A mother who has been breastfeeding her baby for quite a while, has decided to wean her at the age of nine.
She says she will miss breastfeeding her daughter after she finally weaned at the age of nine.
Sharon Spink, 50, has been breastfeeding daughter Charlotte for the past nine years and insists it is completely normal and has cemented a lifelong bond between them.
Sharon, from Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, said despite doing it for almost a decade she is happy the schoolgirl made her own decision to stop two months ago.
The quinquagenarian, who supports natural term weaning, claims her daughter is healthy and rarely gets ill thanks to the beneficial properties of ‘mummy milk’.
And despite facing a backlash from critics who have accused her of child abuse, Sharon wants to break down the stigma around breastfeeding older children – believing there are many mums out there doing it.
Sharon said: “When I came to have Charlotte, I had decided on natural term weaning.
“It’s nice for the child to be in control of when they want to wean, rather than forcing the issue.
“She naturally self-weaned earlier this year.
“It was a gradual process and her choice.
“She was feeding about once a month if she wasn’t feeling great or was feeling a bit run down, and was going longer and longer without feeding.
“Now she hasn’t done it for about two months.
“She told me she would stop when she was 10 which will be in April next year but it seems to have come to a natural end earlier, although I would have allowed her to continue for as long as wants to.
“As she’s been reducing anyway I don’t feel sad about it. If she would have stopped suddenly I think I would have missed it, but it’s just nice that it’s come to a natural end.
“It’s how I envisaged it would end. It was her choice and was done in a very gradual way.
“We haven’t had a discussion about her not doing it anymore. I just hope when she’s older she’ll remember that feeling of comfort and security it gave her rather than it being about feeding.
“We have such a close bond and I’m convinced it’s because of breastfeeding her for so long.
“It cemented our bond and I don’t think that will change now it’s stopped. I think we’re closer because of doing it. I haven’t had any pangs since she stopped and she still comes for a cuddle.
“With Charlotte it about was the security. Children find a lot of comfort in the breast, and the older they get the more it becomes about comfort rather than nutrition.”
Sharon claims Charlotte is very healthy and rarely gets ill due to breast milk’s boost to the immune system.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to six months with continued breastfeeding along with complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.