Tatyana Ali Speaks on Backlash She Received for Breastfeeding Her Sons Until They Were 2

The mother of two says everyone wasn't supportive of her decision.

Motherhood doesn't come with a set of a rules. And oftentimes, new mothers will get all types of advice, whether they ask or not, from someone further along in their motherhood journey. The advice is not always welcomed or positive. Tatyana Ali appeared on the Dine With series by SpringHill alongside other celebrity moms, including fellow actress Kyla Pratt and singer Melanie Fiona. The topic turned to unsolicited advice mothers receive. Ali says she was discouraged by many to not breastfeed her children.

She said: "I wanted to breastfeed for up to two years, or more, you know? Nobody in my family had done that before. And I got so many comments. [People would ask me] 'You still breastfeeding that baby? You don't have to work so hard, just put a little formula in it.' And I really needed somebody to say, 'Good job.'" It's not the first time she's spoken on the subject. 

In a 2018 Instagram post featuring her nursing her son, she opened up about her breastfeeding experience and the negative comments that came along with it. She wrote in part, "I'm about to start weaning my son soon. (Sigh) He's almost 2 years old. When we passed the 6 month mark and I'd bring him to my breast, people started asking me when I would stop. I had a rote answer prepared. 'Well... the world health organization says 2 years old is best,' I would say. I needed the scientific backup in some of those conversations because I felt like I had to defend my choice."

Later in the post, she spoke on the deep connection breastfeeding provided her and her son. "I love looking down and seeing him latched on, feeling his cheeks so close to my heart. I love giving him nourishment, giving him my life force and most of all comfort," she wrote.

There are plenty of benefits of breastfeeding, including babies building stronger defiance against illnesses. Not every woman is able to breastfeed, for various reasons, including difficulties with latching or not enough milk supply. There are supplements women can take to assist, as well as help from lactation specialists. Different formulas suited for babies with different needs are also available.