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Emily Maynard Johnson Says She Was Ashamed to Stop Breastfeeding Her Son: ‘I Was Hiding Formula’

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Life after Bachelorette! Six former Bachelorettes are opening up about finding love — and raising new babies! Subscribe now for all about how they found their happily ever after — only in PEOPLE!

Mommy guilt is a real thing!

“Breastfeeding is really hard,” Emily Maynard Johnson, 31, exclusively tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I breastfed Ricki, I breastfed Jennings for a while and then Gibson, it’s so hard with other kids running around. And then I got mastitis (a painful infection of the breast tissue) which is like the worst, worse than childbirth I feel like.”

Jana Cruder
  • Watch People Features: Bachelorette Baby Boom, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on your favorite device.

“I just quit. I didn’t want to tell anybody that I quit. I was trying to hide formula,” admits Maynard Johnson. “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 former Bachelorette, who is married to Tyler Johnson, is mother to three children: daughter, Ricki, 11, and sons Jennings Tyler, 22 months, and Gibson Kyle, 7 months

Jana Cruder
  • For more from the Bachelorettes on motherhood, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

Maynard Johnson (season 8) was joined by five former Bachelorette stars — DeAnna Stagliano (season 4), Jillian Harris (season 5), Ali Fedotowsky-Manno (season 6), Ashley Rosenbaum (season 7) and Desiree Siegfried (season 9) — in an exclusive sit-down with PEOPLE, where they opened up about embracing motherhood, juggling their careers and giving up their party-girl ways since each welcoming babies in 2016.

“As women you say you just want to empower other women, but as mother’s even so no one should ever make you feel guilty for doing something like that,” says Stagliano, who has two children — Addison Marie, 3, and Austin Michael, 1 — with her husband Stephen Stagliano.

Although they are already parents of three, Maynard Johnson and her hubby definitely want more kids.

In December, she previously told PEOPLE, “I definitely think we’ll have at least one more. [My husband] wants two more. [My daughter] will be out of the house and the babies will still be young.”

“We’re going to plan this one a little better. We’ll space it out a little bit better,” she said, and added, “This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

— With CHRISTINA DUGAN