Controversial photo ... Mayim Bialik breastfeeding her son Fred, then 3 and a half, on a New York subway.
Mayim Bialik has written an emotional, honest account of her youngest son self-weaning at the age of four.
“Well, nay-sayers, prepare to be proven wrong,” the blog post, published on Jewish parenting site Kveller, begins.
“All of you snarky mamas who glared at me nursing my 3 1/2-year-old on the NYC subway, prepare to be amazed. And to all of my family and friends who wanted to chastise me about nursing a walking, talking, thinking, laughing little man named Fred, thanks for holding your tongues.
Celebrities who love breastfeeding
Pink tweeted this photo of her breastfeeding her year-old daughter Willow on June 19. The singer has said, "I support attachment parenting 100% … And have a very happy and healthy little girl to show for it. It’s time we support what’s healthy (breastfeeding) instead of judging it.”
“Because we did it. Fred isn’t going to nurse on his way down the wedding aisle or at his high school graduation. I didn’t need to break him of a ‘habit’ and teach him ‘who’s in charge’. I didn’t need to set boundaries you thought I should have set when I didn’t want to set them.”
In the post, Bialik, who is also a mum to Miles, 5, admitted breastfeeding hadn’t always been easy, adding that “nursing Fred was never not painful" and that she had battled thrush numerous times. She also shared details of her nursing and weaning style, giving advice to mums who may be going through the process.
The actress, who is also the author of Beyond The Sling, a popular book on attachment parenting, recalled how she fit breastfeeding into her busy schedule while filming The Big Bang Theory, saying she expressed several times a day at work and fed her sons up to six times a night.
She also described her decision to began weaning Fred from his night feeds around the time she and her then-husband of eight years, Michael Stone, decided to separate.
The emotional account also recalls the last time she breastfed her youngest son: “He was distracted by his older brother shouting something, laughing, playing in the next room. His big blue eyes with the impossibly long tapered lashes darted around and settled on the next room, the source of the voice, his beloved older brother … The world beyond my breast was calling, and he hopped off of my lap and ran to the world waiting for him.”
Despite criticism of her extended breastfeeding practices – one American television show publicly pondered whether it was to blame for the breakdown of her marriage – Bialik remains convinced that she did the right thing for her son, writing, “I know that there was never ever ever anything wrong with nursing Fred. Even when he was in 4T jeans. With a mouth full of teeth. Even when people laughed and sneered and accused me of horrible things no mother should ever be accused of when tending to the normal and beautiful needs of her mammal child.
"It was never wrong and it was always right.”
Read the full post on Kveller.
For breastfeeding support and advice from other mums, visit the Essential Baby forum.