A mom-of-one who still breastfeeds her 5-year-old child wants other mothers to know that it is completely ‘normal’ to nurse children for as long as possible. She also said that it is easier to breastfeed an older child because she can quickly describe how it’s done.
27-year-old Amy Hardcastle from Lancashire encourages other moms to feel comfortable breastfeeding their children regardless of the age of the child.
Amy is more than happy to nurse her 5-year-old son Max regularly. They also have a nursing session while having a bath together.
She wants to break the disgrace on longer terms of nursing and show people that it is natural and shouldn’t be considered weird as it promotes closeness and also good for the child’s health.
It was in July 2013 when Max was born. That time, she felt uncomfortable breastfeeding her baby. She gradually gained confidence to do it even in public whenever her child wants to breastfeed.
Amy then started to join local support groups and she also participated in breastfeeding festival which taught her about the benefits of breastfeeding. This led her to question why many mothers stop right away.
She said: “He was exclusively fed breastmilk until he was six months old, then introduced to food like any other child after that.
We almost quit breastfeeding at four weeks old with latching problems, but someone helped me out just in time. I have breastfed Max for five years, and he breastfeeds now a few times a week, but neither of us have decided to stop nursing yet.
I try to explain that just because something isn’t the cultural norm here, it doesn’t make it wrong. Breastfeeding makes complete sense since my body continues to produce milk to sustain and nourish my child.”
“I have a keyring with little celebratory hearts for the first three years – I need to update it now.
I had no idea about breastfeeding before I had Max. My mum and I guessed that six months was a good length of time, then I got into support groups and involved with the breastfeeding festival, so I learned more about nursing until the child weans themselves.”
Amy said that she will stop nursing when both she and her son are ready to. “Once you’ve cracked breastfeeding it’s just about going for as long as it works for both of you.
Non-human primates stop breastfeeding around the time of the first permanent teeth, which is around five to six-years-old in human children.”
“If breastfeeding him was no longer working for me then I would stop. I chose to night wean him because I pulled muscles in my ribs from straining to feed him and lie comfortably in bed.
I have no problem nursing during the day, so I’ll keep going until he wants to stop. I don’t have a problem continuing until he’s fully done.
I have friends who were also happy to continue to carry on until the child weaned and they stopped much younger because all children are different.
I don’t give my son breastmilk over food, if he’s hungry then he eats and if he wants to nurse then he does so. Breastmilk never stops being good for you and it’s mostly about comfort and closeness.”
Amy also explained that it is easier to breastfeed as children grow older. There is no need to breastfeed every two hours, allowing her to wear clothes that aren’t for nursing moms as she knew she didn’t need to breastfeed until they’re back home.
She wants to encourage people to see breastfeeding as normal and shouldn’t be weird or wrong beyond a certain age.
What’s your take on this? Do you agree with her? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!