A left-wing Spanish politician has been criticized for breastfeeding her daughter for more than four years saying that it was a setback for women and not healthy for the child’s mental development.
Teresa Rodriguez, who is the spokesperson of the political party Adelante Andalucia, a left-wing political party, shared a message on her social media accounts saying that she had decided to stop breastfeeding her daughter after more than four years.
She said: “I have now given up breastfeeding my little daughter, four and a half years of breastfeeding and two of tandem breastfeeding [to different kids].
“I feel proud and nostalgic.”
But the message garnered a mixed response from online commentators and started intense debate where many said that she was a “privileged woman” and questioned whether this was particularly healthy for the child to have been so attached to the mother for so many years.
One person wrote: “It might be okay for privileged working mothers who can have this luxury, but I think this attachment raising is a back to women submission, a stepback. I also do not think it is good for kids.”
The debate even ended up being taken onto the media such as TV programs like El Programa del Verano (Summer Program), in Telecinco, where journalist Carmen Tomas said: “Anyone can do whatever they want, if they have time, availability, milk and time to do it.
“Although it is strange, it gets my attention, it must have been once per day if she is in politics”.
Beatriz Archidona, the host of the TV program, said: “It is a controversial topic that will not go away anytime soon.
“Many mothers, myself included, have no alternative other than to give our children formula milk and also there are other mothers who simply don’t have the milk even if they have the time and a desire to breastfeed.”
She added: “There is a social pressure to breastfeed.
“It is true that breastfeeding has a lot of positive things, but there is a social pressure, even when mums are suffering from cracks on the nipples we are kept on with cheers of encouragement.”
She said it was “a dictatorship of boobs”.
Rodriguez is not the only politician who has wanted to share their experience with breastfeeding during the World Breastfeeding Week.
According to the World Health Organization, it is recommended to breastfeed babies for at least six months.