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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekend Discussion: Extended Breastfeeding

Today I came across an article entitled Daily Mail Calls Extended Breastfeeding 'Horrifying'

I had not previously seen the bit from the Daily Mail (Breastfeeding a six-year-old in tandem with her newborn - horrifying or a loving bond?) but reading through it now I am disgusted in the language that portrays a mother feeding her child as some sort of naive child abuser.

The first few sentences describe a typical morning in Amanda Hurst's household - both children are hungry for breakfast. Typically, she breastfeeds her baby. Her son asks (specifically, using his made-up term for breastmilk) to nurse as well. This is where the article makes quite a deal of both children being fed in tandem despite the age of the older child.
Excerpts:
        "When Jonathan was three, Amanda, quite rightly, told him he was too old to breastfeed."
         "The love between a mother and son is tangible. But there is something intensely uncomfortable about this scene..."
         "Many mothers, too will find Amanda's decision to breastfeed a six-year-old and a five-month-old simultaneously shocking and even distasteful."
         

One of the closing statements of the article is from Amanda - ‘My opinion is that you should carry on until the child doesn’t want it anymore, within reason. I would like him to grow out of it.’

So what do you think? Should a mother be allowed to breastfeed her child as long as both are happy with it? Or should there be an age restriction?

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