By Sophie Norris
An inspirational mum-of-one has published an intimate photograph revealing her post-baby ‘saggy belly’ as she breastfeeds NAKED in the bath – to encourage other women to feel confident about the ‘power’ of female bodies.
Emmy Waller, 26, decided to take a photograph of her breastfeeding 12-week-old Alice in celebration of her being able to still feed the baby despite her battling difficulties and jaundice.
The image shows the pair lay naked together in the bath, Emmy cradling Alice’s tiny body as she feeds from her – and the mum makes no attempt to hide her ‘stretch marks or big belly’.
Instead, Emmy bravely shared the powerful picture in a bid to inspire other women to celebrate their bodies regardless how they look.
Emmy, from Leeds, Yorks, said: “Of course the thing about the photo is that I thought I looked awful with stretch marks and a big belly, but people have been coming to me saying it’s the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen.
“Now I don’t care what my body looks like – it’s made my baby and the result of that is I have a saggy belly.
“I only had my baby 12 weeks ago. Women’s bodies are strong and powerful, but I’m no superwoman.
“It’s just something natural and this is how I look and I’ve inspired other women to feel amazing too.
“Many others have posted their own breastfeeding pictures on social media as well.
“Nobody looks perfect at the end of the day but women have just got to embrace who they are.
“Our bodies are full are strength and beauty.”
The microbiologist had decided to breastfeed her daughter before she had even been born but admits it wasn’t easy at the beginning.
However Alice was born jaundiced and so was routinely taken away to be given antibiotics and found it difficult to feed.
But through determination, Emmy is now celebrating more than three months of breastfeeding.
Emmy said: “Alice and I are extremely close, we have an amazing bond, because she gets everything from me.
“When I walk into the room, she hears me and her eyes light up.
“In the photograph when Alice is looking up at me, she does a little smile and it’s just the best feeling in the world.
“She gets cuddles from me, comfort from me, milk from me. Everything she needs comes from me and my body.”
Emmy claims that while her breastfeeding journey has been a dream, sharing the image wasn’t just to promote that but to show all women, mums or not, that they should love their bodies for how strong and beautiful they are.
She also hopes women who are struggling to feed their babies naturally, or are just undecided, will seek help and advice to help them continue breastfeeding their children.
Emmy said: “The feeling and bond breastfeeding gives you is amazing. You’re feeding the baby from your body and nothing else.
“Alice was so ill when she was born and had to keep being taken from me. Then she lost almost nine per cent of her baby weight and the nurses said she would have to be topped up with formula if she didn’t start putting on weight.
“I was exhausted and really worried, but I was expressing and feeding her the colostrum with a syringe.
“If somebody sees the picture and thinks about breastfeeding, it’s worth showing the photo. I hope it encourages people.
“People might struggle with it at the beginning – it can be painful and frustrating – but I would say be persistent and find the help. It is out there.
“There’s support workers, groups, meet-ups. People who have been through it themselves will be able to advise them.
“Rather than giving up when it’s difficult, after the first few weeks it’s the easiest thing in the world.”
A spokesperson for breastfeeding support group La Leche League GB said: “Breastfeeding a baby is a biological norm and it’s important that women feel able to breastfeed without encountering negative comments.
“Many mothers do lack confidence in breastfeeding and worry that others will judge them. Seeing breastfeeding as something natural can help society accept it as normal.
“While some mothers prefer their breastfeeding experience to remain personal to them, others are comfortable in sharing a wide range of images of themselves nursing their babies as a means of marking their experience and of normalising breastfeeding.”