Internet slams mom for breastfeeding her nine-year-old daughter

Internet slams mom for breastfeeding her nine-year-old daughter

A mom from the UK has openly spoken up about her choice to breastfeed her pre-teen daughter, and how some on social media have dragged her for it. 

mom and daughter breastfeeding pic
Sharon Spink and her daughter / Facebook

Listen to Monday's Jane's World about breastfeeding, or read the details under the podcast.

The matter of breastfeeding has been a hot topic over the past few months. There have been arguments on the internet about public breastfeeding, which some feel really strongly about.

While that argument continues on certain parts of the internet, another social media debate has broken out concerning one mom's choice to breastfeed her nine-year-old daughter.

Meet Sharon Spink, a mom of four who is insistent that her choice to breastfeed her nine-year-old daughter Charlotte was the right one. She believes that it brought them closer, and helped build a strong bond between them. Sharon decided to openly speak about her story to break down the stigma, and create awareness of 'extended nursing', a term many use to describe breastfeeding after the age of 12 or 24 months. 

CHECK OUT: 5 South African celebrities who support public breastfeeding

Charlotte naturally weaned off Sharon's breast when she was nine, a gradual process and choice which Sharon was glad that Charlotte made all by herself. 

"It cemented our bond and I don't think that will change now it's stopped. I think we're closer because of doing it. I haven't had any pangs since she stopped and she still comes for a cuddle. With Charlotte, it was about the security. Children find a lot of comfort in the breast, and the older they get the more it becomes about comfort rather than nutrition," she told Daily Mail in an interview

Spink also added that she is confident that her daughter is a healthier child because of the extended nursing as she hardly gets sick due to her 'boosted immune system'.

However, with topics such as this, there is a very fine line to what people deem as acceptable and outrageous. While Sharon's parenting choice has been met with joy by some mothers, for others they have labelled it as 'child abuse', and some have even gone on to call her a 'paedophile' - a bit much, don't you think?

READ: Three natural ways to increase your breast milk production

See pics of Sharon and her daughter Charlotte below:

The decision of when to stop breastfeeding your child can be a difficult one. For me, I breastfed my children for three months after they were born. Easy choice for me, but it's not that easy for many other moms. 

There have been many who have had valid pros and cons towards extended nursing. I did some research and came across the pros summarised in an article published by Living and Loving which states that it provides a good source of nutrients to your little (or grown up) one. It also creates a stronger relationship and comfort between a mother and a child. 

Live Strong, on the other hand, talks about the downsides to extended breastfeeding. Some of these include planning around your child's feeding time which could interfere in your schedule, the pain and strain that is put on a mother's nipple (for those who struggle to express milk), and not forgetting about what the public has to say about it.

My initial reaction to reading this story was 'Hell no!' Having a nine-year-old child with teeth attached to my breast would not be my choice. 

It does feel somewhat inappropriate. I mean, my eldest child is eight, and sure he is a boy so maybe it's different to a girl, but if I think about my daughter who is six, and it's hard to imagine her and me in this type of situation. 

READ: Expert says we need to embrace breastfeeding

The article mentioned that the conversation never came up about Charlotte's feeding at her school. Well, now after it's being published and shared around the world, I'm sure that's not the case, and one can assume comments will flow quick and fast.

I know each to their own, but for me, yikes!

Women of KZN, what age do you think moms should stop breastfeeding? Should they wean themselves off naturally or be forced to quit? Share your comments with me below.

Main image courtesy of Facebook/

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