Former Neighbours star Natalie Hoflin has shared an impassioned Instagram post, defending her right to breastfeed her 19-month-old son.
The actress, who played Carmella Cammeniti on the iconic show, said she felt judged by others because of her choice to breastfeed Finn ‘on demand’ as he heads towards his second birthday.
'Oh, you're still breastfeeding?!?! Shouldn't you be done by now? You'll cut him off by his second birthday right?' In the early days questions like these didn't bother me, they felt innocent,’ Natalie shared with her thousands of followers.
‘But lately the tone feels different. Judgment, disapproval. Like I'm a straight up weirdo.
‘I'm finding that breastfeeding proud part of myself starting to want to hide. Be more discreet with feeding, or wait until nobody is around.
‘Even though I'm proud of my breastfeeding journey and don't intend to stop anytime soon (Finn is almost 20 months) the above questions still bring up feelings of embarrassment and shame.
‘It's nuts, why on earth should anyone feel shame for connecting, nourishing, comforting, bonding with their child?’ the mum continued.
‘I understand what an absolute privilege it has been, for me to be a stay at home mum and have the luxury of building our breastfeeding relationship.
‘I am well aware that it's not always that easy. But the truth of the matter is, this is my path, my truth, my journey and I shouldn't have to be embarrassed or hide it.’
The actress went on to say ‘this is me’.
‘Breast fed, bottle fed, formula fed, it's all good...we are all doing our best to raise these little humans. But let's show a little respect to ALL paths travelled.’
The mum received support from her Instagram followers with one fellow mother telling her to ‘stand proud and tall’.
‘You have done a fabulous job Mama and continue to do so. I weaned one of my boys from pressure to (and he wasn’t even a year old) and still regret it to this day.
‘It’s no one’s business how long you feed for - those who matter will support you and those who judge don't matter. You're doing what is right for you and Finn and that’s all that matters.’
According to Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, it is recommended that infants be exclusively breastfed until around 6 months of age when solid foods are introduced.
In addition it is recommended that breastfeeding be continued until 12 months of age and beyond, for as long as the mother and child desire.