This Mom Is Opening Up About A Breast-Feeding Stigma We Don't Talk About

There are a lot of stigmas surrounding breast-feeding, but what most often comes to mind is women being shamed for breast-feeding in public (yes, even if you're a celebrity). What's less discussed, however, is the stigma against extended breast-feeding, in which a mother breast-feeds her child past a certain recommended age.

Davina Wright, who still breast-feeds her 5-year-old triplets, Willow, Connor, and Summer, knows that stigma all too well. In a blog post for The Milk Meg, Wright wrote that although people often think she's still breast-feeding her children because she can't let go of them, it's really more about allowing her children to wean off on their own.

"My older two kids both self-weaned around 13 to 14 months, so my rather lofty goal with the trio was two years," she wrote. "But here we are, still going."

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that most people in the U.S. stop breast-feeding before their babies are 6 months old, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding for up to one year, and the World Health Organization recommends nursing for "up to 2 years of age or beyond."
Patricia Dodge, a certified nurse midwife at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Self that children really can self-wean and decide when to stop nursing. Meanwhile, Lauren Hanley, MD, fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told Self that, "There should be no judgment from friends, family, medical professionals, or society about when a mother and child stop breast-feeding. It is an extremely personal decision."

After all, while breast-feeding is extremely beneficial, it's not always easy — so let's all take that into consideration before we try to pass judgment on nursing moms.

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