Mum accused of 'child abuse' for breastfeeding son, 4


Content Editor / July 05 2019

A mum of two came under fire when she posted a birthday tribute to her son, aged four, alongside a photo of him breastfeeding.

Riona O’Connor, 38, from Kerry, Ireland, took to her Facebook page to post the tribute, which was met with mixed reactions.

"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,” she shared.

"I never thought that when the midwife first laid him on my breast that I would still be doing this for years later.

"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.

"So thank you my body but mostly thank you my baby for coming into my life. I'm so incredibly lucky to have you".

Some mums praised her for being strong in her conviction that she was doing the right thing, and for helping to normalize breastfeeding.

“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!” wrote one mother.

“Thank you for all you do to help renormalise breastfeeding - and natural term feeding,” wrote another.

However, some felt that her child was much too old to be breastfed, and even labelled it abuse.

“That's sick. A kid needs to grow and cut the cord. They can't be babies forever,” wrote one commenter.

“I kind of feel bad for this kid because he is going to have some major issues growing up. And unrealistic expectations of women,” added another.

“Let me just say this I am 55 years old and have vivid memories from the ages of 3 and 4 , I definitely would not want to be able to remember nursing my mothers tit. This borders on child abuse in my opinion,” wrote a third.

What do you think?

Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.