Mum suffering from mastitis praised for honest ‘dangle feed’ photo

The image of breastfeeding we see in the media is usually of serenity and love; a smiling mother looking adoringly down at her baby, latched onto her breast naturally and comfortably.

But this idealised picture, much like many of the others we see of motherhood and pregnancy, often looks nothing like the reality.

Social media collective The Leaky Boob gained a social following of tens of thousands through their less-than-glamorous depictions of real life feeding, allowing their strong community of mums to reach out to other members and ask for help and advice.

One recent Instagram post has gained some serious attention for its honesty.

An un-named mother has taken to the community to share a candid snap of her bent over her baby, trying to feed using the ‘dangle feed’ position to nurse her little one.

These photos are not of a sacred, special #breastfeeding moment. They aren't to celebrate my belly or even feeding my baby. . These photos are of me trying to survive. . My temp here was over 103 and I was in agony. Complete and utter agony. I was texting my husband that I was certain I was dying. With my breast inflamed an angry red, streaks running across my chest, my body aching, pain radiating everywhere, and having several small children at home to still care for, I didn't feel I was being dramatic in telling my husband that I needed to get to the hospital. Or at least that I wanted to chop my boob off. Not #beautifulbfing. . Mastitis had struck. This was my 5th baby and only my 2nd time with mastitis. I knew what had caused it: a poorly fitting bra that I had worn too long and tragically, through a skipped feed. The bra pressed on a milk duct and with that missed feed it was the perfect storm that led to mastitis. . The reason for feeding in this position was to attempt to drain the breast more fully. It worked for me in combination with several other measures such as warm compress, frequent emptying of the breast, breast massage, fluids, and rest (thank you Netflix for letting me rest). But I was down for the count and desperate, I would have tried anything. The dangle feed position- as hard as it is to hold when you're fighting a raging fever and absolutely agony in your breast- helped turn things around for me. It's not pretty, it's not an inspiring breastfeeding moment captured in camera, but it's real and it saved me. . I lucked out and ended up not having to go to the hospital for mastitis that time and I knew the signs when it struck again with the next baby and was able to catch it early. This same feeding position helped me out again. . Parenting isn't all sun spotted mother goddess moments or white drenched stock photography families. There are these moments too with fevers and pain and unflattering positions as netflix blares in the background and kids devour every goldfish in the house. And we survive. . Dealing with mastitis or want to be prepared in case you have to? Google the leaky boob mastitis for support.

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‘These photos are not of a sacred, special #breastfeeding moment. They aren’t to celebrate my belly or even feeding my baby. These photos are of me trying to survive,’ the mum writes on the post.

She explains that she was suffering from mastitis after skipping a feed and wearing a poorly fitted bra, but that despite having five children this was only the second time she had experienced it.

‘The reason for feeding in this position was to attempt to drain the breast more fully,’ she continues. ‘It worked for me in combination with several other measures such as warm compress, frequent emptying of the breast, breast massage, fluids, and rest.

‘The dangle feed position – as hard as it is to hold when you’re fighting a raging fever and absolutely agony in your breast – helped turn things around for me. It’s not pretty, it’s not an inspiring breastfeeding moment captured in camera, but it’s real and it saved me.’

Commenters on the post were quick to reassure the mum.

‘Oh, yah! Been there, it sucks balls. Good work, Mama,’ said one encouraging commenter.

‘Mastitis is horrible, been there done that too many times. Bless your heart,’ said another, and a third simply called her a ‘Breastfeeding Warrior.’