July 22, 2007
Is there an age a child should stop breastfeeding?
I have to admit, this video really disturbed me… it was kind of like watching a train wreck. I was slightly mortified, yet couldn’t bring myself to turn away from it. I stumbled across this video last night and it’s been bothering me ever since, although I’m not entirely sure why.
I’ll be the first to wholeheartedly agree that children should be breastfed – I didn’t wean either of my daughters until they were just over a year old. I do think there were some wonderful bonding moments because of my decision to breastfeed, although I’m not so hard-core as to think it was a beautiful, magical, sublime experience. Truth be told, it was hard work at times, frustrating at others, and sometimes a little inconvenient (while I did pump occasionally, neither of the girls would take a bottle, and for me, it wasn’t worth the trouble to force the issue). But I am very glad I had made the decision to breastfeed for as long as I did.
So having said that, why does this video bother me so much? Breastfeeding is an intensely private matter, really between mother and child only. I was the one who made the decision to wean my daughters; if this woman is leaving it up to her children, should she be applauded for putting her children first? I really don’t know. The children in the video really seem to like it, and I’m sure there are other cultures where it is not only acceptable, but commonplace to breastfeed children longer than we do here in North America. Still, I can’t help but get the heebie-jeebies watching this. I was actually glad to have my body back to myself once I’d weaned the girls. Apparently this is not an issue for this woman, but I would be curious to know what her husband really thinks of the whole thing.