Mum sparks heated debate after breastfeeding four-year-old son in public

Breastfeeding in public is something that worries many mothers, but babies need to be fed.

However, one Irish mum has left people shocked after she publicly breastfed her four-year-old son at a cafe.

Taking to Facebook, in honour of her son's birthday, the 38-year-old mummy blogger sparked a heated debate after she posted that breastfeeding her son had given her "a sense of pride and joy she didn't think was possible", alongside a photo of herself cradling the boy.

The mum said: "He's four today. I'm so in love with and proud of everything he is. I'm so proud of what he's made me become,"

"I never thought that when the midwife first laid him on my breast that I would still be doing this for years later."

But followers have been left outraged over Riona O'Connor's post, saying the boy is too old to be breastfed.

One person even went as far as saying it's "child abuse".

A 55-year-old man said he had vivid memories from the ages of three and four and "definitely would not want to be able to remember nursing my mother's tit."

"Here's a good rule of thumb for discontinuing breastfeeding. If the child is old enough to tell you that they are thirsty, then they are too old to breastfeed. This borders on child abuse in my opinion," he continued.

Others questioned the benefits of breastfeeding a four-year-old, asking whether it was more of a "comfort thing".

"Genuinely curious — is there any health benefit to breastfeeding a four-year-old (assuming that at 4, they're eating a wide variety of solid food and have access to clean water)? Or is it more of a comfort thing at this point?"

Another woman said that while she was all for breastfeeding, the son was "too old to be on your breast".

"I kind of feel bad for this kid because he is going to have some major issues growing up. That being said it's no one's business what you do," said another.

But not everyone was against the post.

Others thanked the mum for her positive approach and "normalising natural term breastfeeding and tandem feeding".

"Breastfeeding till 4 is completely natural," said one woman.

Another added: "Congratulations on your breastfeeding journey. Take my hat off to you."

What do you think?