Riona O'Connor is an Irish mother of two boys who recently caused a lot of waves online when she posted a photo of her breastfeeding her son. The mother of 4-year-old Garvan and 4-month-old Ruairi revealed that she is actually still breastfeeding both boys, causing a bit of outrage for those who feel that her oldest son is too old to still be breastfeeding.
O'Connor posted a picture of herself breastfeeding Garvan on his 4th birthday and admitted that she never thought she would be breastfeeding her son for so long, but that, "it's given me a sense of pride and joy I didn't think was possible." O'Connor, a body positive blogger who advocates for extended breastfeeding received a lot of support on her post, but also a lot of criticism.
"Jesus is there any need to breastfeed still he's going to be starting school soon how embarrassing for him," wrote one commenter. "Breast feeding as long as you can is great but this is taking it too far in my opinion. He is four years old. If you want to breast feed him at that age it's fine but he needs to be off the breast now and you need to pump the milk instead. He will soon be in school and that is just insane," wrote another.
"For me, it's no big deal," O'Connor told the BBC. "It's not even a choice I've made," she said, stating she never had a set amount of time she wanted to breastfeed her children for. "It just sort of panned out that way," she added. The mother of two stated that most people are fine with her breastfeeding her older son in public saying "I've gotten a few funny looks but I've had a few funny looks from when my child was a newborn. So it's not necessarily even that he's older, it's breastfeeding in general, I think."
She says her partner is fully supportive of how she chooses to feed their children, and will often joke when people ask her about when she's going to wean Garvan. "Well, as long as he's stopped by the time he's in college, that's fine, right?" she'll respond. "Really, it's nobody's business, is it?" she then commented.
While O'Connor says she's often asked when she'll stop breastfeeding, she says the answer is up to her children. "I'll just stop when my little boy wants to stop. When he's good and ready that's when we'll stop."