When mum-of-two Maddi Wright said last week that she wished she’d never breastfed her baby, she expected a backlash. And she got it.
The former House Rules star, who has two sons, Carter and Marlow, with husband Lloyd, shared her breastfeeding story on social media. Thousands of people responded, and while the huge majority were supportive, a few weren’t. She was called “selfish, selfish, selfish”, and her comments were labelled “incredibly vain” and “kinda stupid”.
I wish I never breastfed my baby. A strong statement and many would disagree but here’s why… 3 weeks post stopping breastfeeding with my 4 month old I am a completely different person. I’m a better mum and better wife. I have more energy. I actually have gaps where bub is NOT on my body so I get to miss him a little. I have more time for my other son. I am more affectionate towards my husband. I don’t dread going out in public. I enjoy my clothes again as I’m not leaking everywhere or having to wear uncomfortable maternity bras. I’m able to leave the house by myself without getting anxiety. I’m able to go to the gym again. I know I will cop alot of negative comments about this post but I think its important for mums to know that they have choices. There are so many different ways to be a mum. But what many mums forget is that MUM HAS TO BE HAPPY TOO. #breastfeeding #bottlefed #mum #baby
Wright’s Instagram post explained that three weeks after she stopped breastfeeding her four-month-old baby, she was a “completely different person”.
“I’m a better mum and better wife,” the post read. “I have more energy. I actually have gaps where bub is NOT on my body so I get to miss him a little. I have more time for my other son. I am more affectionate towards my husband. I don’t dread going out in public. I enjoy my clothes again as I’m not leaking everywhere or having to wear uncomfortable maternity bras. I’m able to leave the house by myself without getting anxiety. I’m able to go to the gym again.”
In the post, Wright said it was important for mums to know they had choices.
“There are so many different ways to be a mum. But what many mums forget is that MUM HAS TO BE HAPPY TOO.”
Wright tells Mamamia she decided to write the post after going to see the doctor about the mastitis she suffered when she stopped breastfeeding. At the time, she thought she’d ruptured one of her implants.
“The first thing the doctor actually said was, ‘Oh, do you regret having implants?’ and I was like, ‘No.’ Then she said, ‘Oh, why did you stop breastfeeding?’ and just the way she said it, I was like, ‘Hold on a second, it’s none of your business.’ I just thought, ‘Actually, I think a lot of people get that kind of attitude.’”
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Wright told the doctor that the four months she’d spent breastfeeding had been “the worst four months of my life”.
“I haven’t enjoyed my kid’s life, my marriage is on the rocks just because we’re fighting all the time, and it’s all because of breastfeeding. I just wish I never did it,” she said.
When it came to writing the post, Wright wanted to talk about how happy she was about being able to go the gym again. But she suspected she’d be attacked for it.
“For me, going to the gym is my hobby and it’s what makes me happy. It wasn’t about going to the gym, it was about getting out of the house for five minutes without having to take a baby with me.
“If I was to say ‘go grocery shopping’, I wouldn’t get judged for that, but to say ‘go to the gym’, I get judged for that. The minute a mum has some sort of time to herself, it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re a bad mum.’”
Fortunately, Wright wasn’t bothered by any of the criticism. She got used to being attacked on social media after being labelled a “blonde bimbo” while on House Rules.
“After you’ve dealt with it a couple of times, you don’t really care.”
Wright says she’s glad she shared her personal story. She’s been touched by the number of women who have thanked her for what she said, many in private messages.
“A lot of women were saying to me, ‘Oh my God, your post made me cry. I can’t believe how much what you said is me.’
“Some women said, ‘You really did make me feel better about my choices. I’ve been sitting here feeling so guilty and your one post has just made me feel like a better mum.’ That’s really nice to hear that.”
But Wright wants to stress that she isn’t anti-breastfeeding. In fact, if she had a third child, she’d give breastfeeding another go.
“It could be a different situation, so 100 per cent I would give it a crack,” she says. “But I would bottle-feed early as well.”
Did stopping breastfeeding change your outlook?