The West

Rebecca Judd with baby Oscar.
Rebecca Judd with baby Oscar.

Parenting group Ngala has praised Rebecca Judd for highlighting her breastfeeding problems after the model's comments sparked vitriolic attacks on Facebook.

Judd revealed she had been overwhelmed as a new mum to son Oscar, partly because of a breast infection called mastitis.

But the public responded angrily, with comments including "Suck it up princess," "Get over yourself" and "There are plenty of women (in) Australia that go through a hell of a lot more than some footballer's wife."

The response suggests that the public do not like mixing parenting and fame, with Judd the latest celebrity mum to face a backlash.

Miranda Kerr caused a controversy when she tweeted pictures of herself breastfeeding. Fellow model Gisele Bundchen stirred anger over her claim that breastfeeding should be compulsory.

But Ngala lactation specialist Julie Holschier said the celebrity-bashing could prevent serious discussion about the issues which had a big impact on the welfare of new mothers.

She said breastfeeding problems had the potential to undermine a woman's sense of motherhood and could cause emotional problems including a sense of shame and failure.

Some public hospital and birthing centres were partly to blame because they turfed women out before providing proper advice, sometimes within four hours of birth.

A shortage of child health nurses meant that many new mothers did not have ready access to help and did not know how to breastfeed or ensure an adequate supply of milk.

She anticipated problems over the festive season with many mothers induced before Christmas unable to access help.

"Women can feel a sense of loss when they cannot breastfeed," she said. "For many, it's really good to see that people like Bec Judd have got challenges too."

Social commentator Mia Freedman, publisher of, said celebrities were often attacked as the "ultimate tall poppy" but they had an opportunity to give a great service to women by showing that it was not always easy being a mother.

The West Australian

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