Parenthood can easily be summed up as a series of plans; some come to fruition, some do not. And when it comes to nursing, Bekah Martinez says she plans to breastfeed her daughter "as long as I can and both of us want to."
In case you haven't kept up with the former Bachelor star, Martinez — the pixie-haired brunette who vied for Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s heart — now has a 9-month-old daughter, Ruth, with her boyfriend Grayston Leonard. Martinez shared her pregnancy journey with her dedicated Instagram followers, and has continued to post updates about her postpartum body, new motherhood, and of course, her adorable baby girl.
On Thursday, Nov. 7, the 24-year-old mom shared a photo of Ruth breastfeeding on her Instagram Story, Us Weekly reported. Along with the sweet snap, Martinez answered a common fan question with a strong message. “I get the question often: ‘How long are you going to breast-feed for?’” she captioned the photo. “As long as I can and both of us want to. There’s nothing f*king weird about a 2-year-old still nursing. It’s bonding time, soothing time and boosts the immune system."
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends newborns be exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months of life, with "continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond." That doesn't keep people from raising their judgmental eyebrows anytime a mom is seen breastfeeding her toddler, though.
Still, knowing she might be in for some criticism isn't keeping the Bachelor star from doing what she knows to be right for her and her family.
Martinez then drove the point home with this mic-drop moment:
It’s only weird if you’ve still got it in your head that breasts are inherently sexual, even between mother and child and if that’s the case, who’s the weird one?
A. Freaking. Men.
Again, what Martinez is proposing is not atypical. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stats that "after 1 year, breastfeeding can be continued if mutually desired by the mother and her infant." Not to mention the numerous health and developmental benefits extended breastfeeding has to offer. So can we please stop sexualizing breasts already?
This isn't the first time the former Bachelor contestant has opened up about breastfeeding. On April 9, Martinez took to her Instagram Story with a situation to which plenty of fellow nursing moms could relate. Martinez was wearing white crop top in the selfie while rocking some pretty obvious milk stains. The funny mom captioned her photo with, "*goes to the grocery store for 20 min without breast pads*."
She's no stranger to controversy surrounding breastfeeding, either. The new mom also took some heat when she posted a photo of herself holding a glass of wine while breastfeeding baby Ruth, E! News reported. "Sunset vibes from this weekend," Martinez captioned the serene-looking shot. Because of the uproar it elicited, however, she later clarified, "I was waiting patiently for her to finish nursing before beginning my (single!) glass of wine." (Take that, mom-shamers!)
The takeaway from Martinez's most recent breastfeeding-related post? Nursing a child after age 1 is perfectly normal. Plenty of moms choose to stop at or shortly after this point, yes. But some moms also end up breastfeeding until their little one is 2, 3, or beyond. It may not necessarily be the cultural norm in the U.S., but that in no way makes it "gross," "inappropriate," "attention-seeking," or whatever other nonsense naysayers might spew. Kudos to Bekah Martinez for standing her ground, sticking to her own parenting plans, and telling it like it is.