Mother revealed her sense of pride at ‘still’ breastfeeding her 4-year-old son, but critics branded it ‘child abuse.’
Want to test the level of fury, outrage, and humiliation on the internet? Just post a photo of yourself nursing your child or ask a question about breastfeeding.
An Irish blogger and comedian, Riona O’Connor, recently shared a photo of herself breastfeeding her 4-year-old son on Facebook, and she met criticism and accusation of ‘bad parenting.’
Riona, 38-year-old, shared the image with her social media followers to celebrate her son’s birthday.
She wrote in the caption:
“He’s four today. I’m so in love with and proud of everything he is. I’m so proud of what he’s made me become.”
Discussing her first memories of breastfeeding, Riona added:
“I would never have thought that when the midwife first laid him on my breast that I would still be doing this for years later.”
“I was innocent and clueless and fully prepared for it, not to work out. The biggest surprise was that it did and that it’s given me a sense of pride and joy I didn’t think was possible.”
Her post went viral, attracting over 3,000 likes and numerous comments. Though some congratulated her for the decision, other followers were more critical in their replies.
One follower wrote:
“Jesus is there any need to breastfeed still he’s going to be starting school soon how embarrassing for him.”
“Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, but I hate when mums extend it until the kid is old enough to eat a steak. That’s sick. A kid needs to grow and cut the cord. They can’t be babies forever.”
Other mothers flocked on the post, sharing their breastfeeding experiences and praising Riona for challenging others’ notions about nursing.
One mother commented:
“I still remember days of hiding breastfeeding my just shy of 3 year old to sleep out of fear of ridicule. Wish I had the strong mental health that I do now 3 years ago to have just confidently done it.”
“You’re amazing my friend!! Happy birthday to your wee man and keep fighting the stigmas and making us all feel great!”
Asking at what age a child should stop breastfeeding, another mom claimed:
“There comes a time in a child’s life that even the bottle and pacifier need to be taken away. I am all for breastfeeding, but I do think there is a cut off point.”
“If you want him to drink breast milk everyday then pump and put it in a cup for him. I’ll probably get bashed for this, but he is too old to be on your breast.”
“I kind of feel bad for this kid because he is going to have some major issues growing up. And unrealistic expectations of women.”
“That being said, it’s no one’s business what you do. If you were my friend in real life, I would give you my opinion and support you in everything you do.”
“I am in no way saying you are a bad mom, but those would be my concerns. Happy birthday to your kiddo,”