Home > Breastfeeding In the news > I breastfed my daughter until she was six . . .

I breastfed my daughter until she was six . . .

January 20th, 2010

It’s still a taboo subject, but Sue Leonard discovers why many mothers give children time to self-wean.

We’re getting used to the sight of young mums breastfeeding in public, but how would you react if the ‘baby’ being fed was five — or even older?

Ann Sinnott, from Cambridge, breastfed her daughter until she was six and a half years old. Believing that all children should, ideally, be allowed to choose when breastfeeding ceases, Ann set out to explore international attitudes to this somewhat taboo practice.

In her book, Breast-feeding Older Children, she questioned women, men and children from 48 countries via the internet, and she found that breastfeeding until a child is three, six, nine, or even 11 is a growing phenomenon.

Why, though, did she write her book?

“My aim was to support mums who are long-term breastfeeding, and to show them they are not alone,” she says.

“I’d like to educate health professionals, because the damage their negative comments can do is incalculable.

“If, as a result of my book, more mums breastfeed their babies for a year, I’ll be happy. If they breastfeed until the child is two I’ll be happier still, and if they allow they child to self-wean I’ll be happiest of all.”

Ann aimed to challenge the negative perceptions of many psychologists who contend that breastfed older children are emotionally damaged.

“Breastfed children are happy. They rarely cry because their needs are being met. My daughter, at six, was serene and incredibly independent, yet she had the need to continue breastfeeding. I went along with her until she was ready to stop.”


Breastfeeding In the news

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.