A mother's choice is being attacked as sick and wrong and pervy. Is it?

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.

Maha Al Musa and her daughter. Images via Facebook.

Long beyond the baby years, little kids like to snuggle up to their parents. Some of them still want to use a dummy or suck their thumbs. Different families do things in different ways. Children just need to feel loved and secure.

I'd finished breastfeeding my children by the time they were three, but I can imagine why some mothers keep going. I doubt they're doing it to fulfill their own needs. As great as breastfeeding can be, you do start longing to have your breasts to yourself again, eventually. But I can easily believe that there are kids out there who want to keep going because they find it comforting.

Here's Maha Al Musa talking about breastfeeding her daughter. Post continues after the video.

The uproar over Maha Al Musa and her six-year-old daughter shows that we haven't made that much progress when it comes to breastfeeding. A lot of people say they support it, but deep down, they're not entirely comfortable with the idea, especially once children get to the age where they can walk and talk. And yet the World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond. No health authorities set an upper age limit for breastfeeding.

You know who needs counselling in this situation? I wouldn't say the mother. I wouldn't say the daughter. I would say whoever sees this as a "sexual thing" for the "perv mum".

What do you think of a mother breastfeeding a six-year-old?

Want more? Try:

Nicole Trunfio posts beautiful breastfeeding photos.

"I'm calling it, most ridiculous breastfeeding study ever."