A MUM has pledged to keep on breastfeeding as long as her son wants to - which could be until he is eight-years-old.
Michelle Atkin said it was society that was wrong and not her as she refuses to forcibly ween four-year-old son Charlie.
The 46-year-old of Blackburn Road, Darwen, has been campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and has appeared on television nationally and in Australia.
Miss Atkin said there was nothing wrong with breastfeeding Charlie - the youngest of her seven children - for as long as he wanted.
She said: “I am not pinning him down and forcing him to breastfeed, I am simply not denying it to him.
“It could go on until he is eight as physiologically that is when they stop wanting it as they lose their milk teeth.
“It is the best thing for the child and for me healthwise.
“This is normal in other parts of the world but it is a western point of view that it should stop at an early age.”
Miss Atkin, a life coach and hypnotist who lives with her partner Lindsay, said there were a lot of misconceptions about breastfeeding to a later age.
She said: “He goes to nursery and it isn’t as though he needs me there to feed him every two hours like when he was a baby.
“He has breast milk in the morning and at night but he also drinks cows’ milk and that is fine.
“It doesn’t involve the teeth so it doesn’t hurt me either.
“Trust me, if he did bite me then he would get in trouble.”
Miss Atkin has been spreading her message in recent weeks and recently featured on Lorraine Kelly’s morning talk show, as well as an Australian programme.
She said: “The reaction has been interesting.
“Before the shows it was very negative, but after going on people would say, ‘you are so normal’.
“And that is the point, I am a normal woman and I am just trying to spread this message.
“I want people to consider breastfeeding for longer and for health professionals to be singing from the same hymn sheet.”