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Mom Shamed Online For Breastfeeding Her Four-Year-Old Son

There are many controversies that surround the topic of breastfeeding children. Experts say breastfeeding has a number of benefits for both the baby and mother, but despite the evidence, moms have to deal with criticism from people who say the practice is "gross" and "disgusting".

Some moms have even been shamed for breastfeeding their children in public or sharing photos of breastfeeding online. Others think that mothers who are breastfeeding don't deserve special treatment, like time to pump milk while at work. Breastfeeding moms still face a number of stigmas and backlash in today's day and age.

It seems no matter what a mom chooses to do, they can never win.

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People are constantly shaming moms for every little thing they decide to do. It's not a surprise that breastfeeding is something that people shame them for, too. Even fellow moms will shame one another, or get into arguments online over the "best way" to feed your baby.

Some moms think breastfeeding is beneficial, while others think it's unnecessary.

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Many moms opt for breastfeeding because experts agree that it's a great way to get nutrients from the mother to the baby, and encourages bonding.

Other moms use formula because they are unable to breastfeed or choose not to. However, there's no "right way" to feed a baby. A doctor will help moms decide the best feeding plan for their baby.

One question that many moms have is, "What is the proper age to stop breastfeeding?"

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Some moms choose to breastfeed up until their child starts solid foods, and other moms keep going well into the toddler years. There are many moms who are curious as to what the "right" age is to stop breastfeeding altogether.

One mom recently received a lot of backlash on social media after she revealed that she still breastfeeds her child.

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Riona O'Connor, a mom from the U.K., posted a photo that showed her breastfeeding her four-year-old son on Facebook.

O'Connor, a mother of two and a content creator, runs the popular Facebook page, Riona - The Unnatural Woman.

Using her background in the performing arts, O'Connor's Facebook page features blog posts, original memes, and videos about O'Connor's life as a mom.

O'Connor serves up the truth about motherhood in a funny and relatable way.

Even though O'Connor gives her 160,000 fans on Facebook a humorous take on motherhood, she's also not afraid to show the raw truth.

A number of her posts have tackled issues related to postpartum life, body image, and — breastfeeding.

The photo of her breastfeeding her four-year-old son was met with both praise and controversy.

In July 2019, O'Connor posted the photo to wish her son a happy birthday.

“I never thought that when the midwife first laid him on my breast that I would still be doing this 4 years later," she wrote in the photo's caption.

People on Facebook had mixed reactions of this mom breastfeeding her four-year-old.

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There were many moms who applauded this momma for continuing to nurture and feed her baby, despite breastfeeding being so difficult and tiresome. They wrote in to wish her son a happy birthday, too.

However, there were many people who opposed this mom's choices.

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Some people commented on this mom's Facebook saying that continuing to breastfeed her son is almost "abusive behavior." One person said, "If the child is old enough to tell you that they are thirsty, then they are too old to breastfeed."

Overall, O'Connor's post generated about 3,500 comments on Facebook.

Another person added that while they disagreed with the mom continuing to breastfeed, they respected her right to choose.

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Despite the backlash, O'Connor stood by her decision to continue breastfeeding.

"It's just nobody's business really," she said in an interview after her photo went viral. "I'll just stop when my little boy wants to stop."

O'Connor was a bit surprised to see her photo go viral.

Over a million people saw O'Connor's photo, and thousands reacted to it on Facebook. She took the time to thank those who sent her positive words of encouragement.

The photo was even picked up by a number of news organizations.

O'Connor took the attention in stride and said she was glad that her photo helped normalize extended breastfeeding.

"I never thought I'd get to help [normalize] breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding or natural term weaning," she said in a Facebook post.

O'Connor added that, after seeing her photo, many breastfeeding moms reached out to her and thanked her as they had been shamed for breastfeeding, themselves.

Nearly a year after posting the photo, O'Connor shared an update.

In July 2020, she revealed that she is still breastfeeding both of her children, who are now one and five. She said she has no plans of stopping until they are ready.

"It was never my intention to breastfeed this long, nor did I have an end date in mind. It’s just happened this way and I’m so happy that it did," she said in a Facebook post.

Overall, it's important to respect every mom's right to make her own parenting choices.

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While we may disagree with how some parents choose to raise their children, it's not always our place to judge them. As long as a child is healthy and thriving, who are we to judge, right?

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