Dr Christian in Twitter breastfeeding storm

Closer Staff By Closer Staff Closer Editor

In this week's magazine we've published an article about Michelle Atkin who’s breastfeeding her four-year-old and hopes to carry on until he is eight.  

The mum-of-seven believes breastfeeding helps keep Charlie healthy and says she even uses it to calm him down before he has a tantrum.

Within the article, we included an expert comment from Dr. Christian Jessen, who advised us that while breastfeeding is beneficial for the first six months, continuing until a child is eight could make them overly dependent on their mothers.

And it's stirred up opinion on Twitter, with some people unfairly branding our columnist “ill-informed” and saying “he doesn’t understand what he’s talking about”.

Dr Christian is an advocate of breastfeeding and was commenting directly on the case of a woman planning to feed her son until he was eight years old

Here's what he's had to say on the matter.

“Advice on breast feeding is always changing. The World Health Organisation recommends breast feeding for up to two years, while the NHS recommends breast feeding for the first six months.

“Breast milk is beneficial to a baby's immune system for the first six months, but there is no harm in continuing to do it as long as the child has a healthy diet.

“If a child is being breast fed until eight, this may make them overly dependent on their mother. However if they are being breast-fed at four there is no harm in this.

“I support women who want to breastfeed and would never wish to discourage anyone from doing so.”

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