Ranty Pants Alert – Breastfeeding at FIVE, damage control.
I think we all have our own opinions and ideas as Mothers on when we should stop breastfeeding, if we choose to breastfeed at all. Its a decision that we all make and it is ours alone to make.
We also live in a country where it is not the social “norm” to breastfeed your child beyond the World Health Organisation recommended age of two.
Whether you agree or not with the mothers below who practise extended breastfeeding is irrelevant really; they are doing it (assumedly) in the privacy of their own home and is of no concern to us. My personal feelings aside on the issue (trust me, you don’t want to know), what I do want to illustrate is not these Mothers’ decisions to breastfeed their child up to the age of five, but to publicly make available photos of themselves doing it.
Like it or not, we live in a cyber saturated world and these photos plus many more of older children are easily accessible by simply googling breastfeeding older children.
I think as Mothers, we owe it to our children to shield them as much as possible from the potential playground bullying, teasing and cyber bullying as possible. This includes not creating fodder for their attackers by posing for sensationalist photos such as the ones above. If Mothers want to stray from the socially accepted norm because they feel it benefits their child, then do so by all means; but please use some discretion with your decision. Don’t splash these photos around of your child in such an obviously socially vulnerable position without their consent for all to see in years to come.
The reaction of this child above, to a child who looks eerily like an older version of the four year old boy being breastfed by his Mother in the photo above, is going to be typical if he was to see these pictures.
Can you hear the playground taunting?? “You were sucking on your Mummies boobie whist I was learning to read and write, na na na naa naaaaaa.” Can you imagine the photos above being emailed around and sent to the smartphones of their classroom peers to use to taunt and ridicule?
Whilst the controversy of breastfeeding older children (and many other sensitive topics involving our vulnerable children) will probably continue for many, many years to come, in this cyber controlled day and age I really think we owe it to our kids to remove their images from our cyber battles.
Ironically, by “nurturing” their chidrens bodies by breastfeeding them at such a late stage of development, by making their story and photos so easily accessible for ridicule and judgement, these mothers, their protectors, are doing anything but nurturing their childs soul.
They risk destroying it.
Won’t somebody think of the children??
What do you think? Do we expose too much of our children online?? Do I? Do you??