Mom Told To 'Cut The Cord' With Her Breastfeeding Toddler Claps Back With Fiery Response

Melissa Ostroth

Melissa Ostroth is tired of being told to "cut the cord" with her 2-year-old. The lactation consultant and mother of two says she supports breastfeeding moms on a daily basis, and much like her, the topic of extended breastfeeding, or "natural term weaning," can result in harsh backlash from friends and family. It's for that reason that she recently decided to pen a blazing post explaining why moms who decide to nurse beyond infancy shouldn't be shamed for their decision.

  • The lactation consultant says that she reached a breaking point after working with clients who were worn down from all the scrutiny.

    Melissa Ostroth
    Melissa Ostroth

    Ostroth, who runs the Facebook page Milkivity, tells CafeMom that she's proudly breastfed both of her daughters -- Emilia, 5, who self-weaned around 3, and 2-year-old Wrenly, who is still nursing.

    The mom explains that past a certain age, the praise for natural feeding dies down and she often hears her clients complain that people tell them extended breastfeeding is "just for the mother at that point." 

    Finally, she'd had enough with all the judgment.

    "So I dug into some of my files and did some research," she says, "Not only to encourage and support those mothers in their decision, but also to educate those who don’t understand why women chose to breastfeed past infancy."

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  • The result was a blistering Facebook post, where Ostroth took all the haters to task for their unsolicited advice and judgey comments.

    "Tell me again how breastfeeding my toddler is just for myself?" she wrote in the October 22 post. "Doing loads of laundry with a child hanging off my breast is just for me right? Breastfeeding a monkey-swinging, gymnastics-tumbling, handstand-attempting child while your nipple is in their mouth is what us self-absorbed mothers are constantly longing for!

    "No one is breastfeeding their toddler or older child for themselves," she continued. "It is for their child alone. I repeat: it is for their child alone. No one is forcing their child to breastfeed and not wean."

  • Ostroth says that a common misconception she often hears is that breast milk loses its nutritional benefits after a baby reaches 1 year.

    Melissa Ostroth
    Melissa Ostroth

    "That’s just not the case," she tells CafeMom. "Breast milk actually has higher concentrations of total protein, lactoferrin, lysozyme and Immunoglobulin after age 1 to continue to meet a child’s needs."

    In her post, she also explained that in year two, breast milk provides a slew of vitamins and even protein. Plus, there are emotional benefits. 

    "Let’s not forget that breastfeeding is more than just food," she continued. "It provides comfort. It is a 100 percent all-natural, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, medicine, sleep aid, and more -- not to mention the absolute best bonding mechanism."

    Ostroth tells us that some people turn extended breastfeeding into something else entirely -- and most of it blames the mother for her inability to let go. 

    "I think that misconception leads to people to believe that mothers who chose to continue to breastfeed are doing it because we don’t want to let our children grow up and it’s for just our emotional benefit," she says. "Studies have also shown that the longer a child breastfeeds, the more independent they become."

    "Call me crazy, but maybe that’s why the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years and beyond?" she added in her Facebook post. "Maybe that’s why the natural weaning age is between 2 to 7 years old."

  • Of course, the mom did get some pushback on her post (as she likely expected), but says the response was largely positive.

    Melissa Ostroth
    Melissa Ostroth

    "I actually got more positive responses than I thought," Ostroth shares with CafeMom. "I received countless messages from mothers thanking me for this post, telling me this is what they needed to hear, that they were sending to so family members and friends who have given them a hard time understanding why they made the decision to parent this way."

    But Ostroth says she didn't do this for the personal praise. Instead, she wants women to feel "confident and supported in the way they chose to parent," she says. 

    "I want mothers to have the right info when it comes to extended breastfeeding, so they are encouraged and they don’t doubt themselves," she continues. "I want people to be educated and have a better understanding on why mothers chose to practice natural term and extended breastfeeding.

    "There tends to be a stigma when it comes to breastfeeding past infancy and I believe it just because many people don’t know about it," she says. But this shame needs to end, she explains, especially because breastfeeding a toddler comes with a whole set of new challenges that Ostroth believes women should be open and honest about.

    "We aren’t just doing it because we are selfish or don’t want to 'cut the cord,'" she insists, "but because we are meeting a need that our child still has, and that’s a wonderful thing."