Stacey Solomon gets real about breastfeeding struggle and 'Pepperami nipples'

Stacey Solomon has been praised for opening up about her breastfeeding struggles [Photo: Getty/Instagram]
Stacey Solomon has been praised for opening up about her breastfeeding struggles [Photo: Getty/Instagram]

When it comes to motherhood you can count on Stacey Solomon to keep it real.

The 29-year-old TV personality recently welcomed her third son with boyfriend Joe Swash and has been keeping her fans updated on the highs and lows of life with a newborn.

In her latest post, the new mum has opened up about her breastfeeding struggles including having engorged nipples and finding it difficult to get her baby son to latch on.

In her typical candid style the ‘Loose Women’ presenter joked about her son having trouble latching on to her "Pepperami nipples" and showed fans the face she makes when he does.

READ MORE: Mum left 'angry and embarrassed' after being told to stop breastfeeding her baby on Ryanair flight

Sharing an image of herself make-up free as she lay in bed with her son feeding, she wrote: "Trying to smile. This is my face every time he latches on

"I didn’t breastfeed Leighton and I don’t remember 11 years ago with Zach so it came as a bit of a shock to me when my feeding experience wasn’t blissful breast time and expressing pints of milk in between!”

The mum-of-three went on to detail the difficulties she’d entailed in trying to breastfeed, but was hoping things were starting to improve.

"After not mastering the latch that leaving my boobs engorged and my nipples feeling like they’d been rubbed on sandpaper I think we are finally getting there,” she wrote.

“I’ve been milked by just about every health visitor and breastfeeding specialist around (for which I am eternally grateful) and my baby can finally get his tiny mouth around, what Zach and Leighton call, my Pepperami nipples!”

Though the presenter admits she still hasn’t quite mastered breastfeeding entirely she’s not putting too much pressure on herself.

"We still haven’t mastered it yet and we might never master it - that’s ok too,” she continued.

And Stacey had some words of encouragement for anyone else who was finding it tricky to breastfeed.

“I just thought for anyone out there struggling or who struggled to breastfeed that it’s perfectly OK, there’s nothing wrong with you, and you’re doing amazingly.

"All things I’ve struggled to believe at times. It’s so wonderful to see people’s happy breastfeeding pictures and amazing expressing photos - I love them, but from somebody who is lucky to express 10ml if not dust when I put a pump on I would have loved to see some different experiences too.

"Here’s to making it work no matter what way round you do it! Breast or bottle, Mammas, YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!"

Since sharing her post, Instagram users have been quick to thank Stacey for her honesty.

“Thank you for talking about breastfeeding,” one user wrote. “I wasn't able to due to medical reasons, but it's nice to hear a celebrity talk about the struggles. So many ladies aren't supported enough around breastfeeding.”

“Thank you for being so honest!” another commented. “I beat myself up so much for not being able to breastfeed and looking back wish I’d had more support to just let it be. Us Mummy’s give ourselves too much tough love!”

Many also shared similar difficulties with getting their baby to latch on.

“Amazing you're shedding light on this for others,” one mum wrote.

“I had a similar experience. 5 weeks I tortured myself until I had to give up feeling you have failed as a mother, because no one tells you latching on issues exist.”

READ MORE: Pregnant woman defends decision to not breastfeed baby when he’s born

Stacey later returned to comment on the messages she’d received since sharing her post.

“The comments on here are giving me life,” she wrote. “I really appreciate how kind and supportive people can be and seeing similar experiences is just the best!”

It isn’t the first time Stacey has won praise on social media for being brutally honest about motherhood.

Last month, the new mum was applauded for sharing a natural post-birth image of her holding her new baby, complete with a blood stained night shirt and towels.

The NHS describes breast engorgement, one of the struggles Stacey discussed in her post, as when your breasts get too full of milk, making them feel hard, tight and painful.

“Engorgement can happen in the early days when you and your baby are still getting used to breastfeeding. It can take a few days for your milk supply to match your baby's needs,” the site explains.

But engorgement can also happen when your baby is older and not feeding so frequently, for example when they start on solid food.

To ease the discomfort of engorgement experts suggest trying to express a little breast milk by hand.

Other tips to help include putting warm flannels on your breasts before expressing and taking paracetamol or ibuprofen.

For tips on how to help your baby latch on properly, talk to your health visitor or breastfeeding advisor.