Parenting

Millie Mackintosh makes ’emotional’ decision to stop breastfeeding after daughter is diagnosed with silent reflux


Sienna has been diagnosed with silent reflux (Picture: REX, Instagram/@milliemackintosh)

Millie Mackintosh has had to stop breastfeeding after her daughter was diagnosed with silent reflux.

The Made In Chelsea star’s four-month-old daughter Sienna has had to switch to a special formula to prevent reflux, and Millie admitted that the decision was an ‘emotional’ one.

The 31-year-old wrote on Instagram: ‘A big development for Sienna (and for me) a few weeks ago was the realisation and confirmation that she has Silent Reflux. She’d been displaying quite a few symptoms – distracted short breast feeds, crying every night, arching her back, going stiff, coughing and always trying to stand up. 

‘All of these symptoms were made worse when she started wearing her hip harness as she couldn’t stretch out her legs which is what many babies do in response to reflux.’

Millie and her husband Hugo Taylor assumed that the harness for Sienna’s hip dysplasia was causing her distress, but decided to make an appointment with a paediatric gastroenterologist, when they learned she had been suffering from silent reflux. 

The reality star continued: ‘Sienna is now on medication and based on the professional advice given, it has meant my breastfeeding journey has come to an end much sooner than I had hoped. It was a really emotional decision to step back and transition to the suggested specific formula that helps with this condition. 

Little Sienna is also being treated for hip dysplasia (Picture: Instagram/ milliemackintosh)

‘I reminded myself that firstly it’s all about whatever is best for Sienna and secondly I am so grateful for the 4 months of beautiful bonding we shared during our feeding times (it’s not a given for everyone) I was at peace with whatever need to be done in order to make Sienna comfortable. 

‘Hold on mum police, please don’t judge! I’m in no way suggesting anyone stops breast feeding just because their baby has reflux… my reflux / breast feeding journey with Sienna was exacerbated by her wearing a hip harness. Breast feeding became even more difficult (impossible to ever get her in a comfy position) and I did try to combi feed for a while but I found it all too much.

‘It’s been a tough few months, needless to say anxiety levels went sky-high and I’m still struggling with the emotional rollercoaster of being a new mum – the guilt, the worry, the panic and the other hundred things that I try not to overwhelm myself with!’

Millie shared the post alongside a picture with her baby girl. 



What is silent reflux?

  • According to the NHS, reflux is when a baby brings up milk, or is sick, during or shortly after feeding. It’s very common and usually gets better on its own.
  • Sometimes babies may have signs of reflux, but will not bring up milk or be sick. This is known as silent reflux.
  • Reflux usually starts before a baby is eight weeks old and gets better by the time they’re one.
  • Symptoms of reflux in babies include: bringing up milk or being sick during or shortly after feeding, coughing or hiccupping when feeding, being unsettled during feeding, swallowing or gulping after burping or feeding, crying and not settling and not gaining weight as they’re not keeping enough food down.

Fans and friends supported the star in the comment section, with Georgia Jones writing: ‘You do you. That’s all she needs.’

Another comment read: ‘No judgement at all! Each parent has to do what they feel is right for them and their little one. So much to be said for mummy instinct too!’

While the star had admitted that she struggled to breastfeed at the beginning, Millie later said that breastfeeding was her ‘favourite way to feed’ Sienna. 

Last month, Millie revealed that her daughter would have to wear a special harness for up to 12 weeks to correct one of her hip sockets, which was underdeveloped.

After discovering Sienna had hip dysplasia, Millie wrote on social media: ‘Apparently, [the harness] has a 90% chance of totally correcting her hip, so she hopefully shouldn’t need surgery or have any issues with her movement, so we are remaining positive and grateful that we found out early.’

Sienna is Millie and Hugo’s first child, with the reality stars tying the knot in 2018 after reuniting post Millie’s split from first husband Professor Green.

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