Mum breastfeeds a six-year-old. You know who needs counselling?
“This made me feel sick. Wrong, just wrong.”
“I’ll say what a lot of people are thinking… It is a sexual thing for the perv mum.”
“It’s people like her that give breastfeeding a bad name.”
“Fulfilling her own needs here.”
“This kid’s going to need some counselling.”
“Sorry, but Mama needs some counselling.”
In some ways, it feels like we’ve made progress when it comes to breastfeeding. We take brelfies. If a breastfeeding woman is publicly shamed, we hold mass nurse-ins. Nicole Trunfio is on the cover of Elle, looking ultra-glam, with her baby attached to her nipple.
But a mum breastfeeds her six-year-old – like 52-year-old Aussie belly dancer Maha Al Musa – and we all lose our minds.
Sure, not many kids this age are still drinking their mother's milk, anywhere in the world.
In Australia, only 28 per cent of children are breastfeeding at age one, and only about five per cent at age two. Even in traditional hunter-gatherer-type societies, the average age of weaning is around three.
But does that make breastfeeding a six-year-old sick and wrong and pervy?
Anyone who's breastfed a toddler, like I have, knows it's very different from feeding a baby. You get used to having funny little conversations with your child about breastfeeding. You realise that a lot of the time, it's not about them being hungry. It's about them enjoying the closeness and the quiet time with their mum.