Extended breastfeeding is highly unusual in today’s world, which is why 6-year-old Amina’s case is making headlines. At age 52, her mother – belly dancing expert and human rights activist Maha Al Musa – is one of the oldest women in the world to be breastfeeding. Scoop has more:
Although she’s garnering a lot of interest and some criticism, Maha says that she’s only responding to her daughter’s natural desire. “Sometimes it tastes like candy canes. It tastes like lots of different things,” said Amina, who reportedly enjoys “sleeping and sucking” her mother’s breasts, and plans to continue for at least another two years. “I might stop when I’m eight. It’s my favorite thing to do when I’m not at school.
More kids should, because it’s good for you,” the little girl added. According to Maha, who lives and raises her children in the Australian town of Byron Bay, breastfeeding an older child is “perfectly natural,” even in public. “She says to me, ‘Mummy milkie.’ I could be in the middle of doing something or talking and it’s so natural to us, we don’t make a big deal of it,” she said.
Although critics say the practice does not provide nutritional benefits over the age of one, Maha disagrees. “chest milk helps to regulate a child’s blood sugar so for example a toddler having a tantrum can be calmed through the chest milk,” she said. “Two years ago when I was 50 and Aminah was 4.5 I had my chest milk tested at the University of WA biochemistry department where they do a lot of research on human milk. This was the first time they had tested a woman’s milk of my age group and I can report that my milk still had all the properties and nutrients relative to that of a woman half my age with a smaller baby has. So this fact is worth noting when people’s opinion claims chest milk has no nutrients after a child reaches one year of age.”