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Mayim Bialik: I'm done breastfeeding my 4-year-old son Fred

USMagazine, Friday, February 8, 2013, 12:20pm (PST)
  • Mayim Bialik has been breastfeeding her son Fred for the past four years, and now that time has come to an end. In a Feb. 6 blog post for Jewish parenting website Kveller, the recently single "Big Bang Theory" actress detailed how she finally weaned her little boy.

    "Well, nay-sayers, prepare to be proven wrong. All of you snarky mamas who glared at me nursing my 3 1/2-year-old on the NYC subway, prepare to be amazed. And to all of my family and friends who wanted to chastise me about nursing a walking, talking, thinking, laughing little man named Fred, thanks for holding your tongues," Bialik, 37, wrote. "Because we did it. Fred isn't going to nurse on his way down the wedding aisle or at his high school graduation. I didn't need to break him of a 'habit' and teach him 'who's in charge.' I didn't need to set boundaries you thought I should have set when I didn't want to set them. Because we did it: Fred weaned."

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    Bialik -- also mom to 7-year-old son Miles with ex Michael Stone -- says it happened around Thanksgiving, "days before I released the public statement that I was getting divorced."

    "From the time that Fred night-weaned a year ago, he was nursing about once a day, but not always once a day. Sometimes he'd go a few days without nursing. After night-weaning, he could nurse anywhere but in the bed, since it invariably made him think of nursing all night, which he did like a real champ for his entire happy milky life until he was 3. And I didn't want to go back to that!" the former "Blossom" star explains. "I nursed Fred four to six times a night for three years. I pumped at work for Fred from the time I got the job on 'The Big Bang Theory' when he was 18 months old until he was 3. ... I didn't nurse him literally anywhere, anytime, but I made sure to meet his needs and have mine satisfied as well."

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    Though she "had difficulty nursing both of my boys," Bialik believes it provided "the best nutrition, nurturing and bonding ever." Toward the end of her breastfeeding, Fred "typically nursed from both sides since I was prone to clogged ducts for most of our nursing relationship," the star explains.

  • "It wasn't until much more recently -- it's been three months now since he nursed -- that he asked to nurse. But now when he asks, he knows it's funny," the "Beyond the Sling" author says of Fred. "That he's a big boy. That he doesn't drink 'nummies' anymore."

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    The transition has been hard for Bialik, whose other TV credits include "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." "I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss being able to latch him on and make it all better. We have other ways to soothe Fred now," she writes. "When he's very very upset or very very hurt, we lay on the couch where he nursed countless mornings, afternoons and evenings, and we rock and I sing to him his favorite lullabies. And he holds me tight, and I hold him tight, and I know that there was never ever ever anything wrong with nursing Fred."

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    A longtime proponent of "attachment parenting," Bialik knows her decision to breastfeed her son until age 4 is controversial. "Even when people laughed and sneered and accused me of horrible things no mother should ever be accused of when tending to the normal and beautiful needs of her mammal child," the actress writes. "It was never wrong and it was always right."

    The vegan mother of two ended her blog post with a message for her youngest son: "Go out into the scary wonderful crazy broken world, sweet tender Fred. Take your fear and conquer it, and come back to me when it's too much for you. I may not have milk to give you, but I have a heart forever etched with your name, your face, your eyes, your impossibly stunning tapered lashes that hold the tears only you can cry. Thank you, Fred, for being my nursling."

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