While social media can often be a place to project the most perfect aspects of people's lives, Stacey Solomon has been praised for being so honest and open with fans about motherhood. Since welcoming baby Rex with partner Joe Swash in May, she has proudly shown off her post-baby bikini body, told fans about her son's sleeping routine, and revealed that Joe is a doting dad.
Most recently, the Loose Women star took to Instagram to share an adorable photo of her five-month-old being bottle-fed to speak about her breastfeeding struggles. In the emotional post, she revealed her breastfeeding journey came to an end sooner than she had hoped. She wrote: "So lots of people have been asking me if I’m still breast feeding. It’s taken me a bit of time to feel okay about saying no. I stopped a couple of months ago & I really struggled to come to terms with it & actually say it out loud. Breastfeeding never happened for me the way that I imagined. I did my best to try & master it, but it wasn’t to be."
The mum-of-three revealed it started to affect Rex's weight, so she opted for a combination of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. "On day 5 we ended up back in hospital because of weight loss & I ended up pumping in between feeds to make sure he put it back on so we could be discharged, then I continued this at home until he reached his birthweight. I then tried to switch to exclusive breastfeeding but whenever I did he lost weight again & It would break my heart to think that my own want to breastfeed was not helping my baby grow so I mix fed. As he got bigger his demand for milk got higher & my boobs couldn’t keep up the supply. By the time I did two full days back at work without him on the boob or pumping my milk dried up & before I knew it my breastfeeding journey was over."
According to the 30-year-old, she became very emotional, fearing that using the bottle and allowing others to feed Rex would reduce her bonding time with him. "I felt like I’d failed...I felt like I should have done more to master it in the first 24 hours & I should have done more research & asked for help," she confided. "But as time has gone on, I’ve realised the truth. The truth is, I did my absolute best. Every baby is different."
Stacey concluded the post with a positive message for other mothers: "I have an extremely special bond with Rex, one that would be there wether I breastfed or not, he grew in my tummy and we’ve known each other for a long time (we go way back). I love bottle feeding, it’s nice to share the feeding with Joe & our family sometimes too, they’re not stealing him away, just helping & bonding too. Doing things differently wouldn’t mean my journey would have been any different. He was a small, tired little pickle & he struggled to feed. But the most important thing is he was fed bottle/breast it doesn’t matter. Mamas u really are incredible." As usual, her fans applauded her open attitude, with one commenting: "Never ever compare yourself... what’s right for you, is just right! I only achieved 5 weeks", while another said: "For something so natural it’s the hardest thing to master, thank god for formula!"
This is not the first time she has spoken candidly on the subject. She previously said: "I never managed to exclusively breastfeed" and reassured others: "FED IS BEST and WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU."