Breast milk for men, animals, and older children is becoming an issue, that some are questioning.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasize the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children. Both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.
Human breast milk is the healthiest form of milk for babies. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the baby's first 6 months of life, and continued breastfeeding complemented with appropriate foods up to two years old and beyond. Some mothers continue to breast feed for bonding, while others have no choice.
It seems that the mother of a breast fed 8 year old believes this is true and will allow her child to breast feed as long as she desires to do so. But is it really healthy to still be breast feeding a child so old?
In India, where cows are considered sacred animals, a women of a village takes on the job of breast feeding a young calf whose mother died. She believes the Gods will bless her for taking care of the calf.
In third world countries when young animals from monkey's to piglets lose their mothers. When this happens, they are adopted by women of the village to be breast fed, and cared for until they no longer need milk.
At the Myanmar Zoo, when a mother tiger killed one of her three cubs, and refused to feed the other two, the zoo found a wet nurse. The cubs wouldn't take a bottle, so a housewife was hired who came to the zoo three times a day, for forty-five minutes each time to breast feed the cubs.
Even the Muslims are using breast feeding as a new way to allow a man into their home. When a man allows another man to suckle from the breast of his wife several times, then that man will be allowed to freely come to the home for visits. Many Muslim women are rejecting this message which was delivered by their prophet.
The need to feed from a teat continues to be a desire for some, and a necessity for others
In Thailand, when a young boy was left with his grandfather while his parents left to seek work in the city, the boy still had the need for his mothers teat. Seeing a calf suckling from its mother must have stirred a desired need within him, and he copied the calf. He now suckles the mother cows teat the same way he would if it was his mother.
In Western countries such as The United States of America, Canada, and Great Britain, extended breastfeeding is a taboo act. Mothers who nurse longer than the social norm sometimes hide their practices from all but very close family members and friends. This is called “closet nursing”. There have been several cases in the United States where children have been taken away from their mother's care because American courts or government agencies found the mother's extended breastfeeding to be inappropriate.
On the recent cover of "Time" magazine with a three year old suckling his mothers breast, with the article discussing attachment therapy. Different strokes, for different folks. There are no studies that have shown breastfeeding is destructive in any way, at any age, so why should anyone be bothered about it?