For many women, the process of breastfeeding their babies is a very natural one. While there are alternatives for those who prefer not to breastfeed or cannot breastfeed for any reason, huge numbers of women wouldn't have it any other way. Most continue to breastfeed their babies for at least the first year or two of their lives.
However, one woman has broken the mould after admitting that she breastfed her daughter until she was nine years of age! At the time this information came out, it caused a lot of controversy with Sharon Sphink, who was 50 years of age at the time, revealing that she had breastfed her daughter for nine long years. However, despite the controversy over her admission, the mother was also quick to say that she had no regrets whatsoever about her decision to do this.
So, Why Did She Do It?
The question on many people's minds after hearing about this mother would be why she decided to do it in the first place. Sphink's decision to continue breastfeeding her daughter for years is definitely one that defies the norms of society, which is why it caused so much controversy. However, the mother said that there is too much of a stigma attached to mothers breastfeeding older kids and that she and her daughter benefited hugely from her decision to continue breastfeeding.
One of the key benefits that the mother pointed out is that this length of time breastfeeding her daughter helped to build a much stronger bond between the two of them. She said that this bond was one that was unbreakable and that she misses being able to breastfeed her daughter now. She also admitted that it was her daughter that stopped breastfeeding after she turned nine. Another benefit that Sphink highlighted was the nutritional value of breast milk for kids, which she believes has contributed to her daughter's good health
Like other children, Sphink weaned her daughter off breast milk gradually, and there came a time when she was breastfeeding her just once a month. However, after the girl turned nine, she stopped breastfeeding altogether. The mother stated that she believed it should always be a child's decision when to stop breastfeeding rather than something that is forced on them at a very young age.
Sphink also expressed her frustration at the views of other parents who had spoken out about how wrong it was for her to have breastfed her daughter for so long. She said that people were commenting without being aware of her full story and situation. However, it should also be noted that according to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding should stop at between six months and two years of age.