A british mother appeared on national TV to explain why she is still breastfeeding her daughter who is nearly eight – and why she gave her older daughter breast milk as a ninth birthday present.
Veronika Robinson appeared on the Channel 4 programme Extraordinary Breastfeeding as a passionate advocate of allowing children to decided when they give up breast milk.
Mrs Robinson, a former journalist, her husband Paul, and their children, Bethany and Elizah, are all fans of organic food.
Elizah is approaching her eighth birthday and is not happy at the prospect of giving up her daily feed. “I don’t want to be weaned. I want to breastfeed for ever,” she said.
In the Channel 4 programme, broadcast on Wednesday, Mrs Robinson, 38, spoke frankly about her decision to defy convention.
She was one of several families interviewed after the World Health Organisation recommended that children should be breastfed until they are aged two. All share the belief that children should never be forcibly weaned.
While many people in the UK consider her decision odd, other cultures do not take such a dim view of prolonged breast feeding.
In an interview before the TV programme, 38-year-old Veronika described her reaction when Bethany asked for breast milk for her ninth birthday. “I was delighted, if a little taken aback,’ she said.
“I’d stopped breastfeeding Bethany when she was five – though I was continuing to feed her younger sister, Elizah – but obviously she clearly remembered what a wonderful feeling it had been. It was the best thing she could imagine and, presented like that, it seemed like a great idea.”
Veronika, who edits an alternative-parenting magazine called The Mother continued: “My girls were brought up to think it was completely normal to ask for a breast in a shop,” she says. “That’s bad enough when they are toddlers, but when they are big girls, people get freaked out by it.
“I try to be discreet, but we have had some odd looks. People tend to be disgusted and disbelieving.”
“I can’t believe any mother wouldn’t love to hold onto that wonderful feeling you get when you are nursing your own child.”
Despite the Breast Is Best campaign, designed to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding to new born babies, only 68 per cent of mums routinely breastfeed. Of those around 80 per cent give up after just six months.