Coco Austin has defended her decision to breastfeed her five-year-old daughter Chanel, whom she shares with husband Ice-T.
The 42-year-old mom has faced continued criticism for her unconventional choice but it has not deterred her. Instead, Austin told US Weekly that she will continue until Chanel wants to stop breastfeeding.
"Chanel still likes my boob. She's five years old," Coco confirmed to the outlet. "A lot of people are like, 'Oh, you're not getting the nutrition after two years old. Why do it?' And I'm like, My child's eating steak and hamburgers. She just likes a little snack every now and then and more of the bonding between the mother. Why take that away from her?"
Austin pointed out that while she would stop when Chanel didn't want to breastfeed anymore, she was also not going to end the process because of external pressures. Austin also explained that breastfeeding was a nighttime comfort for her daughter.
"She loves on it and it's not like she's getting milk from it but she's getting her little snack and it's kind of soothing her to sleep," she said.
Also during the interview, Austin stated that breastfeeding was a bonding experience and was not concerned about societal expectations.
"I don't want to deprive her of something she wants," she said, "just because society says you need to stop after two."
This is not the first time the model has had to speak up about her choice to breastfeed her toddler. In 2020, Austin was met with backlash after she shared a photo to Instagram of herself breastfeeding Chanel.
"Ive been getting alot of props in the breastfeeding community and get tons of emails from woman/moms appreciating me bringing light to the subject," she captioned the photo to her three million followers. "I write a baby blog about my journey with Chanel and soon I will write about what it's like to continue boob time with a 4 year old."
Austin added that she chose to breastfeed Chanel as a way of comforting her, adding that "the girl loves meat so its not like she isnt eating real food."
Many of her followers were not impressed.
"My grandmother breastfed her oldest son until he was 9 years old...(That is insane to me) but will you still be breastfeeding when she's 15-16yrs old if she asks?" one Instagram user wondered.
"Im assuming this 4 year old still wears diapers too (disturbing)," another user wrote.
"HELL NO COCO...WHAT THE HELL GOING ON IN YOUR MIND... SHE'S GROWN. THATS SICK AND DISTURBING," replied another user to the photo.
There were others in support of Coco's choice to breastfeed Chanel at 4.
"It's the least we can do to make their world a little bit more comforting," one follower wrote.
"Yes coco!!! People need to be educated BUT even if they aren't it's none of their business regardless. That's between you and her. My son is about to be 4 in a couple weeks and I have a 2.5 year old...both are still nursed," another user replied.
Ice-T has also been vocal in backing his wife. In an interview with TMZ, the rapper explained that Austin only nursed their daughter once in a while, when Chanel "wants to get close to her mom." Otherwise, "she eats just like a normal little kid ... including cheeseburgers."
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