There is a taboo on breastfeeding your toddler, infant or somewhat older child. In May this year, the cover of Time Magazine was occupied by a mother breastfeeding her child at the age of three, accompanied by the headline: ‘Are you mom enough?’ It led to discussions and comments like ‘perverted’, ‘dangerous’, ‘not being able to let go of the baby time’ and ‘too much attachment to the mother with serious consequences’. Katherine Dettwyler, professor in anthropology, conducted research on this and discovered that breastfeeding children at an older age is actually more common around the globe than not doing so, except for Europe and America. The mothers who do support this, mostly high-educated women working outside their homes, hardly dare to admit this, fearing negative responses. Dettwyler studied children who were breastfed for more than three years, and concluded: ‘these children were in perfect health, did not need any form of therapy and did not see it as having sex with their mothers’.
Isn’t it just that all of us are totally estranged from what is normal, that we are so used to all advertisements and promotional campaigns of breastfeeding and surrogates aimed at mothers with babies? That we have forgotten that breast are intended to raise children, instead of create sexual arousal? It might explain the strong reactions, including my own, after seeing mothers breastfeeding three-year-olds…Source: Time Magazine, HLN