Why This Mom Doesn’t Plan to Stop Breastfeeding Her 4-Year-Old Son —and It Makes Total Sense
The World Health Organization says that babies should be breastfed according to their demand, from 6 months to “up to 2 years of age or beyond.” When it comes to journalist Allison Yarrow, she is determined to continue nursing her 4-year-old son, and her explanation is fascinating.
It helps her create a strong bond with her son.
The author of Birth Control: The Insidious Power of Men Over Motherhood noted that she breastfeeds her son “once or twice a day.” She added that sometimes she does it even more “if he’s hurt or sick.”
Speaking of her less conventional decision, Yarrow noted, “Breastfeeding works for us.” She explained that it’s a way for both her and her son to “connect and communicate with each other.”
The loving mother went on to praise the emotional advantages that extended nursing has on them, saying, “We feel good. It’s intimacy. It’s looking into each other’s eyes. It’s cuddling. It’s having a physical connection. And that strengthens our connection in general.”
She further insisted that she actually does enjoy the process, pointing out that she “wouldn’t be just sacrificing” herself at this stage if it wasn’t something she actually loved doing. She added, “My 4-year-old has other food, right? He’s not coming to me for food.”
She claims it’s good for the mother.
Beyond the special bond that prolonged breastfeeding created between her and her little boy, according to Allison, there are many other benefits that have an impact on the mother’s health. She claims, “The research shows that breastfeeding can reduce breast and ovarian cancers. The hormone oxytocin is released when you breastfeed, so it actually feels good.”
The Mayo Clinic supports Yarrow’s assertions, stating that breastfeeding is linked to minor neurodevelopmental benefits in children while also being “associated with a reduction in acute infections as well as chronic adult conditions like obesity, cancer, heart disease, and allergies.”
She didn’t breastfeed her older kids this long.
Aside from her 4-year-old, Yarrow also has an older daughter and an older son. And the mom explains that breastfeeding can also vary from one child to another.
The mom-of-three admitted that while her youngest son “is a very cuddly, physical guy” who still finds comfort in breastfeeding, she discontinued nursing her other two children before they reached the age of two. When questioned about whether she has observed any distinctions in her son who breastfeeds compared to her other children, she remains uncertain.
She won’t stop anytime soon.
The author firmly states that she currently has no intentions of discontinuing breastfeeding her son, noting, “I don’t have any parameters or plans to stop breastfeeding him.”
That said, she does acknowledge occasional thoughts, like considering the start of kindergarten as a potential milestone for weaning, but she realizes that doing that “feels like a very kind of socially imposed deadline.”
The devoted mom went on declaring, “This is a relationship. Like any other relationship, there are two participants in this relationship.” Therefore, she concluded by saying, “Any decisions that we make around this intimacy that we share will be a decision that we make together.”
Just like Mrs. Yarrow, some celebrities are also big advocates of extended breastfeeding, and here they explain why this decision really works for them.