Millie Mackintosh has opened up about her decision to stop breastfeeding her baby daughter in an honest post shared to Instagram ahead of International Women's Day.
The former Made in Chelsea star, 31, welcomed her second child, a little girl named Aurelia Violet Taylor, with husband Hugo Taylor in November 2021.
Since the newborn's arrival, Mackintosh, who is also mum to daughter Sienna born in 2020, has been giving fans an honest insight into the highs and lows of her motherhood journey.
Most recently, she has shared her breastfeeding experience, detailing why she has decided to stop breastfeeding Aurelia.
Alongside a montage of photos to Instagram, the star revealed the reasons why her time breastfeeding Aurelia had come to an end.
She began the post by opening up about the pressure she'd been feeling to continue to breastfeed her newborn despite experiencing a painful condition called mastitis while nursing.
"I really felt the pressure to just keep going even though I was literally crying in pain every time I needed to feed," the mum-of-two wrote.
After initially mentioning her struggles on social media a few weeks ago, Mackintosh said she was overwhelmed with support from her followers.
"There was one comment that really stuck with me, ‘It’s ok to stop too, it doesn’t make you a bad mum’. At the time I really needed to hear that," she wrote.
For a while the star decided to combi-feed, before another round of mastitis helped her make the decision to stop and despite some initial reservations she now believes it was "the right time" and the right decision for both of them.
"Ultimately when I got mastitis again I decided breastfeeding wasn’t working for me anymore and I knew it was time to stop," she explains. "I was in a lot of pain, I really wanted my body back, my time back and Aurelia was really unsettled which I found upsetting and frustrating."
Now her daughter is purely on formula and after finding the right bottle and teat size is feeding well.
"I still love the time spent feeding her, she clutches my fingers, pulls me close and stares into my eyes, I still feel just as important to her," Mackintosh continues.
The star went on to offer a reminder to other new mums that the most important thing is that the baby is fed.
"When you’re a new mum it’s easy to feel the pressure and get swept up in what everyone else thinks is the best thing for you to do," she explains. "But ultimately the most important thing is that your baby is fed, and you’re both happy!"
The post seemed to really resonate with Mackintosh's followers, who used the comments section to offer words of support while sharing their own breastfeeding experiences.
"Good for you. In no way does it make you a bad mama. We have to look after ourselves too," one user shared.
"I couldn’t agree more with everything you said!" another commented. "I have 3 kids and I tried my absolute best breastfeeding which didn’t come very naturally to me and the truth is me and my babies was the most happy when the bottle appeared and that’s ok. Well done you."
"The best way to feed your baby is the one that makes mummy feel good," another user wrote. "A happy mummy has a happy baby. We have to keep in mind that as a mother we always take the best decisions for our own baby."
Others praised the star for being so honest about her personal experience.
"This will benefit soooo many people – well done for sharing," one user wrote.
"Thank you for open and honest post," another mum commented. "I was so low I couldn’t feed my firstborn. If I had seen more posts like this it would have made such a difference."
It isn't the first time Mackintosh has been praised by fans for her honest depiction of motherhood.
Last month she offered a reminder to fans that all is "not always as it seems" on social media, as she shared what her post-pregnancy body looks like from different angles.
In the Insta vs reality post, the former Made in Chelsea star uploaded two mirror-selfies to her Instagram account, showing her posing in grey leggings and a bralette. In the first, her figure looks toned and un-blemished.
In the second, a short video clip, the 31-year-old can be seen walking towards the mirror, pulling down her leggings to reveal her postpartum stomach.
Fans were quick to show their support of the star's more honest depiction of her body.
One commented, "Keeping it real means so much to new mums out there...", while another wrote, "Thank you Millie!! you look amazing and it's great to see some honest posts" and another praised her for "keeping it real", saying she looks "insane" in both.
She also recently gave an insight into the type of experiences she's having with her youngest daughter, which many hailed as relatable.
Sharing a picture of her and baby Aurelia, she wrote, in the style of a diary entry for her fans: "Someone once told me that 'the days are long, but the years are short' and I am really feeling it this week, I keep thinking where have the last 3 months gone?
"Aurelia slept through the night for the first time last night, which is so bittersweet! I find motherhood full of conflicting feelings, I've been so desperate to sleep, but then missed the cuddles in the middle of the night.
"Of course I’m happy that Aurelia is reaching her milestones, she’s smiling, and sleeping really well but I’m also sad because the time has gone so quickly. I miss the early days on the sofa feeding and cuddling all day long."