THE BLOG

How Breastfeeding Can Drive Some Women to the Brink of Depression, by 'X Factor' Winner Sam Bailey

13/10/2014 15:41 BST | Updated 12/12/2014 10:59 GMT

X Factor winner Sam Bailey is in an absolute bubble after having her adorable third child Miley.

Who can blame her, the former prison warden topped off a fabulous year when she won the X Factor, duetted with Michael Bolton, had a number one selling debut album, by introducing baby Miley into the world, a sibling for her eldest two Tommy and Brooke.

As any mum knows, from the moment their child arrives, they are told breastfeeding is the most natural thing, provides the best nutrients through the colostrum (first milk) for the baby and if it works, it is! But it's not always easy for everyone. No doubt expectant mum Kate Middleton probably gets an earful about it too.

As stars including Kimberley Walsh have this week come forward to tell the truth about their heart-renching experiences, Sam has come forward to share her experiences so other mums know they are not alone.

The chart-topping 37-year-old, who gave birth a month ago said: 'Unfortunately, Miley wouldn't latch on so I couldn't breastfeed with her. With my son, I got mastitis which was so painful that I had to stop. My daughter had reflux so she was getting too much milk, and she was just puking up across the room. So I haven't had much luck with breastfeeding with all three of them.'

It's pretty refreshing to think that even celeb mums can come forward to share their real-life experiences.

But what about the pressure new mums face from medical professionals and piers about breastfeeding, and just how did Sam cope?

'They never put my pressure on me, if a baby's not going to latch on, it's not going to latch on. But if it's going to effect your mental state of mind, then I would say they shouldn't put pressure on you. You know in your own mind if you're that tired you could physically harm yourself, or harm the baby. I can totally emphasise with people that get like that when they get on the verge of postnatal depression and it is really tough, when you're that tired and you've got to be awake. You end up having a pop at everyone. It's really tough. '

Sam, whose set to perform on the X Factor live shows this year, said her support network has helped her through.

'These days there's a lot of training that involves knowing and understanding and being able to tell whether someone is on the brink of a breakdown. So they were good with me.

It's so important to have a strong support network. My other half knows how difficult it is to do night feeds to be awake 2 in the morning...'

No doubt her husband Craig's also supporting Sam's bid to raise the profile of women's football.

As well as empowering young girls with the likes of documentaries like Venus and Serena on Netflix, it really is time for girls to rule the world in football too.

Sam is supporting the FA WSL Continental Cup Final, which will see Arsenal Ladies take on Manchester City Women on 16th October at Adam's Park Stadium. See www.wycombewanderers.co.uk

She tells me:'When a lot of young girls want to grow up to be WAGS, it's refreshing to have women's football. With men's football, the money that they earn! It's massive in America, it should be here too. When I played years ago, when I was fourteen, there was a boys team. The manager said "Sam, the only way you can play for us is if you cut all your hair off." I had long brown hair down to my bum. I went home that night and I to cut my hair off like a boy in order to pay for the team. I had the old 90s curtains haircut. I played for that team for two seasons before I started to grow my tiny bee-stings, and I couldn't play anymore. That's why it's important to raise the profile of women's football.'

You can say that again. A short back and sides is not for everyone!