Stacey Solomon on her struggle to breastfeed: 'I just got it so wrong'
Stacey Solomon felt “so guilty” after struggling to breastfeed her son.
The 'Loose Women' panellist stopped breastfeeding her six-month-old son Rex - whom she has with Joe Swash - after struggling to get him to drink from her breast, and has now admitted she got the process “so wrong”, and still feels “emotional” about her decision to stop.
She said: “I just got it so wrong. I was really sad it give up actually. Really, really sad. Even now I feel a bit emotional about it, because I would love to still be breastfeeding. It was gutting to give up. I do feel guilty about going home so early.”
Stacey - who also has 11-year-old Zachary and seven-year-old Leighton from previous relationships - regrets not going to see a breastfeeding specialist whilst she was still in hospital after giving birth to Rex.
She added: “In hind-sight I probably should have seen a breastfeeding specialist because they do offer that service if you do stay overnight in hospital at Queens. They have breastfeeding specialists come round to make sure you’re doing okay, but because I thought he was doing it right I felt and went home.
By day five he had lost so much weight. He was a small baby anyway and he had lost almost a whole pound.”
Eventually, the 30-year-old singer called out a specialist who came and “milked” her, after she began to develop lumps in her breasts from congested milk.
Speaking to Kerry from La Lache - a charity which supports women who are struggling with breastfeeding - on her podcast ‘Here We Go Again’, Stacey said: “In the end, I was so congested with milk, I had milk lumps up to my neck and it turns out he hadn’t been sucking properly and drawing the milk down. So I hadn’t even got rid of my colostrum by day 5 and had real mastitis and lumpy boobs and my nipples were cracked from constantly putting him on them. But he was obviously not going on there right. So in the end the breast feeding specialist came in and she milked me.
“You can’t see this but I’m making a fist hand and she kneaded all of the lumps down and drew all of the milk out of my boobs to try and get it to flow through properly.”
Kerry then offered advice to Stacey and other mothers who may be struggling, and recommended a YouTube video which teaches mothers to learn when their child is drinking properly.
She said: So, how do you know if a baby is drinking? Okay so, baby’s don’t have glass cheeks. And we don’t have glass boobs and it would be so much easier if we did. So, there’s a video online, it was taken by a paediatrician in Canada called Dr Jack Newman and he runs a breastfeeding clinic in Toronto and in the way he supports mothers, he maintains that one of the most powerful things you can give a mother, is to give the knowledge to see when a baby is drinking at the breast.
“And I can honestly say I don’t think there’s a conversation I’ve had with a mother who’s had a baby, whether it’s her first or her seventh, when I haven’t talked about what it looks like when a baby’s drinking. Because when you know that and know what to look for, you know when they’re drinking, when they’re snacking, when they’re nuzzling in for comfort and you can then make decisions about what you do about that.”