Breastfeeding is not always easy. In fact sometimes, it’s really bloody hard.
That’s something former Married At First Sight contestant Zoe Hendrix knows all too well.
“Mastitis has hit me again,” the mum of one, to baby daughter Harper Rose, shared on Instagram this weekend. “I saw the doctor yesterday after the tell tale signs lingered all morning (fever, fatigue, sore/hot breast).”
Hendrix first spoke of her struggles with mastitis in January when, by chance, her 84,000 followers diagnosed the condition for her. Yep – at the time, Hendrix believed she was poorly with the flu, and complained of high body temperature, a “sore throat” and “body aches” – symptoms her well-seasoned fans knew are often associated with blocked milk ducts.
Unfortunately, the painful condition has now struck again.
“I am continuing to feed as frequently as possible as recommended, but it is so damn PAINFUL, and I find myself swearing a f*ckload,” Hendrix wrote yesterday alongside the photo below.
“[Alex] wants to help, but he can only standby and offer words of encouragement as his nipples are made for decoration purposes only,” she added.
“Breast feeding is hard and for me it has been bittersweet. It can be exhausting, isolating, painful and cause incredibly (sic) anxiety… Yet it can also be incredibly rewarding and the benefit to our babies is so incredible.”
Hendrix isn’t the first – and certainly won’t be the last – local celebrity to shed brutal honesty about the difficulties that come with breastfeeding. Fellow reality TV personality Maddi Wright, from House Rules, told Mamamia breastfeeding her son as “the worst four months of my life”.
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‘I hadn’t enjoyed my kid’s life, my marriage was on the rocks because we were fighting all the time, and it was all because of breastfeeding. I just wish I never did it,’ she said.
Radio presenter Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann also spoke about the “pressure put on new mums when it comes to breastfeeding over bottle feeding” last month, after he and wife Kelly Kearney were horrified to learn their newborn son Laddie was almost starving.
“Kel tried for days and days and days and wasn’t sure if it’s working – because you don’t know, you’ve never done it before. After four days, we weighed our son and he’d lost a third of his body weight,” Lehmann said on his Gold 104.3 radio show alongside co-host Jo Stanley.
“And then Kel tried a pump and no milk was coming out so we hadn’t fed him for four days. How do you think my wife felt? She’s thinking: ‘I’m starving my baby’.”
Lehmann said feeding babies, no matter how it’s done, should be the most important thing.
“Just feed your baby – that should be the number one guideline over and above everything else. Feed your baby,” he said.
As for Hendrix, she has set a “personal goal of at least 12 months” before giving breastfeeding away altogether, but says “if I can’t I hope I can find peace with that”.
No matter what you do, Zoe, we are positive you’ll be a great mum.
Did you struggle with breastfreeding? Tell us your experiences below…