Whoopi Goldberg has strong opinions on breastfeeding. The co-host of The View is under fire for a comment she made Monday at the end of the show’s “Hot Topics” segment about women who engage in co-nursing, the act of breastfeeding another woman’s baby.
The subject kicked off a passionate debate on the benefits — and ick factor — of co-nursing and how long babies should be breastfed. “If they’re old enough to have teeth, they shouldn’t be breastfeeding. Good god,” declared Goldberg.
After the show aired, a Facebook group called Breastfeeding Mama Talk uploaded the clip, which has racked up almost 4,000 shares, 3,000 likes, thousands of comments, and lots of conflicting opinions about breastfeeding.
“The View needs to get it together and educate themselves before spewing such ignorance,” wrote one Facebook commenter. Another disagreed: “I would never want someone else’s child on my breast, nor would I ever allow my child to be on someone else’s breast. Best friend, relative, I don’t care. In my opinion, there is a line of appropriateness, and that’s crossing it for me.” Yahoo Parenting could not reach an ABC representative for comment.
When it comes to breastfeeding in general, the World Health Organization recommends exclusive nursing for babies up to six months, and continuing beyond that with complementary foods up to 2 years or beyond. And the American Academy of Pediatrics states that babies should continue to breastfeed for a year and for as long as is “mutually desired by the mother and baby.”
Diana West, a breastfeeding advocate and director of media relations at La Leche League International, a breastfeeding support and advocacy group, agrees that the decision to stop is an individual one. “Generally, it is part of the maturation process, and the child outgrows the need and is done,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “Sometimes the mother is done before the child, and she works out the weaning process. It relies on both parties.”
This isn’t the first time Goldberg has generated controversy with her comments on breastfeeding. On The View in 2012, she referred to lactation consultants as “boneheads” during a conversation about a New York state initiative to provide more hospital support to new breastfeeding moms. “Back off,” she said in a remark directed toward former mayor Michael Bloomberg, who helped spearhead it. That same year, when Beyoncé made headlines by breastfeeding Blue Ivy at a restaurant, co-host Joy Behar remarked that Beyoncé was “asking for it” because she’s a celebrity.
(Top photo: Getty Images)