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Mum who breastfeeds toddlers on demand gets death threats over nursing choice


Melissa with her husband Steve and her two daughters who she still breastfeeds (Picture: MDWfeatures/@milkitivity_)

Mum Melissa Ostroth practises natural term weaning, meaning she lets her children decide when they want to stop breastfeeding.

For the lactation consultant from Ohio, that means her two children, four-year-old Emilia and two-year-old Wrenly, still choose to be breastfed.

Melisssa always knew she would breastfeed her children after seeing her own mother do so with her brothers during childhood – but not everyone likes her approach.

In fact, Melissa has received some horrible messages on her Instagram where she shares her parenting journey.

She’s even received death threats over the last five years that she has practised extended breastfeeding.

She had just one three-month break from feeding Emilia while she was pregnant with Wrenly as Emilia didn’t like the taste of the colostrum that forms before breast milk is produced.

Since that short hiatus, Melissa now breastfeeds on demand, which can be anywhere between six to 10 times per day.

She hopes to be an inspiration to other mums to show them that they shouldn’t feel ashamed of breastfeeding their children past the age of one.

Melissa breastfeeds her children on demand (Picture: MDWfeatures / @milkitivity_)

She explained: ‘Breastmilk provides all the immunoglobulins the immune system takes to develop, which takes around five years.

‘Why? Because we were designed to continue breastfeeding past infancy. Aside from health benefits, breastfeeding is more than just food. It is comfort, a natural anti-anxiety, a sleep aid and a bonding love.’

Revealing how she prefers extended breastfeeding has meant she has received both positive and negative feedback on social media.

She added: ‘I receive many negative comments, even death threats and requests that I kill myself. The internet can be rough, but the positives keep me going.

‘In today’s society it seems the majority are uneducated and do not understand natural term weaning, although we’ve been doing this since the beginning of time.

‘Society has a tendency to sexualise extended breastfeeding or have the idea that it’s all for the mother’s own benefit.’

She blogs about her experience on Instagram where she has also received negative posts  (Picture: MDWfeatures / @milkitivity_)

Melissa is dedicated to practising natural term weaning but said breastfeeding a toddler is a new challenge.

‘Some (like mine) will want to continue to breastfeed every two to three hours. Although these sessions tend to be shorter, they tend to be rougher and the child is more easily distracted,’ she said.

‘Just like any child they will also want to nurse at inconvenient times, they just happen to be much bigger and vocal. With an older child, you usually have to instil boundaries which can be hard.

‘There are so many opinions surrounding natural term weaning. Many mothers hide the fact they are still breastfeeding.

‘I want mothers to know they are not alone, to remind them of the benefits, why they should feel comfortable to continue to breastfeed and give them some answers they can tell others who ask them about it.

‘It’s ok to want to continue to breastfeed past infancy,’ she adds.

‘It’s not taboo, it’s not unnatural, and it’s not selfish. Our child still has a need and we are responding to that.’

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