news

The mum who breastfeeds her five-year old in public comes under fire.

Sharon Spink defends her right to breastfeed

According to Sharon Spink, her five-year-old daughter is just a normal kid.

She likes all the usual things five-year-old girls do – she just also likes her regular dose of ‘mummy’s milk’ too.

Sharon Spink is causing widespread controversy in the UK after fronting several major newspapers and TV shows discussing the fact she still breastfeeds her five-year-old daughter.

“I’ve breast fed in the hairdresser’s, supermarket and church before,” Sharon Spink said in an interview with the UK’s The Sun. “I’ve even breast fed Charlotte in front of her school friends. Children don’t judge. It tends to be adults who do that. But thankfully their parents are all very supportive.”

Sharon Spink is a 44-year-old mother of four, who says she breastfeeds Charlotte as it is comforting for her daughter, but she also knows it has nutritional value.

She told the UK radio program LBC, “If I know full well that I’m doing her the world of good by giving her the added nutritional value and antibodies and all sorts of things that she does get in her diet but it’s adding to that as well, over and above what she would normally get in her daily food intake.”

Sharon says it is comforting for her daughter to breast-feed

Sharon likens it to broccoli.

“Those benefits don’t go away just because the child has got to five. It’s like saying broccoli suddenly loses all its nutritional value because you’re now 30 years old.”

For Sharon, there is no definite age she feels will be necessary to stop feeding her daughter. In fact, at the moment she feels to stop nursing her would be cruel.

She told The Sun, “It’s like taking away her favourite teddy, would you do that to a child? Would you take her favourite toy?”

In an appearance on the show ITV’s This Morning she told the presenter that her daughter would not be able to continue feeding aged 11 or 12 because her mouth would become too large.

Sharon Spink’s decision to go public on this has sparked controversy, with social media divided on whether this was beneficial for her daughter or not.

Little Britain star David Walliams bought into the debate by posting the one word tweet “bitty..’ in reference to his 20-something character, Harvey Pincher, who continues to ask for his mother’s ‘bitty’ so that he can have breast milk.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sharon Spink responded saying “Thanks so much for doing breastfeeding mums such a disservice. You really need to educate yourself.”

Bloggers have made much of the fact that Sharon claims she often breastfeeds her daughter in public. Sharon told ITV that often Charlotte’s school friends asked what they were doing. She said that she just explained the process to them and they generally walked off and said ‘okay then’.

One blogger claimed it wasn’t the fact she was breastfeeding her five-year-old that was the problem, it was the fact that she was doing it in public, opening Charlotte up to a litany of teasing and bullying.

Jeanne Sager writes, “A mom who is breastfeeding her five-year-old may be able to claim that the child enjoys it. But she can’t legitimately say the child needs to breastfeed on demand, when they’re out and about, anymore. That’s where the tough choices have to be made, where a mom has to truly put her child’s needs first.”

Mamamia has previously written of an Australian mother who has chosen what she calls continual breastfeeding.

Maha Al Musa says that everyone is entitled to their opinion

Maha Al Musa is a 51-year-old mother who breastfeeds her six-year-old daughter. She told Mamamia that she too breastfeeds her daughter in public, whenever she asks for milk and has stated she couldn’t care less what the public think.

“Everyone is entitled to an opinion. The fact we are having open dialogue and debate is very, very positive, the topic is being explored and I am grateful for that and I am grateful to be spear-heading this debate, especially for older children and older mums,” she said.

Lactation consultant Catherine Cooper told The Daily Mail that ultimately the decision should be down to each mother and that no one should be judged for the choice that they make, saying that the process was ‘far more than just nutrition’.

“Breastfeeding is also about the closeness, there is emotional re-booting, breastfeeding is really just like a cuddle.”

Tags:
    00:00 / ???