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Mum called 'vile and incestuous' for breastfeeding three-year-old son vows to continue even when he starts school

Mum called 'vile and incestuous' for breastfeeding three-year-old son vows to continue even when he starts school

Martina Darling has defended her choice to breastfeed her son Winston who turns four in January.

A mum has been called ‘vile and incestuous’ for breastfeeding her three-year-old son although despite the backlash, she plans to continue even when he starts school.

Martina Darling, 36, from Stowmarket, Suffolk, said she’s faced harsh judgement from strangers online who troll her decision to keep breastfeeding her son Winston Darling.

But it's not just trolls online who lash out at Martina for still breastfeeding her son, she also faces raised eyebrows from some friends and family who urge her to stop or to stop feeding publicly.

"When I started posting about it online, especially TikTok, I got a lot of abuse. There was a lot of negative feedback from people,” she said.

"I do feel I was personally attacked. People were questioning my parenting choices, I probably cried for about a week.

"A lot of people were saying I was doing it for attention-seeking and it's incestuous and vile, I find it quite hurtful."

The mum said it would be ‘traumatic’ for both her and Winston, who turns four in January, to suddenly stop breastfeeding and claims nursing has helped strengthen their bond.

The business owner, who’s married to 32-year-old Tom Darling, says she hasn’t ruled out continuing breastfeeding when Winston starts school.

She said: “Breastfeeding is my parenting values, it's what I believe as a parent and to know some friends and family don't agree with how I'm bringing my child up is really lonely and hurtful.

Martina has faced backlash online.
Kennedy News & Media

"It's his one comfort, he doesn't have a cuddly toy or a dummy. All he's ever known his whole life is feeding."

Martina said she entered motherhood 'open-minded' over whether to nurse or bottle feed Winston.

After a difficult first few months, Martina began to feel a deep bond while breastfeeding.

The mum said she felt a pressure to stop publicly nursing and keep Winston's feeding habits a secret to avoid embarrassment.

She said: "When he was around 18 months to two years old, people were saying 'you shouldn't be feeding him, he's way too big'.

"Friends and family said it's fine but you shouldn't be telling everyone about it, don't do it in public and I thought 'why not?'

Martina said she doesn't plan to stop even after Winston goes to school next year.
Kennedy News & Media

"Why should I not tell people? It's my decision. People feel like it's a taboo subject and it's not normal."

Winston feeds three to six times a day and Martina says there are ‘no immediate plans to stop’

She said: "Obviously when he's at school he'll be away from me all day so we'll probably just feed in the morning and at bedtime and it'll slowly decrease.

"I didn't think I'd still be feeding now, I've just been really open minded and gone with the flow.

"It's been what we both wanted to do, I love the bond and so does he."

The World Health Organization recommends that all babies are exclusively breastfed for their first six months. Then from six months, babies should start eating solid foods as well as being breastfed for up to two years or longer.

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Parenting, Health