Is extended breastfeeding selfish?

Posted Thursday 10th October 2013   By Ericka Waller

So a 51-year-old mum has been in the news proclaiming she will ‘breastfeed her daughter until she is ten if that is what she wants.’ Is she thinking about her child or herself though?

I breastfed my three children until they were about nine-months-old. Then they started getting teeth, which I felt was a sign they were ready for food.

I loved breastfeeding, mostly. There was the time my breast pads fell out on the school run and Thing-one yelled out “Mum, your NICKLE-PANTS are on the floor” really loudly.

Then there was the time Thing-three pulled off without me noticing (I was eating cake) and I sprayed the poor unsuspecting man opposite me with my warm milk.

He looked disgusted (as was The husband when I told him about it later that day. To get him back I waited till he was doing his best open-mouthed snoring that night and sprayed him right in the pie-hole.)

I loved the bond I felt with my babies when I breastfed them. The sigh they would emit as they latched on. The small hand curled round my finger, the eyes locked on mine.

It made me forget that anything can ever be wrong in the world.

But it can. Like remembering being breastfed by your mum.

Like growing up as the kid in the article above, or the one on the front of Time magazine (see below), breastfeeding at the age of four. (You can just imagine the best-man’s speech on his wedding day – if his mummy ever lets him cut the nipple, I mean apron-strings.)

And don’t get my started on that weird documentary about the woman still nursing her eight-year-old, or the women who breastfed her cat.

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, to some… to some it does not feel natural at all, and to others, it obviously feels too damn good to stop.

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