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22nd Apr 2024

‘I still breastfeed my nine-year-old because she doesn’t want me to stop’

Joseph Loftus

It’s caused a huge stir online.

Most mums decide the time to stop breastfeeding their baby comes around the time of the child’s second birthday, however others choose to extend it for longer.

But how long is too long? Well one mother has recently reignited this debate after writing on Quora that she still breastfeeds her nine-year-old daughter.

The anonymous mother wrote: “I still allow my nine-year-old daughter to breastfeed from me, and she won’t stop until she wants to. Does anyone support me?”

According to the Mirror, the World Health Organisation urges mothers to breastfeed their newborns exclusively for six months before gradually reducing and moving their children onto appropriate foods.

‘I still breastfeed my nine-year-old because she doesn’t want me to stop’.

Better Health claims: “Stopping breastfeeding is called weaning. It is up to you and your baby to decide when the time is right. Some parents and babies enjoy breastfeeding so much they are in no hurry to stop. It is not unusual for children up to four years of age to continue to be breastfed.

“Family members and friends may feel uncomfortable about extended breastfeeding and it can be helpful to have information to give your family and friends about why you have decided to keep breastfeeding. This may include information about the continued health benefits, security, and comfort for your child.”

Despite this, the mother’s post about breastfeeding her nine-year-old has still caused a huge stir with one person writing: “Please seek help. This is not natural or healthy for your daughter. You really need to turn off the mommy spigots and let her grow up.”

A second wrote: “Not me. Even animals wean their young. It’s part of the natural process of helping them grow up. That’s why we have a specific word for that phase.

“Every mammal does it. The process by definition involves denying suckling to babies who still want to suckle, so they will grow up into healthy, independent beings. So there is nothing “natural” about what you are doing. Quite the opposite. Sorry.”

Another wrote: “Breast or bottle feeding is how infants get their nutrition until they are able to eat baby food. There’s no earthly reason for a nine-year-old to still be fed like an infant. Additionally, if she doesn’t stop until SHE wants to stop, then you have lost control as a parent. What else does she make the rules on? What other parental rights have you handed over to a nine-year-old?”

A fourth added: “That is waaaay to old for nursing your child. You should stop immediately. This could be considered criminal and cause your child to be taken away from you.”

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