A mother has defended her decision to breastfeed her four-year-old son after she was branded ‘disgusting’ by online trolls.
Photographer Yakaly Di Roma, 31, of Wales, continues to nurse Hans, four, alongside her newborn son, River, and documents the tandem feeds in striking images.
The mother-of-two explained breastfeeding is comforting to Hans, who has autism, and has fostered an even closer relationship with both of her children.
‘Breastfeeding for me, is so special,’ Yakaly said. ‘It has created an unbreakable bond that I am able to share with my children.
Photographer Yakaly Di Roma, 31, of Wales, continues to nurse Hans, four, alongside her newborn son, River, and documents the tandem feeds in striking images like the one above
The mother-of-two breastfeeds Hans, right, alongside one-month-old River, left, and proudly shares photos of their moments online. Pictured, a staged image of their tandem nursing
While Yakaly is supported by her husband, Christian O’Reilly, she receives harsh criticism over her tandem nursing images online. Pictured, Yakaly with Christian and their son Hans
‘Hans is autistic, and this is the one thing that comforts him the most, it makes him feel safe. Nothing else comes close to being able to calm and soothe him, the way I can when I feed him.
‘He looks to me for security and love, and it makes me so happy that I am still able to do this for him. There are many benefits to breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding.
‘It is the most natural thing in the world; it should be normalised, celebrated even. It isn’t easy, it’s actually very difficult, it is exhausting, and it can be painful, but all the sacrifice that comes with it, it’s completely worth it.’
NHS guidelines recommend children are breastfed for the first six weeks. After that mothers can ‘give the baby breast milk alongside family foods for as long as the mother and the baby baby want and will help them grow and develop healthily.’
Four-year-old Hans enjoys a normal balanced diet but breastfeeds twice a day, once before school and once before bed.
While Yakaly is supported by her husband, Christian O’Reilly, she receives harsh criticism over her tandem nursing images online.
Yakaly pictured breastfeeding her eldest son, Hans, in the middle of a bull ring. The proud mother encouraged more women to document and share photos of themselves nursing
Four-year-old Hans is breastfed by his mother Yakaly, dressed as Disney villain Maleficent
A beautiful drone photograph shows Yakaly breastfeeding Hans on the shore. She said her four-year-old son enjoys a normal diet but is still nursed twice a day, in the morning and night
She continued: ‘When I feed my babies, that is our time, it is the one thing I share with them that nobody else can, that is worth capturing, posed or un-posed.
‘I have received many negative and hurtful comments when I have shared my photos, it can be upsetting sometimes, but I try not to let it get to me.
She continued: ‘I don’t breastfeed my eldest in public anymore but if my youngest needs to eat, I feed him wherever we are.
‘I never planned to breastfeed longer than one year and here I am almost five years in. I’m hoping to breastfeed my youngest for at least one year or two if possible.
Yakaly breastfeeds Hans in yet another powerful image. The mother has been accused of being a ‘paedophile’ and called ‘disgusting’ over her decision to continue nursing
Photographer Yakaly said breastfeeding provides comfort to Hans, pictured, who has autism
The mother showers son Hans while cradling newborn baby River in her arms
Proud big brother Hans helps bathe baby brother River in the shower with his mother
‘I’ve been called a paedophile for breastfeeding my son, I’ve also been told I do child porn photography because breastfeeding a child of my son’s age is ‘disgusting’ and ‘disturbing’.
‘Most people are nice; some others find it uncomfortable and there’s always a few that say nasty things but luckily most people are nice to us and see breastfeeding as the natural thing it actually is.’
The mother-of-two insisted she has no plans to stop breastfeeding Hans.
Yakaly breastfeeds Hans, second from left, alongside three other mothers in an image encouraging and supporting extended breastfeeding
Yakaly pictured with her husband, who is fully supportive of her decision to breastfeed Hans
‘I know I am doing the best for my boys, and I will continue to do so for as long as they need,’ she said.
And she encouraged other mothers to capture moments of nursing and share them with the world.
‘Create memories that will last a lifetime and help to normalise it,’ she said. ‘Seeing a mother in public breastfeeding or a photo of a breastfeeding mother shouldn’t be a “shock”, it shouldn’t be something that causes controversy, or attract negative comments, it should be normal.’
Yakaly is held by Christian as she breastfeeds Hans. The photographer explained images like these help capture the important bond between herself and her sons
Yakaly pictured cradling her youngest son, River, in hospital, as proud father Christian looks on