Mum-of-3 Emily Maynard Johnson has opened up about the intense shame she felt for giving up breastfeeding.
The former star of US reality series The Bachelorette revealed that she breastfed her son Gibson Kyle, until she developed mastitis: a really nasty, painful infection of the breast.
Unable to continue, she made the switch to formula – and began to have some pretty intense feelings of guilt.
“Breastfeeding is really hard,” 31-year-old Emily confessed in an exclusive chat with PEOPLE magazine.
“I breastfed [my 1st child] Ricki, I breastfed [my 2nd] Jennings for a while and then Gibson. [But] it’s so hard with other kids running around.
“And then I got mastitis which is like the worst, worse than childbirth I feel like. I just quit. I didn’t want to tell anybody that I quit. I was trying to hide formula.”
Wow. We gotta say: we think Emily’s really brave for admitting this so publicly.
But we also want to remind her that she should never feel ashamed for feeding her adorable son formula – especially to the extent where she’s trying to keep it a secret.
The well-known saying ‘fed is best’ definitely applies here. Baby is healthy and happy, and mum’s boobs get a much-needed chance to heal.
That’s all that matters at the very end of the day, right?
Emily gave some thought to why she may have had those feelings, and admitted that the breastfeeding selfies we see all the time on social media may have played a part.
“I saw all of these beautiful breastfeeding pictures,” she told the mag. “I don’t know if I would post a picture like that, but I would love the option. I wanted to so bad.”
Again, while breastfeeding selfies can be really empowering, we can also totally understand why they might be difficult to encounter when you want to breastfeed but can’t, for whatever reason.
An incredibly interesting perspective – one we definitely hope mums will open up about a bit more, without fear of judgment.
Thanks for sharing, Emily ?
Have your say
Have you ever found yourself in Emily’s position – did you ever feel so ashamed of something you’ve done as a parent you tried to keep it hidden? Feel free to tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook.
Images: Instagram/Emily Maynard Johnson