Great Britain

Shawn Johnson opens up about the biggest mistake she's made as a new mother

Shawn Johnson has revealed the biggest mistake she’s made as a new mum while recounting all of the lessons she and her husband have learned since becoming parents.

In a YouTube video uploaded last week, the Olympic gymnast and her husband Andrew East, detailed all of the changes in their lives since they became parents to daughter Drew Hazel East, as they reminded other parents not to worry if things go wrong. 

According to Johnson, her first “big mom mistake” involved accidentally “waterboarding” her baby when attempting to bottle feed her for the first time - as the bottle top was meant for an older child. 

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“My first big mom mistake - I was feeding her with a bottle for the first time and we couldn’t figure out why she kept throwing up her milk,” the 27-year-old said, adding that she spoke to the baby’s paediatrician about the possibility of the child being lactose intolerant and tried feeding her less.

“I was freaking out,” she recalled, before revealing that she eventually found out that there are different “bottle nipple sizes” and that they had been feeding the baby with a six-month-old bottle size. 

“[The milk] would literally pour out,” East said. 

After realising the mistake, Johnson said she told one of her fellow mom friends about the error, who responded by laughing before telling the gymnast: “I’m sorry to laugh but you were basically waterboarding your child.”

The couple shared the story as a reminder to other parents that “you’re not going to do everything perfectly and that’s okay”.

“Those little humans are more resilient than you give them credit for,” East added. “So as long as you’re intent is to love them, they’ll probably be okay.” 

This isn’t the first time the couple has been honest about their own experiences as new parents. After giving birth to the couple’s daughter on 29 October via C-section, Johnson revealed that she felt she had “failed” because she could not deliver her naturally.

“I went in with such a stubborn mindset of thinking the only way I could bring our baby into the world was naturally,” she wrote in a lengthy Instagram caption. “No meds no intervention. At 14 hours when I chose to get an epidural, I felt guilty.

“At 22 hours when we were told I had to get a C-section I felt like I had failed.” 

In response to her posts about parenthood, Johnson’s fans have thanked her for her transparency and openness. 

“Thank you so much for your authenticity and sharing your story,” one person wrote. “It’s so empowering.”