Breastfeeding: How long is too long?
A Corner Brook mother has found herself at the centre of a debate about breastfeeding, particularly whether there's a point when children are too old to nurse.
"I don't understand the reaction," said Dara Squires, a newspaper columnist who sparked highly mixed reaction to a blog item that criticized a radio host's comments about breastfeeding.
"On one hand I do, because I see that is a cultural belief that it's gross or sexual," Squires told CBC News.
"Personally, I don't understand it, and I don't know why anyone would make that kind of judgment about a personal situation between myself and my son, that's part of our family life, that doesn't affect them."
Earlier this week, Squires wrote a post designed as a letter to Randy Snow, the top-rated host of the morning program on St. John's-based HITS-FM.
Snow had ridiculed how Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik was nursing her 3.5-year-old son.
Squires is still breastfeeding her third child, Emerson, who is at the same age. Her son has health problems that respond well to the immunity boost from breastfeeding, although Squires said her reasons for breastfeeding shouldn't be an issue for anyone else.
Squires, who writes a column called Readily A Parent for Corner Brook's Western Star newspaper, said she was disturbed when she was first told about Snow's comments, and when she later heard a recording.
"It just really saddened me, to hear that," she said.
"I know that our province is working so hard to increase our breastfeeding rates, and when somebody who's a cultural icon comes out and says something against it, it really doesn't help spread the message that it's a good thing."
Squires attracted considerable support for her post, but also some very strong negative reaction.
Having breastfed son Harrison for 15 months and daughter Teagan for 23 months, Squires said she has decided to ignore the negative commentary. She said she will continue to be a volunteer advocate for breastfeeding.
"What we're doing right now is not gross," she said.