Mom Shamed For Breastfeeding 9-Year-Old Daughter
By Dave Basner
November 12, 2018
When it comes to breastfeeding, everyone seems to have an opinion. Some folks think a new mom should breastfeed for well over a year, while others feel it doesn't matter if she does it at all. Well one mother is learning just how opinionated people can be on the topic. Her name is Sharon Spink and the mother of four recently revealed that she breastfed her daughter Charlotte until a few months ago... when Charlotte was nine years old.
While Sharon insists her decision was normal and has created a lifelong bond with her daughter, she is facing a lot of backlash from critics who feel otherwise.
Sharon explained to England's The Sun:
"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 she wants to."
Sharon also spoke about the benefits of her time breastfeeding her daughter, noting that Charlotte doesn't get sick as often as her other kids. She added, "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."
Yet many don't see it that way. Sharon stated that she's been called a pedophile and a freak. She says people have told her what she is doing is wrong, and even accused her of child abuse. Sharon stopped breastfeeding Charlotte in public when her daughter was four or five, and although the 50-year-old mom found the haters' words hurtful at first, these days she doesn't let them get to her. She said, "Charlotte knows it’s not true and people I care about know it’s not true. I explain to her that they are people who do not know her or us or our situation."
View this post on Instagram
Thanks for all my birthday wishes. These are from my daughter. Some good memories. The past 50 years have been eventful, awesome, sad, happy. Made me laugh, made me cry, made me crazy but I wouldn't change a thing because if I did I wouldn't be where I am today or be the person I am. So love to you all, made truly truly beautiful family & friends. 💖💖💖 #50thbirthday #sharonspink #celebration #birthday #friends #standrewsday #party #nsatribe #actorslife
Sharon explained that she struggled breastfeeding her first three kids and so she wanted to succeed when she did it with Charlotte. She planned to breastfeed for six months, the recommended length of time according to the World Health Organization, and then she intended to let her daughter decide when to stop.
Sharon hopes her story raises awareness about breastfeeding older children, and that it shows support for other moms who do it privately since they fear the backlash "from people that don't understand that it's normal."
Sharon shared some photos of herself breastfeeding her nine-year-old that you can see here.
Photo Credit: Getty