My Love/Hate Relationship With Breastfeeding

BF workJPG

Multi tasking – feeding baby, feeding me, & trying to get some work done.

I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. It’s something I just assumed I would do when I became a mum because it’s what I heard my mum, her mum before her, my aunties, my cousins’ wives, my friends and people around me did. The way I heard everyone talk about it, I thought this would be the easiest, most beautiful, blissful experience. For me it wasn’t always the case.

I love that the great experiences are out there but it’s important that we hear as many people’s truths as possible.

Breastfeeding my first born was much tougher than I thought it would be. From the beginning, she had problems latching and then when she did, she would take forever to feed. Those first few days/nights in hospital were so overwhelming. I was so lucky that there was an amazing nurse who had my well being, as well as baby’s, at the fore. She was there for quite a few feeds and saw what was happening. When she saw my exhaustion levels she insisted that I sleep through a feed and she would give her formula. I started to cry. I didn’t want the decision to breastfeed to be taken from me. I wanted to make that decision myself. However, she talked me off the ledge and told me we would work through it. After a couple of hours sleep I felt better and we had a chat – she would watch my next feed and we’d figure it out together.

Again, my baby girl wasn’t latching. This is when she suggested a nipple shield. I had no idea what this was (it sounded like something a super hero would wear!) but this was my saviour. All of a sudden my baby girl was feeding! I thought that would be the end of the struggle but it wasn’t. Although it was much better than the first few days, and I was lucky not to have engorged boobs or mastitis, I still found it tough.

My baby girl would take forever to feed. People would talk about 10-20minute feeds, we’d still be going at 40-45minutes. Then there was the fact that because I was breastfeeding I’d have to do the night feeds and so I was so sleep deprived. Expressing was a living hell! I’d express for 30mins and only have about 30-40mls of that liquid gold. Nowhere near the amount needed for someone else to feed her.

This was eight years ago, in Ireland, so I also felt quite isolated. I was feeding in rooms on my own so as not to make anyone else feel uncomfortable, feeding in cars, behind trees, anywhere that was out of sight – I started to feel that I was becoming invisible.

BF Apron

I used this apron a few times but it didn’t really work for me as both baby and I got hot & bothered.

Fast forward 5 years (2016) and I am thankful to say that the experience was different
with my second child. Attitudes towards breastfeeding had started to change in Ireland. I no longer felt I had to be invisible (that said I did try a breast feeding apron a few times – my baby hated it and I felt hot and flustered).

Feeding him was also so much easier. He took to the boob with ease and didn’t take as long to feed (although expressing was still a nightmare). I still had mixed emotions though. I loved the ease of breastfeeding – the fact that I didn’t have to worry if he needed an unexpected feed as food was always to hand (or boob).

I struggled with other things though. The biggest one was the feeling of having a constant ball and chain attached to me. Even when I did leave the baby with others to feed him – I still had to relieve my boobs when I was out, or time it to be home for the next feed.

I also felt like I had lost some of my identity. I had become a feeding machine. All my clothing decisions weren’t made based on what I would love to wear, they were all about whether or not the outfits were breast feeding feeding friendly. I also never felt less sexy! While feeding my son, I found it hard to think of my body in a sexual way. That said, I surprised myself and breastfed him for longer than I ever thought I would and I would do it all over again.

On breastfeeding awareness week why am I sharing these feelings? I suppose it’s to let any other mums out there (who may be feeling similarly to what I was) know that they are not alone.

It’s also to highlight that mums need support. Whatever way they chose to feed their baby, mind mum. Make sure she is OK. While she may say everything is grand, we all know that grand is not always what it means. Be there for her and please don’t judge her – support her. Be like a good bra – lift her up, don’t drag her down.

Posted in Opinion Piece | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“This is the Pay Per View of Monster Movies” – O’Shea Jackson Jr (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)

While on the Straight Outta Compton press tour, O’Shea Jackson Jr kept saying that Godzilla is one of his heroes. He gets to star alongside his hero in Godzilla: King Of Monsters.

We spoke about why he describes this as the Pay Per View of monster films; the feeling of your childhood meeting up with your adult life; the importance of always betting on yourself; not saying yes to everything; and his upcoming film with his dad, Ice Cube, “Rocky Mountain High”

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is in cinemas now.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“It was like Christmas everyday” – Michael Dougherty (GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS)

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” Director/Co-writer Michael Dougherty shares the excitement, nerves and preparation that come with working on your dream project.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is in Irish cinemas now.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“It’s Completely Insane But I Love It” – Patrick Gibson on “The OA” Season 2, “Tolkien” and Living The Dream.

In 2017 Patrick Gibson won the IFTA Rising Star Award and deservedly so. He took the world by storm with his performance as Steve in the popular Netflix series, “The OA”. Since then he has starred alongside Idris Elba the mini-series, “Guerilla”, featured in the popular Young Adult film, “The Darkest Minds”, is about to be seen on the big screen again, in Tolkien,  and is now back as Steve in Season 2 of Netflix’s “The OA”.

We chat about the lengths he went to to get the part of Steve, why he turns to reddit for answers to “The OA” ending; how he feels about the possibility of a “Stranger Things”  & “The OA” crossover;  his new feature film, “Tolkien”; and living the dream.



The OA: Part II is available on Netflix now.

“Tolkien” is coming to cinemas soon.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“I’m aware of the power of movies” – Kevin Costner (THE HIGHWAYMEN)

Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson team up in the Netflix film, The Highwaymen. It tells the story of two former Texas Rangers who came together to bring down Bonnie and Clyde.

Kevin was offered the role of Frank Hamer ten years ago, he initially said no to the part. “I guess it didn’t seem like it fit.”, he explains.  “I could get over that wall pretty easy. I still could get over it but I had to play a character who couldn’t. And ten years ago it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to pull that off.”

Kevin has been vocal in the past that he finds opening weekends at the box office tough, so how does he feel about this film opening on Netflix? “I think these kind of movies, because we know what our younger audiences are flocking to see, and probably a movie about two aging guys, Texas Rangers, hunting down Bonnie and Clyde – I think that the general consensus was that this was not that kind of movie that could have one of those big weekends. So, that’s the beauty of Netflix, of what’s happened, because now this movie’s made. (In the past) people would have been weighing it (the pros and cons) … and that doesn’t happen so now a lot of movies are finding their way.

The Every Day Super Hero
Kevin has spent much of his career playing characters who save the day, that has had an impact on his personal life, with many people expecting him to step in when danger is present in every day life. “People assign a lot to you. Unnaturally but they do it. I’ve been aware of the power of movies and I’ve been able to be a part of movies that hopefully people will be able to continue to watch and share.”

One thing that Kevin is pleased about when it comes to his career is “that my career hasn’t spiralled down to one movie. You know, that’s when someone comes up to you and it’s always one movie. That would have disappointed me. When someone comes up to me, it’s one of 10 or 12 movies that someone might mention and I like that because it means they’re speaking to different people.”

What’s his own favourite one? “I don’t have that. The minute I have one I disown the other children.”

Kevin is one of few Hollywood actors who has never made a sequel. Has this been a conscious decisions? “No, no, I want to make a bunch of money”, he jokes.

He goes on to add, “What happens is that I really respect the movies I did and if the sequel is not as good I won’t do it … I need to see the script, because if someone like The Bodyguard and I make The Bodyguard 2, or Tin Cup 2or Bull Durham 2 or Dances With Wolves 2 and 3, and they’re not as good, then it’s going to bother me. That’s probably not great business advice – someone would say, ‘Do it. Do the second one, do the third one – are you nuts?!’ I guess probably I am.”

He does have a sequel in mind though, but in typical Costner style, there’s nothing small about this. He says, “There’s a Western I want to do – it’s four parts. All the same story and people are going, ‘Oh Kevin, why?’. And I go, ‘it’s a sequel’. And they go, ‘But what if the first one doesn’t work?’ and I go, ‘The first one is going to be great’. And so now when I talk about doing sequels they say, ‘Oh no, you can’t do it that way’.”

Even after all these years in the movie business, Kevin is still in love with it.”I am a romantic about it (the movies) I understand what’s problematic about our business, I get that perfectly, but I still love the idea of a story you’ve never heard – let me tell you one, and when you get to the end you go that was the best story!”

The Highwaymen lands on Netflix on Friday 29th March 2019.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colin Farrell Shares Why He Loves That He Gets To Live in A World Of Make Believe

Colin Farrell stars as Holt Farrier in Disney’s reimagining of one of it’s classic films, Dumbo.

Colin is in Dublin for the Irish premiere of the film. I got to chat to him about how he feels when he sees himself on the big screen. While he may not appreciate watching himself, he does love that he gets to live a world of make believe.

World of Make Believe

“For me that’s one of the most beautiful things about what I get to do for a living. I think for many of us as adults and I’ve certainly fallen a foul of this many times over the years – the imagination shuts down. The wonder of life departs, and it departs by the virtue of being shown the door by the responsibilities we acquire, and the burdens of certain things and the pressures, and one of the most beautiful things I have been able to do over the past twenty five years or so, is that it has kept my impagination alive, it’s kept a certain playfulness alive. It’s allowed my spirit to have that kind of degree of flight that not many adults experience on a day to day and I get paid for it. And never was that more front and centre than it was on this film.” Colin said

Living in the Spotlight

Colin loves what he gets to call a job but doesn’t enjoy the frenzy that sometimes comes with it. He gets why it’s there but chooses not to court it.


In the movie, Eva Green’s character, Collette, says, “Your children don’t need you to be perfect. They just need you to believe in them.” Parenthood can be tough and Colin said he is learning as her goes and just tries to let his kids be the best version of themselves, with a little guidance from him.

Secret to his success.

Colin has been in the business for over 25 years – what is the secret to his success? “I don’t know. Chance, luck, I mean it’s so out of my control. You know, you work as hard as you can when you go to work but there’s so many factors at play. There’s so many different energies that have to come together to make a film, not even work, but to just make it exist. I mean I am still working 25 years later … I am not going to say that I haven’t been found out yet, I think I have been found out a few of times but I have been let back to the scene of the crime.” Colin joked.

Dumbo hits Irish cinemas on Friday 29th March, 2019.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Living With Alopecia – Amber Jean Rowan Shares Her Story

When she was just 15 years old, one of Amber Jean’s friends noticed a bald patch on her head. After a doctor’s visit, she discovered she had alopecia. Twelve months later, Amber Jean was completely bald. Over a decade later, she is now a working actress and on this month’s cover of Irish Tatler magazine.

How did Amber Jean go from the shock of the diagnoses to loving the skin that she is in? We talk about this, the struggles, the highs and the important conversations that we all need to be having, hair or no hair, in this latest episode of “The Bellissimo Files” Podcast. Listen below.



Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment