The World Health Organization (WHO) says mothers should only breastfeed their babies for the first six months. This is good for the child’s health and nutrition.
After this time has passed, WHO recommends that mothers continue to breastfeed their children until they reach the age of two.
Furthermore, some experts argue that nursing may and should be continued above this age, as proven by one woman in England who breastfed her daughter until she was nine.
She got many benefits from nursing for a long time, such as a lower chance of getting long-term illnesses, a stronger immune system against seasonal viruses and germs, and better mental development due to more essential nutrients in breast milk.
Furthermore, breastfeeding for an extended period provides both mother and infant with a higher sense of security and emotional development.
Sharon Spink was heartbroken when her daughter Charlotte stopped drinking breast milk, which had been her primary sustenance since birth.
Breastfeeding not only provides food for an infant, but it also helps develop the link between mother and child. Even though there are many benefits to this way of feeding, Sharon got a lot of flak for continuing to breastfeed her 9-year-old child.
In response to allegations of pedophilia and abuse, she justified her decision by underlining that natural weaning is suggested and should be done at the child’s own pace and with their agreement.
Unfortunately, certain stigmas associated with extended breastfeeding remain today. Despite some people’s beliefs that nursing older children is inappropriate or even dangerous, research has demonstrated numerous benefits to extended breastfeeding.
According to studies, children who breastfeed after two have superior emotional control abilities and mental health outcomes than those who do not.
Also, they are less likely to get ear infections, respiratory infections, allergies, and be overweight as kids than children who aren’t breastfed or who stop being breastfed before age two.
Given these facts, it’s easy to see why Sharon opted to continue breastfeeding her daughter until she was old enough to stop consuming breast milk on her terms – despite any opposition or criticism she may have experienced along the way.
It was ultimately a personal decision made with her daughter’s best interests in mind, one that would safeguard Charlotte’s physical and emotional wellness as she grew older.
The mother explained that her daughter’s decision to wean was entirely her own and that it happened gradually. She fed her daughter by breastfeeding around once a month or when she was feeling ill and had low energy levels.
The girl had initially stated that she would stop breastfeeding when she was ten, in April of the following year, but she made the decision sooner than planned.
The benefits of breastfeeding for such a long time have become more apparent, with Sharon discovering her daughter hasn’t had any episodes of flu or colds.
This could be partly explained by the nutrients and antibodies provided by breast milk, which are known to prevent infection and disease.
Furthermore, this extended nursing time is likely emotionally helpful for both mother and child, as it can provide comfort, bonding chances, and a sense of stability during this stage of development.
Sharon, Charlotte’s mother, said she never had the opportunity to discuss the possibility of discontinuing their breastfeeding practice. However, she emphasized her desire for her daughter to feel a sense of security and coziness comparable to what she had while nursing.
She was sure their bond would not be harmed by their decision to discontinue breastfeeding. Sharon described how much power and endurance she felt she achieved from breastfeeding, resulting in an intense bond between them.
Although they will no longer be breastfeeding, she hopes her daughter will feel the same comfort and safety in their bond as she did when they were. She believes that connecting via breast milk gives them a very close link that will be difficult to break.