On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 4am - 6:30am
4 July 2019, 11:55 | Updated: 4 July 2019, 14:56
Riona O'Connor has opened up about her decision to continue breastfeeding her four-year-old son.
One mum has been criticised by some parents after sharing a photo of her breastfeeding her four-year-old son.
Comedian and writer Riona O'Connor, from Ireland, caught the attention of her 125,000 followers when she shared a sweet tribute to her son on his birthday.
Taking to her Facebook page, the 38-year-old said she was “proud” of her child alongside a photo of her smiling at the camera nursing him outside a cafe.
Explaining their breastfeeding journey together, she wrote: "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.”
"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.”
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. I never...Posted by Riona - The Unnatural Woman on Monday, 1 July 2019
Opening up about the difficulties of breastfeeding, she continued: "If you know me you know my self esteem can be through the floor at times. Those times I've thought, I might not be able to do much but I can do this.”
Before adding: "So thank you my body but mostly thank you my baby for coming into my life. I'm so incredibly lucky to have you".
Riona's post quickly racked up more than 3,000 likes, with many mums thanking her for her “refreshing” approach to motherhood.
Unfortunately, while many mums praised Riona, some followers criticised her for continuing to nurse her young son.
"Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, but I hate when mums extend it until the kid is old enough to eat a steak,” said one person.
Another penned: "Here's a good rule of thumb for discontinuing breastfeeding, If the child is old enough to tell you that they are thirsty, then they are too old to breastfeed."
While a third added: "A kid needs to grow and cut the cord. They can't be babies forever."
And a fourth wrote: "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.”
Although one user hit back: "Amazing! Thank you for normalising natural term breastfeeding and tandemfeeding."
With another added: "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!"