Bekah Martinez has clapped back at critics who claim her 17-month-old daughter is ‘too old’ to nurse after a photo of her tandem breastfeeding her two young children was branded ‘disgusting.’
The 25-year-old Bachelor alum recently shared a heartwarming snapshot of herself breastfeeding her toddler, Ruth, and newborn son, Franklin, at the same time, writing: ‘Just doin’ my mom thing.’
The Instagram post received more than 119,000 likes and plenty of support, but a few mom-shamers criticized her for nursing Ruth, claiming the toddler should have been weaned off of breastfeeding by now.
‘Isn’t she a little too big for you to be breastfeeding her…,’ one person asked, prompting Bekah to respond.
‘She’s not too big for breastfeeding, but thanks for your concern!’ she hit back.
‘This is disgusting,’ someone else commented. ‘She’s too old and is going to have psychological issues when she’s older now.’
Bekah was so appalled by the person’s messaged that she posted it on her Instagram Stories to point out how ridiculous it was.
‘My daughter is NOT EVEN 18 MONTHS and I’m already getting comments like this,’ she explained. ‘This makes me want to nurse her till like age seven.’
‘If a child is voluntarily nursing … there is NOTHING psychologically damaging about nursing through and even past the toddler years,’ she added. ‘We’ve got it soooo backwards now as a society. Children don’t have any concept of breastfeeding being sexual.’
Bekah backed up her rebuttal by sharing information from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which states: ‘When natural weaning is practiced, complete weaning usually takes place between two and four years of age.
‘In western cultures, there remains a relative intolerance to this type of weaning and many mothers who breastfeed older infants and children become “closet nursers.” Closet nursing is nursing privately at home in secret and propagates ignorance about breast-feeding duration.’
According to the NCBI, planned weaning is ‘when the mother decides to wean without receiving cues from the infant that he is ready to stop breastfeeding.’ Some reasons for planned weaning include not enough milk or concerns about the baby’s growth, painful feedings or mastitis, returning to work, or a new pregnancy.
‘Basically the NATURAL and NORMAL age of weaning is between two and four,’ Bekah concluded. ‘I’m not saying that to shame people who initiate weaning earlier (I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it and I would do it myself if I ever felt overwhelmed with bf’ing).
‘BUT it’s absurd when people freak out over a 3-year-old or an 18-month-old still nursing!!! It’s NORMALLLLL.’
Despite the criticism, many fans, a number of whom are mothers themselves, thanked Bekah for normalizing breastfeeding with the photo.
‘Some of the comments on here are horrifying,’ one woman wrote. It’s 2020 if your feelings are hurt seek help. God made breast to feed our children. It’s a 24/7 blessing all day and night 365 days a year.
‘We should lift each other up for successfully breastfeeding so long! You rock mama!! Your children are so blessed that you sacrifice so much to provide liquid gold.’
A mother of 10 added: ‘Girl this is a beautiful photo! All these troll comments. If you don’t like what she posts, simply unfollow. You are doing amazing mama!’
Bekah often shares family photos of herself with her boyfriend, Grayston Leonard, and their two children, and she has continued to post pictures of herself breastfeeding both of her little ones.
A few weeks after slamming her critics, she shared another photo of herself nursing Ruth on Instagram Stories, writing: ‘Never made plans to nurse this long but never made plans to wean so here we are.’