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"I would cry during every feed." Five mums get real about their struggle with breastfeeding.

Singer Alanis Morisette is on a mission to raise awareness about the challenges of breastfeeding, in support of all breastfeeding mums.

Morisette, 45, who with husband Mario Treadway has three-year-old daughter Onyx Solace and eight-year-old son Ever Imre, gave birth to her third child earlier this month. This week, she posted a photo on Instagram of her breastfeeding her newborn son, Winter Mercy Morissette-Treadway.

She captioned the photo, “Snug as a bug in a milky rug. #worldbreastfeedingmonth #notalwayseasypeasy.”

The singer also tagged Stop Censoring Motherhood, Normalize Breastfeeding Official and The Badass Breastfeeder, making her point crystal clear: breastfeeding is not always straightforward, and women who are doing it need support. In light of August being National Breastfeeding Month in America, the post – which clearly resonated with her followers – has encouraged other women to share their stories.

 

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snug as a bug in a milky rug. ✨???? #worldbreastfeedingmonth #notalwayseasypeasy ????????❤️

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“The worst thing about breastfeeding was that my husband couldn’t do it!” Alannah, a mum of three, jokes to Mamamia. But she knows from experience that challenges with breastfeeding are usually not much to laugh about.

“I had it all – breast refusal, mastitis, even being told off for feeding in a restaurant! It’s exhausting, and it’s definitely not always easy.”

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WATCH: Breastfeeding around the world. Post continues after video.

Mum-of-two, Nicola, also shared her experience with us.

“The pressure to breastfeed by the first midwife I had was enormous. Well, that’s what it felt like in that moment,” she said.

“I’d had a 36-hour labour and my mind was everywhere. I could barely keep my eyes open. But this nurse was insistent we try latching.

“Looking back now, of course I know that first feed from me, and that contact, was really important. But I really didn’t want to do it at the time!”

 

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❇️ SUPPORT IS BEST???????? Please see details below to #DONATEMILK #normalizemilksharing _ from @professionalblackgirl ❗️???????????????????????? ????????????????❗️⁣ ⁣ #????????????????????????????????????????⁣ ⁣ Last Monday, @drkristianh along with her husband @eatsnbeets_ , and 3-month old son August were in a critical car accident where Kristian and baby August both sustained critical injuries.⁣ ⁣ While August will soon be discharged, Kristian is currently in a coma and in critical condition, so the Henderson & Edwards family along with the entire @blkandgrn team, are soliciting all of your PRAYERS, HEALING ENERGY, and LOVE as she fights for her life and the families prepare for the long road to recovery.⁣ ⁣ You can also support by⁣ ⁣ (1) DONATING directly to the family PayPal.me/brotherspanky⁣ ⁣ (2) DONATING BREASTMILK for baby August (SWIPE LEFT and contact @herholisticpath) ⁣ ⁣ OR⁣ ⁣ (3) simply leaving encouraging words through Dr. Kristian’s site www.drkristianh.com ⁣ ⁣ Anyone who has been privileged enough to meet or know Dr. Kristian are instantly blown away by her passion and commitment to the people and causes she fights for, so we have no doubt that that same fighting spirit we know and love, will apply to her current fight and future recovery journey.⁣ ⁣ Family and friends from all over the country have pulled together to ensure that BLK + GRN stays fully operational, so any purchases… _ from @blkandgrn DMV Breastfeeding Mamas, we need your help! If you or someone you know is a current breastfeeding mama who is willing to donate her milk, please contact @herholisticpath who is leading the charge and pulling our community together to help nourish baby BLK + GRN while Dr.Kristian is unable to do so.???? – Please email [email protected] or DM @herholisticpath for more details & tag a mama who may be willing to assist or knows someone who can, below!???????????? #LiveBLKGRN – ????: @AfricanBoheme _ #boobhive #bfing #normalizebfing #normalizebreastfeeding #donatebreastmilk #breastmilkdonor #breastmilk #breastfeeding #normalisebreastfeeding #nursepumpdonate #feedallthebabies #supportisbest

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Clare’s experience with breastfeeding was a “rollercoaster”.

“My kid attached really easily, and we went home from the hospital with me thinking I’d nailed breastfeeding,” Clare tells us.

“Naturally, it went to crap when we got home.

“I’ve had three kids now, so I know nothing is ever smooth sailing, but at the time, with my first one all suddenly having trouble latching at home, I felt like such a failure.

“Now I know there’s ups and downs with breastfeeding, as the baby develops. Wish I’d known that with my first one, it would have saved me a couple of meltdowns!”

 

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All of this. Bathing with kids, breastfeeding in the tub, getting covered in toys. We do amazing things! And she almost didn’t post it. From @thepeacefulhomemaker – “I posted this picture yesterday morning, then I took it back down. I don’t even know why. Like I saw something in that moment I didn’t like an deleted it. Then I instantly regretted it. This was my reality yesterday. It wasn’t a beautiful #Instagram post. It wasn’t a great angle or a “beautiful” moment. But in a way to me, It was. After a really rough night and a long day ahead, I threw both my boys into a bath and joined them. It wasnt relaxing, I even tandem fed baby O and rocky from paw patrol but it was fun for them. This was my Monday morning.” #mombodmonday #breastfeeding

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Belinda’s experience was different, as her baby was born prematurely.

“My daughter was born at 33 weeks, but I was able to pump and store breastmilk while she was being fed through an IV, which was great.

“Lots of people told me not to bother with breastfeeding, to make it simple for myself, but I wanted to try.

“My daughter wasn’t developed or strong enough to take my breast until we got out of the hospital and went home, at about 38 weeks. At 36 weeks, I’d been able to feed her through a special hospital bottle.

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“At home, breastfeeding went perfectly at first, and I think that’s because we’d had so much bonding time before.

“So, here I am, thinking it’s all great, and then my nipples became so cracked and sore, it was EXCRUCIATING. I would cry during every feed.

“I had to stop at six months. But I didn’t think that was failing at all – I felt like I’d done the right thing for as long as I could, especially as he’d been born so early.”

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Priti, whose ‘baby’ is now 10, is honest about her difficult experience, but also grateful for it.

“I HATED breastfeeding,” Priti admits.

“But my mum is really old school and she wouldn’t let me give up. She came to stay when the baby was born, so I couldn’t even lie to her about it!

“I know she was doing what she thought was right, but I found it really uncomfortable. I got mastitis three times and I promise you, it is horrible. You do get very sick and it bloody hurts.

“I stopped doing it at three months.

“But here’s the thing: looking back now, I’m glad I did it for that long. When it’s going well, it’s a really special time, and I do appreciate that I got to do it, because I know many people can’t.”

After breastfeeding her first child, mum-of-four Emily’s second baby refused to breastfeed.

“My gorgeous babe just wouldn’t take my boob. Don’t know why – my husband hadn’t been able to get enough of them before, ha ha,” Emily laughs.

“But it meant he wasn’t getting enough nutrition, and at eight weeks, he was admitted to hospital with ‘failure to thrive’.

“I was devastated. I hated myself, and felt so guilty at the time. It was awful.

“But this is what I want all mums to know: everyone has challenges. You will hear so many other people’s stories, and then you’ll know that you did the best you could.

“You haven’t failed as a mum if you’ve hated doing it, or can’t do it.”

Nama Winston has had a legal career (paid), and a parenting career (unpaid). You can follow her on Instagram: @namawinston and Facebook: @NamaWinston.

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