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The model and TV personality, 42, has told Us Weekly that she still nurses her 5-year-old daughter with husband Ice-T. Though the little girl is on solids and will "eat steak and hamburgers," she also "likes a little snack every now and then" — as in, being nursed.
"Chanel still likes my boobs," Austin shared in comments that come just as August's National Breastfeeding Month gets underway. "It’s a big bonding moment for a mother and your child.”
She added that she plans to follow her daughter's lead rather than completely cut her off.
“Why take that away from her?" she said. "If she doesn’t want it, all right, that’s where you stop it. But I’m not just going to say no.”
The former Ice Loves Coco star addressed her extended breastfeeding last year, posting a photo of her nursing her then-4-year-old daughter. Austin explained that "at this point in nursing it's just for comfort" rather than sustenance, noting that she's received messages from other moms praising her for keeping it up.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding "for up to two years and beyond," data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that only 35.3 percent of infants are breastfeeding at age 1, and 14.6 percent at 18 months.
The website for the nonprofit breastfeeding advocacy group La Leche League International, meanwhile, advises that "if you and your child enjoy breastfeeding, there is no reason you need to stop. Both of you will continue to benefit from breastfeeding as long as you like. Many mothers choose to wean naturally, allowing the child to outgrow the need gradually, in his own time."
Nursing is not the only area in which Austin's family goes against the grain. She also told Us Weekly that she and Ice-T also allow Chanel, and their four dogs, sleep with them in their "family bed." The family don't keep to a strict schedule, either.
"We’re more of night entertainment," she said. "People have to understand, we have different times. Sometimes, I work until 2 in the morning. When [Ice-T’s] on tour, he’s doing a show at 12 at night... So we transfer it a different way. Chanel gets up at 11 in the afternoon.”