The two-year-long custody battle between Rehab Addict star Nicole Curtis and her ex-husband, Shane Maguire, was one of the major reasons the HGTV star delayed season 8 of her show. And although things are finally getting "better," as Nicole told People, there have been some serious setbacks along the way.
One of the most challenging is the issue of breastfeeding. Nicole has continued to defend her decision to breastfeed her 30-month-old son-even as she's faced criticism on social media and in court. People reports that while in court, Shane accused his ex-wife of using breastfeeding as an excuse to keep him away from son Harper.
"It's not like he's 7 or 8-he's still a baby," Curtis said to the publication. "Every single day I have to weather criticism about how my child is too old to breastfeed. But when he weans, it's going to be his decision. I truly believe it's the child's choice."
Nicole, who also has an older son, Ethan, pictured above, has been fighting for her right to breastfeed Harper for quite some time. When Shane was awarded joint custody, Harper was six months old.
"He had never had a bottle before, and then all of a sudden that was his only option while he was with his dad. I had no idea that a judge could say, 'You're court ordered to not feed your exclusively breastfed child,'" Curtis says. "It's important that children have both of their parents. But [preventing] me from breastfeeding my child just so he can see the dad is not right."
According to Nicole, pumps weren't working for her, putting her milk supply at risk-which she proved to the court with the help of a lactation specialist and was awarded access to Harper during his father's visits for the purpose of breastfeeding.
Recently, Nicole aired her frustrations on Instagram, writing:
"People ask me what it's like to work in a male-dominated industry-piece of cake. Now ask me about the struggle of having my breasts discussed in an open court room, my child's name sold to tabloids, being court ordered to pump rather than feed my baby the only way he knows how only to be ridiculed when I cry that I can't produce enough milk with a pump, the humiliation of sitting in front of a stranger while topless hooked up to a breastpump so they could document that yes, indeed my body doesn't produce enough milk by pumping, then the humiliation of having to put that document on public record and sit in a court room of strangers all privy to an open discussion about my body-and the worst part of all this ? I'm not the only one. I never intended for my story to be public. I wanted my privacy, I asked for records to be sealed-I was laughed at. Now that it's public, not by my doing, I'm berated for speaking out ... nothing is more natural than an infant's attachment to their mother-and before we all assume that all the parties involved stripping mothers of their right to breastfeed are men-think again."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises breastfeeding for 12 months and as long after as desired. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for two years and beyond.
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