LOS ANGELES, April 25 (UPI) -- Mayim Bialik has spoken out again in defense of attachment parenting and extended breastfeeding.
The 38-year-old Big Bang Theory star is mother to two sons, Miles and Fred, and is a vocal proponent of attachment parenting. The actress made headlines in 2011 when she posted a picture of herself breastfeeding Fred when he was 3 years old. She attributed the subsequent backlash to U.S. culture's "very, very bizarre relationship with breasts."
Attachment theory forms the basis of attachment parenting, and states that children feel most secure when another person is physically present. A strong emotional bond is said to be formed if caregivers consistently give sensitive and emotional care to the child in addition to constant physical presence. For parents, this can mean bed-sharing -- allowing children to sleep in bed with them from infancy -- or extended breastfeeding -- breastfeeding until the child himself decides he is ready for solid food.
"People laughed and sneered but it wasn't wrong," Bialik tells InTouch of her decision to breastfeed Fred until he self-weaned at age 4. "Just because you do something your way doesn't mean you can judge people who don't.
The actress and mother admits the criticism "made her cry," and she asserts, "I don't think I'm a better mom and my kids aren't necessarily better off than yours."
"The way that I parent is the way thousands of women parent all over the world, but I get flak for it," she says. "People say really mean things!"