Ohio mother, lactation and infant nutrition consultant, receives death threats for breastfeeding daughters 10 times a day
“Online, I receive a lot of positive feedback, but also some very negative and hateful remarks," Melissa Ostroth said. "In public, I’ve been thanked for breastfeeding my child without a cover and not in a bathroom. I receive many negative comments, even death threats and requests that I kill myself"
A 34-year-old received death threats for choosing to breastfeed her children up to 10 times a day, till the youngsters decide they want to stop. Melissa Ostroth, who lives in Ohio, told the Sun her decision to breastfeed her daughters, Emilia, 4, and Wrenly, 2, till they naturally decide to wean off the natural source of nutrition was heavily criticized on social media, including people calling it a form of child abuse.
“Online, I receive a lot of positive feedback, but also some very negative and hateful remarks," she explained. "In public, I’ve been thanked for breastfeeding my child without a cover and not in a bathroom. I receive many negative comments, even death threats and requests that I kill myself."
However, she said she was now used to the hateful comments as it fueled her to stick to her beliefs and continue breastfeeding her children. “So many mothers, including myself, have had to endure comments and questions such as; ‘when are you going to cut the cord?’ or, ‘you know there’s no benefits from breastfeeding past x amount of months.’ or, ‘at this point you’re just doing it for yourself.’ Even worse comments like ‘this is borderline abusive, and CPS should be called on you,'" she said.
Ostroth, who is a lactation consultant and has studied infant nutrition for four years, said she has been breastfeeding for the last five years, putting the practice on hold only for three months when she was pregnant with her second child and her elder daughter had self-weaned around the 20-month mark, claiming she did not like the taste of colostrum, which was a breast fluid released towards the end of a pregnancy.
She added that there was a common misconception that breast milk declines in its nutritional value as the child grows up. “Breastmilk changes with a child’s needs and age," she explained. "That’s the beauty of breastfeeding. Breastmilk provides all the immunoglobulins the immune system takes to develop, which takes around five years. Why? Because we were designed to continue breastfeeding past infancy. Aside from the health benefits, breastfeeding is more than just food. It is comfort, a natural anti-anxiety, a sleep aid and a bonding love."
Ostroth currently uses her Instagram, @milkitivity_, to destigmatize the practice of breastfeeding, inspiring young mothers to not be ashamed of providing natural nutrition to their babies for as long as they need.
“In today’s society, it seems the majority are uneducated and do not understand natural term weaning, although we’ve been doing this since the beginning of time. Society has a tendency to sexualize extended breastfeeding or have the idea that it’s all for the mother’s own benefit," she said.