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.
        "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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