Breastfeeding mom is freaking everyone out because her daughter is HOW old?
Here we go again! Breastfeeding is causing some controversy, AGAIN. Sharon Spink, a 44-year-old mother from North Yorkshire, England, is raising eyebrows for breastfeeding in public sometimes up to three times a day. What's the big deal right? The big deal is that the daughter she is breastfeeding, Charlotte, is 5 years old and the breastfeeding is freaking people out! Some have even said that it borders on "pedophilia."
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What about the rest of the family? Sharon's 41-year-old husband Paul is supportive, but admits that he has been embarrassed by some of the public feedings. The couple has another daughter, Isobel, who is 8 years old and Sharon has two children from a previous relationship, 26-year-old Kevin and 24-year-old Sarah. Sharon says, "Even my eldest daughter, Sarah, disagrees with what I do but everyone is entitled to their opinion."
Sharon plans to keep on breastfeeding until Charlotte is ready to stop because she says it promotes a close bond between them and it helps boost Charlotte's immune system. Hmmm. Here's what I think. At this point, I don't think that breastfeeding Charlotte is necessary. I'm sure her immune system has reaped whatever benefits it was going to from breastfeeding. I'm sure the extended nursing does promote a close bond between mother and daughter.
Do I think what Sharon is doing is child abuse verging on pedophilia? No. Breastfeeding isn't like that. I have no doubt that Charlotte will stop breastfeeding sooner or later. She's going to start getting a lot of grief from others, I'm sure. Also as far as I know, none of Sharon's other children are still breastfeeding so it's not like Charlotte is in danger of growing into adulthood addicted to her mother's milk.
I breastfed both of my kids until they were almost 3 years old and even I got looks and comments about it. I didn't care, I still nursed in public. I was not going to be ashamed of feeding my kids and I'm glad I was able to do it for an extended period of time.Toward the end, I was no longer breastfeeding them because of necessity, obviously, they both had teeth and were capable of eating a steak sandwich if they wanted to. The nursing did become more about our connection and continued bonding. Sometimes they nursed because they were overwhelmed or overtired.
We stopped because I wanted and needed to, not because they wanted to. My 3-year-old is still obsessed with my breasts and wants to snuggle them and goes to my bosom whenever she needs comfort and it is not weird and has nothing to do with pedophilia.
I think Charlotte and her mother Sharon will both be fine. I don't think their extended breastfeeding is anything to truly freak out about. Go on and judge, just do it quietly in your own head and then go about your business because there are much more disturbing things going on in the world.
Image via Thinkstock
What do you think of this breastfeeding situation?