It seems as if that would be unhealthy for the child as well as the mother. I think there wouldn’t be enough nutrients for the kid and the breastfeeding would weaken the mother. Plus, it’s just ridiculous. People have teeth for a reason.
It makes me laugh because people often use the ‘Yes, but other cultures breastfeed for much longer’ argument, which is ridiculous because there’s a lot of things that other cultures do that we wouldn’t automatically follow. Like cutting off somebody’s hand for stealing, or stoning an adulterous woman to death. I don’t see anybody suggesting that we start doing those kinds of things…
I don’t find the picture shocking and I have to roll my eyes at people that are all up in arms about this. That said, yeah, I’m judging the hell out that woman, if for no other reason that she decided to embarrass her son in order for her to score some extra “Super Mommy” points.
And you’re right, it’s total bullshit to mention other cultures that breastfeed that long. The attachment parenting types do that all the time, completely ignoring the contexts in which those choices are made. They love to point out the WHO recommendation for nursing beyond age 3, while conveniently ignoring the fact that those recommendation exist because most people in the world don’t have access to clean water or much food, so nursing as long as possible is much better in that situation.
I don’t care how long a woman chooses to breastfeed. I think it’s weird as fuck to do it that long when you don’t have to, but whatever. But when they start making up facts to support their decisions, I get twitchy. Just do what you want to do without romanticizing poverty and pulling that “Noble Savage” crap.
Squicks me out. But then again, my daughter is turning 11 and still sleeps with me (despite having her own bedroom). She claims she’ll be in my bed till she’s 40 and sometimes I’m terrified that she’s telling the truth.
But then again, in other countries that’s normal. Right?
Lori, my cousin slept with her mom most of the time until she want off to college. My aunt was a single mom since mu cousin was 3, and they often lived in one-bedroom apartments, so it just made sense. My cousin is a normal, happily married woman now, for what it’s worth.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with breastfeeding a kid for that long, but I do think it’s a form of child abuse to clearly identify both yourself & your kid as doing it in a culture where it is not acceptable. The mom gets to be famous and the kid gets to be harassed, bullied and victimized for all of his school years. Nice going, mom! Hope you enjoy the fame.
Reading a bit more about it today (can’t find the link right now) one of the defenses for nursing toddler until they wean themselves is, “if you were in a deserted island without society watching, this is what you’d do.”
Perhaps–but neither the mother nor the child live in a deserted island. And if mom doesn’t give a fig what other people think of her, she may want to consider how her child will adapt to the society he’ll have to live in.
The kid is actually only 3. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with nursing a 3 year old. Now, mind you, I don’t like how most of the people I know who are doing extended breastfeeding are angry lactivists who tend to flaunt it, but I can see how a mom would still be doing it at that age.
I nursed L up until a month or so before her 2nd birthday and if there hadn’t been circumstances that made it the right time to wean, I probably would have let her go on longer and just self-wean. And that’s not something I would have said before I got pregnant. Nursing was so fucking hard in the beginning, but the payoff was worth it and I loved snuggling up with my daughter while she nursed.