London – A mother who nursed her daughter for almost a decade described her physical and emotional strengths in an attempt to face stigmatization over "extended care".
Sharon Spink, 50, said she was charged with child abuse and "called every name under the sun" because she continued to breast-feed Charlotte for up to nine years.
But the mother of the fourth insists that she strengthened her daughter's immune system – as well as the relationship between them – and criticized the attitude of the society on childcare.
Spink is determined to breast-feed Charlotte after fighting her older children – Kim, now 30, Sarah, 28 and Isabel, 12. She said: "I was determined to do it for Charlotte.
"My primary goal was to move to six months, then it became 12 months, and then two years, after which she saw how far she wants."
She decided to keep her food until the girl was ready to dress – and finished breastfeeding until nine-year-old Charlotte decided to stop two months ago.
At the age of five, Charlotte nourished three times a day, but it gradually declined over the last four years at about once a month.
Spink, from Sherburn-in-Elmette, northern Yorkshire, believes that her immune system has received an incentive because she does not get as much cough, colds and abdominal pain as her other children.
The actress, who now qualified for the breastfeeding advisor, said she was nourishing her at public places, including hairdressers and supermarkets, at Charlotte, but recently just did it at home.
Charlotte intend to stop her occasional feeding when he filled ten in April – but now she did not feed for two months, leading to a natural end.
The World Health Organization recommends an exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months, with continuous breastfeeding along with complementary foods up to two years old or wider. But doctors say there is no reason to stop occasional breastfeeding at that point if the mother wants to continue.
However, Spinck's choice led to criticism.
"My name is everybody under the sun," she said. "I was told that it was a child abuse, he was called a pedophile and a freak. I was upset first, but now the water is from the rat's back. [tell] other moms there, who are wondering "should you or not?" That's normal. "
And she believes the benefits to Charlotte will be lifelong.
"I hope, when she is older, she will remember that feeling of comfort and security she gave her.
"We have such a close relationship and I'm convinced that it's been a long time for breastfeeding."