I breastfed both my children till they were 12 months old. It wasn’t always easy, in fact to start off with it was an absolute nightmare but I was pretty proud I persevered. I know friends of mine that are mums who have been devastated when their bubbas weaned themselves – they felt like they would desperately miss that closeness and connection with their child. For me, I was pretty damn happy when I weaned my girls and got my boobs back. When it comes to breastfeeding, I say women need to do what’s best for them.
British mum Sophie Emma Rose has copped some massive backlash for posting videos of her breastfeeding her four-year-old son. Sophie who now lives in Thailand is on a mission to “normalise breastfeeding older kids”. Her YouTube channel ‘Sophie’s joy breastfeeding channel’ has 15,000 subscribers who watch videos of her breastfeeding her son Shaye. Sophie says, “I’ll breastfeed Shaye for as long as he wants it, that is the goal. I know that breastfeeding does end and children eventually lose the latch and are not physically able to breastfeed past the age of about seven or eight years old.”
The Australian Breastfeeding Association says breastfeeding should continue “as long as a mother and child wish.”
The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding your child up to two-years-old and beyond. In a western society like ours this is not as necessary as a third world country where access to nutrition is not as available in other forms. “We have been conditioned in western culture to see breasts as a sexual part of the body, so you see it as sexual when really it’s not sexual intimacy at all. I don’t feel sexual pleasure when Shaye feeds, it’s a nice sensation but not a sexual act.” Sophie said.
I truly believe breastfeeding is a personal choice and one every mother should be able to make on her own – she is the only one that knows what is right for her and her child and their circumstances. There is no way in hell I want to breastfeed my 3-year-old and that’s my choice, but I refuse to judge Sophie for making a choice to do what’s feels right for her and her son.
How old was your child when you stopped breastfeeding?
Here the Sophia Cachia (The Young Mummy) talks about her struggles with breastfeeding: