There should be no age limit on breastfeeding

Mum, Kristy Lawler breastfeeding her four-and-a-half- and three-and-a-half-year-old children.
Mum, Kristy Lawler breastfeeding her four-and-a-half- and three-and-a-half-year-old children. Sarah Murnane

THE Australian Breastfeeding Project founder says there should be no limit on the age women breastfeed their children to.

Sarah Murnane, who brought her national tour promoting awareness of the beauty breastfeeding to the Sunshine Coast this week, said most women felt pressured to give up too early.

But she believed there was nothing wrong with giving children breast milk, even if they were older.

"I don't believe there should be an age limit on breastfeeding," she said.

"Society puts one on it. The World Health Organisation said children should be breastfed until they are at least two years old.

"You tell people that and someone sees a mum feeding a two-year-old and they freak out.

"This comes from not being educated and not really understanding how long children should be breastfed for."

She was aware of women who had younger children who "express milk and give it to their older children in cups".

"They are getting nutritional value from it," she said.

"It is funny because we push people to wean and then give them another animal's milk (cow's milk)."

She snapped a beautiful photo of her close friend, Kristy Lawler, breastfeeding her four-and-half- and three-and-a-half-year old children.

The older child goes to kindergarten.

She said the natural weaning age was "around four-and-a-half".

Ms Murnane started the Australian Breastfeeding Project to "create awareness of the beauty of breastfeeding".

It was also to "generate acceptance that prolonged breastfeeding has several health benefits".

The national tour, which came to the Sunshine Coast an the weekend, aimed to capture a photo series of mums breastfeeding as a "collective to make a stand for the cause".

Ms Murnane, who comes from Geelong, said both sessions on the Sunshine Coast had been booked out.

While she believed children should be breastfed to any age, it didn't extend to a woman choosing to breastfeed her boyfriend, as was the case of America's Jennifer Mulford.

"That's full on and that person is not a child and it starts to cross boundaries."

Topics:  breastfeeding editors picks

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