Mum accused of ‘abuse’ for breastfeeding 5-year-old but says it helps ‘bonding’

Cruel trolls accused a mum of "abuse" and "incest" as she breastfed her kids for more than five years.

Gaëlle Meheut, from Vanuatu – an island near Fiji, was only nursed by her mum until she was three months old.

She had no plans to practice extended breastfeeding with her kids.

However, she is still feeding her firstborn, Ewen, at the age of five.

The 36-year-old explained: “Before having kids I never imagined breastfeeding for so long or even at all for that matter."

When, if ever, do you think breastfeeding should stop? Let us know in the comments…

She continued: “In France, the average duration of breastfeeding is seventeen weeks and we even mentioned bottle feeding our first baby so that Benoît could share precious moments as well. It came very naturally at birth.

“I didn't even have any formula and there wasn’t any at the hospital here so I was lucky it ‘worked.’”

Gaëlle’s midwife told her that she breastfed her own child until age four, despite some being shocked at the thought.

So, the mum looked into the benefits of breastfeeding.

Gaëlle and Benoît, her husband, also have a three-year-old daughter, Maia, who is breast fed too.

The mum even practices “tandem feeding” where both of her children feed at once – and she thinks it's strengthened her children’s bond with each other.

She added: “I’m still aiming for natural weaning, big baby is five, and even if it is not always a smooth path, sometimes I end up being the mad mum with crazy kids stuck on the boobs.

“I love our relationship and our breastfeeding moments.

“It’s not about feeding now but comfort when the children are hurt, upset, sad or cuddles in the morning.”

Ewan now breastfeeds up to three times a day while little Maia feeds between five and 10 times a day.

The kids aren’t fed in the evenings or when they wake in the night and are offered cow’s milk instead.

Gaëlle said: “There are times where you want it to stop but you don't want to stop really, and the kids are having difficulties understanding boundaries and my right to say no. The screams are really something sometimes.”

Gaëlle doesn’t know when she will stop breastfeeding, but does want to break the stigma surrounding breastfeeding older children.

She shares photos of the act online.

Despite her joyful approach, Gaëlle has been sent negative comments online from people who ask when breastfeeding becomes incest or sexual abuse.

While extended breastfeeding is accepted in Vanatu, responses are different elsewhere.

Gaëlle commented: “I’ve had inappropriate comments from drunk friends in France which was pretty gross when Ewen was two and my youngest just born such as, ‘Oh lucky him, I would like to do the same.' One even apologised afterwards.

“Misconceptions people believe and say are that I should cut the cord, it’s incest, sexual abuse, and that they have to eat real food, which they do, started at six months old with baby lead weaning.”

Mostly, the reaction on Instagram is positive, but there are always nay-sayers.

Gaëlle said: “Everyone has the right to do whatever works the best for them in their feeding journey and not feeling ashamed about it.”

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