A MUM told last night how she was too weak from HUNGER to breastfeed her baby — after surviving on just two biscuits a day.
Starving Suzanne Harkins revealed how she had to stop feeding Mason naturally at six weeks old after plunging into a world of poverty.
The mum-of-two, 42, of Paisley — who along with hubby David lost her job in the recession — said: “Breastfeeding would have been the cheapest way to feed my baby.
“But I wasn’t eating enough calories. Every day’s a struggle.”
The mum-of-two went without food to put meals on the table for her kids after their idyllic family life fell apart.
Desperate Suzanne skips grub every morning as she battles to save all she can to feed her sons Aiden and Mason.
Her sacrifice comes months after she was surviving on two biscuits a day — and was so weak from hunger she had to stop breastfeeding Mason when he was just six weeks old.
She admitted their ordeal was a far cry from over four years ago when she and her husband David were both in dream jobs down south and living in a £285,000 family house.
But after she and David ended up out of work they were left homeless just weeks before she was due to give birth to second son Mason.
And Suzanne, who now lives in a council house in Paisley with David, Aiden, 14, and Mason, now aged one, said: “Everything I knew and loved about our lives has gone. It’s frightening.
“I can’t sleep. I lie awake at night worrying that I’m not able to feed my family. I can’t bear for my children to go without.
“My priority is their health so I go without.
“This wasn’t how I thought my life would be. But I know there are thousands of families in Scotland exactly the same.”
Suzanne told how she, David and Aiden moved south ten years ago after David was headhunted for a job as a psychiatric nurse in London.
They bought a three-bedroom home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, in a quiet cul-de-sac with a back garden overlooking a nature reserve.
Suzanne said: “It was our dream family home. We were happy. The view from the lounge was terrific. We worked full-time and life was good.”
But money got tight in 2009 after Suzanne was made redundant from her job as a support worker helping people with mental health problems.
Months later, cash worries and stress at work led to David having a breakdown.
He was forced to give up the career he loved — while Suzanne was pregnant with Mason.
As the unpaid bills mounted they eventually missed three mortgage payments and the bank repossessed their house in August 2011 — just weeks before Suzanne was due to give birth to Mason.
While David finished packing up their home, Suzanne reluctantly got on a bus home to Scotland with just a suitcase to their name.
Suzanne said: “It broke my heart. I was about to have a baby, standing in Glasgow with only a suitcase and declaring that my family was homeless.
“It was a very lonely time. I was scared. I just couldn’t believe this was happening.
“My husband had worked all his life and through his job helped so many other families.
“Now he felt like he had failed us. It was so hard to watch the people I love going through this.”
The joy of the birth of Mason was overshadowed by the stress of moving into their three-bedroom Paisley home — where at first there wasn’t a cooker, carpets or even curtains.
Suzanne’s weight plummeted by almost two stones and she was too weak to continue breastfeeding Mason.
She said: “Breastfeeding would have been the cheapest way of feeding my baby but I wasn’t eating enough calories.”
She has even been told that because their home has three bedrooms they will have to pay the controversial new ‘bedroom tax’.
Suzanne said they were eventually forced to visit a foodbank in the Renfrewshire town — where they received vital supplies and much-needed emotional support.