Breastfeeding is a contentious topic even today. Breastfeeding in public? NO! Breastfeeding in a park? NO! Breastfeeding in an airplane loo? Yes. Formula feeding? Bad mom. A process that is so natural and so right has somehow managed to attract so many opinions (mostly negative) from people on how they should feed their kid. It’s hard for people to wrap their head around a woman breastfeeding in public. But what if it was a 4-year-old toddler? Unfortunately, Riona O’Connor had to learn things the hard way when she posted a breastfeeding picture on the internet.
Here is the photo shared by Riona on her social media account that sparked a debate.
Riona, who is a mom blogger and breastfeeding advocate posted a photo on her social media account on her son’s 4th birthday. In the photo, her son is seen latched onto her breast. Usually, women stop breastfeeding once they cross the 1-2 years mark. So when this mum posted a picture of her breastfeeding her son, imagine the backlash she received.
What The So-Called Critics Had To Say…
One woman commented, ‘That’s sick.’ Another one wrote that a child needs to grow up as they can’t be babies forever. It’s time to cut the cord. Another user thought her son is too old to be on her breast. And he will have to deal with some major issues growing up. One user said that she is not against breastfeeding in public, but the child is too old to be breastfeeding. She believed it’s just wrong.
Many Came Out In Support…
Amidst all the backlash, many supported the mum too. Many called her amazing and great. One woman said how it’s encouraging to see her doing it so confidently. Many agreed that it needs to be normalized. One mom said that she is just weaning her 4.5-year-old child now. Breastfeeding has many benefits and it will only contribute to their lifelong holistic health, wrote one user.
Riona has been breastfeeding her son Garvan right after birth. She says that she doesn’t plan to stop it anytime soon. Riona is also nursing her newborn son simultaneously. She says that she didn’t plan for how long she is going to nurse her kids. Things just happened like that.
Though her decision has garnered many negative comments, Riona has been lucky to have a husband who supports her choices when it comes to nursing their children. Her partner is totally supportive of what makes the mom and their children healthy and happy.
Besides advocating breastfeeding and normalizing extended breastfeeding, the mom blogger is also someone who promotes body positivity. Embracing her thick thighs, her cellulite legs, and her beautiful waist with every post in her social media account, she is challenging the body standards one post at a time. The mom has also been honest about tackling her depression and loathing her body once but has now come a long way.
She recently posted another picture breastfeeding her 4-year-old son and slammed all the myths surrounding extended breastfeeding and natural term weaning. She ended the post giving it back to the trolls, saying ‘And no, he doesn’t ask his teachers to breastfeed him.’
When asked by casual acquaintances and total strangers when she plans to stop nursing her son, the blogger mom jokingly responds when her son starts college. She says it’s nobody’s business and she will stop when her little boy wants her to stop. Riona has a decent following on her social media account because of her no-nonsense approach toward parenting and motherhood. She is clearly someone who doesn’t adhere to society’s set of rules for what is right and wrong. And we love her for it!
What’s your take on it? Do you think there should be a general rule of thumb when a mother should stop breastfeeding her son? Or did Riona’s story inspire you to continue breastfeeding until your kid weans naturally?