parent opinion

Sam Frost said breastfeeding was 'harder than labour'. I instantly felt relieved.

When I saw a photo of Sam Frost holding her baby boy on Instagram last week, it stopped me in my tracks. 

Not because her two-month-old son, Theodore, is super cute - which he absolutely is by the way - but because I spotted something on the table just behind her glass of red wine. 

A baby bottle. 

The former Home & Away actress probably didn’t even notice it was in the frame when she posted it, but I immediately felt a weird sense of comfort seeing it there. 

Relief, almost. 

"She must be formula feeding or expressing breast milk," I thought.


It sounds so ridiculous to admit that I was even thinking about the way another woman feeds her child, let alone someone I’ve never met. 

But having struggled with feelings of guilt and failure when I eventually switched to mixed feeding and then formula feeding my own baby, I realised it was something I’d never really seen from women in the public eye. 

In fact, during the early newborn days with my daughter, my social media feed seemed to be filled with endless ‘earth mamas’ who appeared to find breastfeeding as easy as breathing.

And let me be clear - I am beyond thrilled for anyone who successfully breastfeeds. We know it's liquid gold and there are so many incredible benefits. 

Which is exactly why I continued to push myself to do it for three months when all signs were pointing to the fact my supply just wasn’t enough for my baby and my discomfort continued to grow. 

I was exhausted, my baby was exhausted. It just wasn’t working for us.  

And for many mothers, it also simply isn’t possible for a whole host of reasons. 

So I found it refreshing when Frost - who welcomed her first child with fiance Jordie Hansen in March - then opened up during a Q&A about her feeding struggles this week. 


And I clearly wasn’t the only one that felt that way. 

“After mentioning that I had a lot of difficulties breastfeeding, I was inundated with messages from women who had a similar experience, very thankful I shared,” Frost wrote on Instagram on Monday. 

In a candid personal essay on her site, Believe By Sam Frost, the 34-year-old then explained breastfeeding has been “emotionally, mentally and physically” challenging.

“After a few days my nipples were chapped, raw and bleeding. I was in so much pain,” Frost explained. 

“A girlfriend had said she found breastfeeding harder than labour - I had an epidural, so I wholeheartedly agreed.” 

While she was consistently encouraged to push through the pain, the experience only got more distressing for Frost and her little boy. 

“Every feed, I was crying... not just cute little tears, I was sobbing. Little Ted started getting distressed and frustrated, he would cry too,” she said. 

“I’m not sure whether it was because he wasn’t getting enough milk, or if he was picking up my energy.”

Making the decision to switch to bottle feeding, Frost said it felt like “an immediate weight lifted off my chest”. 


“We have been expressing what we can and formula-feeding the rest,” Frost said, adding that Teddy is happy and thriving.  

But Frost admits she was still hesitant to share her experience due to the “judgement and pressure” she has experienced.

And I get it. 

While I’ve obviously never been exposed to the level of public scrutiny Sam Frost is talking about myself, I still felt a sense of failure when I made the call to switch to bottle feeding. 

Despite the fact my baby was instantly happier and more settled. 

Despite the fact I had friends who’d formula-fed their babies and they turned out to be wonderful little humans.

Despite the fact I got some bodily autonomy back, which greatly improved my mental health. 

Even still, a little part of me felt embarrassed I hadn’t ‘gone the distance’. 

So I am thankful to know that one little baby bottle in a photo went a long way towards making women struggling with their breastfeeding journey feel seen. 

Because ultimately, whether we end up deciding to breastfeed or bottle feed, we’re all just trying to do the best we can for our kids. 

Image: Instagram

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