in giving that joy and support to the moms we will be helping.”

Despite the ups and downs of parenthood, Oz is determined to embrace it all and cherish the memories she is making as a tight-knit family of three.

“It’s so important and valuable to be able to step back and realize that you only get this first experience once and to soak it all up,” she shares. “Live in that moment and experience it for what it is and know that it’s wonderful.”

Daphne Oz Breastfeeding Bravado Designs Baby Buggy
Courtesy Daphne Oz

— Anya Leon

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Showing 24 comments

emily on

pretty baby

Jayjay on

She worded that very well I thought, I also agree support is so crucial, until you are actively breastfeeding you dont realise how important support is, without my husband and Dr I would have felt I had to give it up months ago. I come from a British family and in Britain its considered “amazing” to even make it to 6months and anything longer is starting to look “weird” but the WHO recommend breastfeeding until 2 years old and since its going so well for my son and I this is what im allowing to happen naturally (he refused a bottle until a year anyway, now that was a challenge having no help at all feeding wise!) So even though my family are making jokes to stop and my British friends are certainly giving “faces” now I wont stop and luckily I live in Spain now where it is so natural to feed past a year and very publicly to, they just whip them out even in front of men and the men dont blink an eye about it! Like most EU Countries and many others to. I dont know 1 baby who gave the bottle up at 1 year so why should they give up the equivalent but better for them?

charlotte on

What a beautiful baby girl!

Kate on

Ooh love the name Philomena, so unique.

Victoria on

I don’t know who she is or why she’s famous, but she worded that perfectly! She offered support, without criticism of others who may do things differently. Very refreshing to see

Zeze on

Beautiful baby, and Daphne worded that very nicely. No need to mommy shame, we all do our best.

Jenn on

She is Dr. Oz’s daughter and one of the hosts of “The Chew.”

Just saying on

Gorgeous baby.

Sunny on

Never heard of her or “The Chew”.

rem on

What’s with the obession lately with breastfeeding? Breastfeeding is nothing new.

EnoughAlready on

I am glad she is promoting breastfeeding- more people should. What bothers me is that she had to also do the whole “but formula feeding is okay too, do whatever you want” routine. I am pro-breastfeeding. And I think mothers that do not even attempt to breastfeed are doing a disservice to their child. Adoption, milk supply issues, etc., aside, I don’t think we need to pacify the moms that refuse to breastfeed because we may hurt their feelings.

sara on

@ EnoughAlready – there are far more breastfeeding challenges/issues than just milk supply/adoption. I have literally no nipples and a lactation consultant confirmed breastfeeding would be a challenge for me. I used a nipple cover, but the lack of skin to skin contact decreased milk supply and left me with a screaming baby. I eventually contracted mrsa based mastitis and almost died from sepsis.. 3 surgeries later and my bleeding/pus leaking breasts bandaged I am back to normal but please do not think that breastfeeding is always a choice, sometimes it’s not.

Anonymous on

Wow! You are something else Enoughalready!

EnoughAlready on

Sara- that’s why I said “etc.” I know there a ton of reasons why some moms can’t. And that’s completely understandable. I’m sorry you went through all of that. 😦

It’s people like my cousin, for example, that make me crazy. Her older child was very sick with an upper respitory infection when her youngest was born. Her doctor pleaded with her to at least breastfeed for a few days to get antibodies into the baby’s system. She refused. Had her newborn caught what her son had, that baby would have been hospitalized. She didn’t care. Said it was gross and disgusting. In front of me, who was still nursing one kid while pregnant with another. I wanted to punch her.

Anonymous…I am something. You’re right. I’m a mom that breastfed both her kids until they were about a year and a half. And from the moment they were born I had to hear whispers from family members when I excused myself to go nurse in a private room, had to hear how gross it was, how weird, how my nursing was. I didn’t bother anyone, yet I was being judged for doing something GOOD for my baby. It was hard work nursing for that long, adjusting my diet for a baby with severe allergies and having to always excuse myself to nurse. But I would do it all over again. In a second. And this time around, I refuse to keep my mouth shut.

sara on

@ EnoughAlready – Thank you for your empathy. I fought like an animal to exclusively breastfeed (due to breech position had to have c-section, water broke early, baby couldn’t breathe and ended up in nicu, had to change/feed baby once an hour 24 hours a day for 7 days, suffered from enormous pain/fatigue, on the 5th day I was released from my room and spent the remaining 2 days on a chair just to be the one feeding her). At 3 weeks baby contracted RSV despite exclusive breastfeeding and was hospitalized, I breastfed her throughout. I myself was breastfed for 1 year and have suffered for ear infection all my life. So in my case it didn’t shield us from illness BUT I still believe all mothers should TRY to breastfeed!

Sunny on

Wow. Using boobs for what they were intended for is “disgusting”? Enoughalready – I wanna punch her too.

Jean on

She is Gorgeous!

Jessie on

I love the show ‘The Chew’. It has taught me so much about making foods using fresh ingredients, and less processed foods. Daphne Oz is a great host and I love seeing and hearing updates about her daughter on the show. I have 4 children, my last was born just this past April so I had to make the decision on whether or not to breastfeed again. I choose not to. With 3 other kids, sports (you all know how softball goes everyone during the spring and summer), working, etc formula feeding was what I could handle. If that makes me less of a mother in some women’s eyes so be it. I can tell you that the love I have for my children and my husband is more important than someone judging me. Thanks for the support Daphne! It is rare a breastfeeding celebrity supports other moms like me out there who decided to formula feed.

Mandy on

Don’t know the fuss about debating breastfeeding, it’s simply a personal preference.

Tracey on

Breastfeeding success? Ridiculous. The baby is being fed via breastfeeding or formula doesn’t make a difference. A whole generation of kids born in the 60’s were only fed formula and they are all doing fine.

Anonymous on

@enoughalready, I chose not to breastfeed my kids (now 12 and 9) and they are smart, loving, social, athletic kids who are loved to the moon and back. I find it interesting that you are justifying judging mothers that chose not to breastfeed by saying you were judged! I have never judged a mother who breasteeds becasue I believe mothers should support each other. I have never regreted my decision especially since I see so much contradictory to this debate every day, breasfed kids who are sick constantly, or who have asthma so bad they have breathing machines at home. (Not my formula fed kids). I feel bad for the way your family treats you on this subject but this formula feeding mother would not do that so don’t judge me!

Anonymous on

By the way, @enoughalready, my formula fed kids have NO allergies, have never even had strep throat, ear problems or even the flu. My daughter is 9 and has NEVER vomited!

Mamagirl31 on

Beautiful baby…

Anonymous on

Ummm, if her baby was born in February, she’s 10 months old, not 6!