After nine years of breastfeeding her daughter, Sharon Spink has finally stopped at daughter Charlotte’s request.
According to The Sun, Spink only stopped breastfeeding Charlotte this year, and insisted that despite her daughter’s age, it is completely natural and has created a lifelong bond between them. Charlotte asked to stop two months ago, after being slowly weaned off her mother’s milk for the past few years.
Spink claims that her daughter is incredibly healthy, and very rarely gets sick as a result of “the beneficial properties of mummy milk.”
Over the years, Spink has faced plenty of criticism for her decision to continue breastfeeding her daughter, with some even accusing her of child abuse and being a pedophile. However, the proud mom wants to break down the stigma surrounding breastfeeding and allowing a child to decide when to stop.
“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.”
Spink added that Charlotte originally told her she would stop when she turned 10, which is in April of next year, but insisted she would have carried on as long as her daughter wanted. According to Spink, the fact that her daughter has slowly been breastfeeding less and less has made the end of it easier for her.
“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,” she explained. “It’s how I envisaged it would end. It was her choice and was done in a very gradual way.”
Spink says she and Charlotte haven’t had a discussion about her stopping, it just happened. And the one thing she hopes her daughter takes away from it and remembers is “that feeling of comfort and security.” Spink also doesn’t believe the fact that Charlotte has stopped breastfeeding will change the strong bond they have formed over the years.
After having difficulties with breastfeeding her older three children, 30-year-old Kim, 28-year-old Sarah, and 12-year-old Isabel, Spink was determined to find a way to feed her youngest child for as long as she wanted.
Over the years, Spink stopped feeding Charlotte in public places, and while she was happy to feed at home, even going into her mother’s room at night to feed, it wasn’t something she would ever talk about at school.
Spink wants to normalize the idea of feeding older children, because she is convinced that other mothers also do it, but are too scared to publicly admit it. Just last year, she qualified as a breastfeeding counselor.
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