Alyssa Milano wants everyone to know there’s nothing strange about extended breastfeeding.
Alyssa Milano is one of Hollywood’s most outspoken breastfeeding advocates, and she’s causing quite a stir with her latest photo. The actress recently shared a sweet black and white snap of herself breastfeeding her 16-month-old daughter with the caption, “Almost 16 months of breastfeeding Elizabella. It’s been one of the greatest joys in my life to breastfeed my babies. #normalizebreastfeeding.”
Since Milano posted the photo, it’s been liked more than 139,000 times by moms who are grateful for her vocal support of breastfeeding, especially when her child is over a year old. Still, not everyone was so comfortable with the idea of extended breastfeeding. Quite a few people took to the comments beneath Milano’s photo to tell her breastfeeding a 16-month-old was “a little much,” “gross,” or “creating an unhealthy dependency” for her child. One even said, “When a child is walking and talking and old enough to eat solid food with a fork it’s time to take the breast and bottle away and give the kid a sippy cup.”
Of course, none of those things are true. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least age two, and many moms keep going until age three, four, or even older than that. There’s nothing gross or strange about it.
This isn’t the first time Milano has faced backlash for taking a bold stance on breastfeeding, and she seems to take the negativity in stride. In September, she shared a throwback photo of herself breastfeeding Elizabella as a newborn and was met with a ton of hurtful comments and criticism from people who wanted her to cover up.
In response, she told Entertainment Tonight that she “doesn’t care” about the criticism and she thinks it’s ridiculous for people to get offended at the sight of breasts being used for their main purpose. “Everyone’s fine with [Miley Cyrus’] nipples being out,” she said. “I think people are more comfortable sexualizing breasts than relating them to what they were made for, which is feeding another human.”
It’s refreshing to see a star be so vocal in defending not only her own choices, but also the choices of millions of other moms. It’s not unusual for moms to breastfeed beyond a baby’s first birthday, and the negative reactions to Milano’s photo show we still have a long way to go in educating people about breasts and breastfeeding.
Alyssa Milano has a huge platform and she really is helping the cause by being so open about her experiences. She clearly gives no fucks what people think about her breastfeeding, and it’s inspiring to see someone be so passionate. We look forward to seeing many more bold and gorgeous feeding photos from her in the future.
(Feature image: Rob Kim/Getty)