Bachelor Alum Claps Back at People Who Say Her Kid Is Too Old to Breastfeed

“There is NOTHING psychologically damaging about nursing through and even past the toddler years.”
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By Emily Gillen, PhD, Health Services Researcher
Published August 6, 2020
personality Bekah Martinez on breastfeeding her toddler

While pediatricians recommend breastfeeding until baby is at least a year old, ultimately the decision on how long to breastfeed lies in what’s best for both mom and baby. While some moms opt to add in formula sooner than one year, some opt to breastfeed their child past a year. Neither decision is one moms deserve to be shamed for, yet, Bachelor alum Bekah Martinez was—and she’s not having it.

Last month, Martinez posted a picture to her Instagram showing her breastfeeding her 18-month-old daughter, Ruth, and newborn son, Franklin. In the caption Martinez wrote, “Just doin’ my mom thing.”

While many of Martinez’s followers were supportive and thankful she was breaking stigma and working to normalize breastfeeding, some questioned Martinez’s choice. One person asked, “Isn’t she a little too big for you to be breastfeeding her…" while another wrote, “She’s too old and is going to have psychological issues when she’s older."

Initially Martinez answered in the comments saying, “She’s not too big for breastfeeding, but thanks for your concern!” Later, however, the mom took to Instagram Stories to speak out against the shaming, Today Parents reports. “There is NOTHING psychologically damaging about nursing through and even past the toddler years,” she wrote. “We’ve got it sooooo backwards now as a society.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), moms should breastfeed their baby for the first 12 months and then after for as long as mom and baby want. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding up to the age of 2 years old “or beyond.”

Additionally, several studies have proven the long-lasting benefits of breast milk, including boosting baby’s immune system and preventing against food allergies.

“The benefits of breastfeeding don’t magically stop at 12 months,” Gina Ciagne, CLC for Lansinoh Laboratories told The Bump.

Ultimately, how a mom chooses to feed her child is her choice and it should lie in what’s best for both mom and baby. Whether you formula feed, pump or breastfeed, shaming shouldn’t be part of the equation.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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