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'Bachelorette' Emily Maynard Johnson says she was ashamed to quit breastfeeding

Former "Bachelorette" Emily Maynard Johnson opened up to People about the guilt she felt when she stopped breastfeeding her son.
/ Source: TODAY

Hollywood moms love to talk about the benefits of breastfeeding — but for one star, the pressure to breastfeed was too much.

Former "Bachelorette" Emily Maynard Johnson opened up in People's special "Life After 'Bachelorette'" issue about the guilt she felt when she stopped breastfeeding her son Gibson, 7 months.

Emily Maynard Johnson got candid about her struggle to breastfeed her son Gibson.Adam Bettcher / Getty Images

"Breastfeeding is really hard,” Maynard Johnson, 31, told the magazine. “I breastfed (daughter) Ricki, I breastfed (son) Jennings for a while and then Gibson. It’s so hard with other kids running around. And then I got mastitis (an infection of the breast tissue) which is like the worst, worse than childbirth I feel like."

The Season 8 star, who's married to Tyler Johnson, revealed, "I just quit. I didn’t want to tell anybody that I quit. I was trying to hide formula."

RELATED: 'Bachelorette' star Emily Maynard welcomes baby boy — see the adorable photo

Seeing other moms nursing so easily made Maynard Johnson feel even worse: “I saw all of these beautiful breastfeeding pictures, I don’t know if I would post a picture like that, but I would love the option. I wanted to so bad.”

The candid sit-down about motherhood also featured five other "Bachelorette" alums — DeAnna Stagliano (season 4), Jillian Harris (season 5), Ali Fedotowsky-Manno (season 6), Ashley Rosenbaum (season 7) and Desiree Siegfried (season 9) — all of whom welcomed a baby in 2016.

Stagliano, 35, who has two kids — Addison, 3, and Austin, 1 — with husband Stephen Stagliano, said moms need to "empower" one another when they're struggling.

"No one should ever make you feel guilty for doing something like that,” she told Maynard Johnson.

People's "Life After 'Bachelorette'" issue is on newsstands now.