News/Trending Parenting

Mom Quits Breastfeeding Months Before Daughter’s Tenth Birthday

Credit: WZTV FOX 17 News Facebook Page

Yeah, you heard me right. After nine odd years — and by “odd,” we mean what the hell was she thinking? — Sharon Spink, the mother who defended breastfeeding her five-year-old daughter back in 2014, said she is done nursing, but not because she was ready to quit.

According to The Sun, Spink shut down her “breastaurant” after nine-year-old Charlotte said she’d had enough.

“She told me she would stop when she was 10 which will be in April next year,” said the girl’s mother. Instead, she began weaning earlier this year.

Spink, a self-proclaimed actress, breastfeeding counselor and nursing jeweler, who clings to the idea that feeding a tweenager like a newborn is totally normal, said she would have allowed her daughter to continue doing so for as long as she wanted.

What, like college?

Though the two have not formally discussed the transition from “milk on tap” to store-bought refreshments, Spink claims she’s happy Charlotte made the decision on her own to stop two months ago.

“It’s nice for the child to be in control of when they want to wean, rather than forcing the issue,” she said, adding a clause that she hopes Charlotte grows up and remembers the feeling of “comfort and security” their nine-year bonding sessions gave her as a tween.

“We have such a close bond,” she said. “I’m convinced it’s because of breastfeeding her for so long.”

Since her debut on Britain’s ITV four years ago, Spink says she’s been called every name under the sun — child abuser, freak, pedophile — but has never let it derail her from doing what she thought was best for her daughter.



“The first time it upset me because I wasn’t used to it but now it’s water off a duck’s back,” she told reporters. But despite negative comments — “from typical keyboard warriors who post their opinion” — the 50-year-old milk-slinging mama said she wants to break the stigma that comes along with breastfeeding an older child.

As stated by The Sun, Spink said she “ran into problems” while breastfeeding her three other children, claiming she felt like there was a “lack of support,” but everything changed when Charlotte was born.

“My initial goal was to get past the six months mark,” she said. “Then it became 12 months, then two years which is the WHO minimum recommendation.” Beyond that, Spink said she wanted to wait and see how far Charlotte would go.

“There were times when I wanted to give up, especially in the early days of feeding,” she said. “But you think ‘I’m doing this for my child. This is what she wants and I’ll carry on because I know it’s helping her,’” adding that she felt like her body was doing what it was meant to do.

“It’s what breasts are for,” she said. “It’s about choice.”

By the time Charlotte turned five, Spink says she was breastfeeding three times a day. She was also healthier than her other three children, not experiencing nearly as many coughs, colds or tummy aches. It was a good thing, she thought. Why not keep the milk machine running for as long as it can?

Over the past four years, however, her developing toddler began cutting back her feedings tremendously, slowing them down to once a month and ultimately ditching mom’s “meals on wheels” for something less intrusive.

Spink, who stopped feeding in public when her daughter was gearing up for kindergarten, says she knows she’s not alone, that breastfeeding older children is more common than people think, but that others are “too scared” to talk about it.

“I just want to let other mums out there who are wondering ‘should I or should I not?’ — that this is normal and this is what children do,” she said.

“We have to support mums.”

With any luck, there is also a support group for children whose mothers waited nine years to hand them a sippy cup.