Bachelor alum Bekah Martinez is defending model Coco Austin who faced backlash for revealing that she still breastfeeds her 5-year-old daughter Chanel, a practice called extended breastfeeding, when parents nurse for longer than the one-year period recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
According to People, Martinez showed support for Austin after an Instagram fan asked for her opinion on the topic. “It’s not weird and I think it’s awesome she’s comfortable enough to share [her] journey in our disgustingly judgmental society that has totally backwards views of when it’s appropriate to wean,” wrote the former reality star and current podcast host, who is mom to daughter Ruth Ray De La Luz, 2½, and son Franklin James, 13 months.
Martinez added that breastfeeding “is a SKILL” and that new moms “should not just expect to know how to do it intuitively.”
“Some people can do it that way, many can not,” she wrote. “Take a class, watch Youtube videos, find an LC [lactation consultant] nearby, read books, etc. BEFORE you have baby and make a plan for if you need extra support when the time comes.”
During a July 31 interview with Us Weekly, Austin had revealed: “Chanel still likes my boobs, she’s 5 years old,” while sharing her parenting dos and don’ts. “It’s a big bonding moment for your mother and your child.”
Later, Austin tweeted: “Getting lots of love from the mama’s [sic] on my social media platforms that understand the ‘boob thing’. Thanks. The feeling of this bond is indescribable. It makes me feel wanted.” Austin’s rapper husband Ice-T (who is Chanel’s father) also defended his wife on Twitter, clarifying that their daughter only nurses periodically.
Other celebrity moms have revealed their breastfeeding journeys including retired gymnast Shawn Johnson East who shared that her newborn son Jett is nursing easily, while the journey with daughter Drew was more of a challenge.
As we celebrate National Breastfeeding Month, we must acknowledge that breastfeeding is a personal choice — and if you’re doing it, so is deciding when to stop. It’s a decision best left to parents — not the general public.
Celebrate the beauty of different breastfeeding journeys through these photographs.
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