In addition to being a loving mama, Florence is also a vlogger and health enthusiast. She's spent the past three and a half years documenting her journey of breastfeeding her son on her personal blog, Fig Theory. Already a supporter of healthy eating, exercise and wet-nursing, Florence has made it her mission to make breastfeeding more accepted by the general public.
In her latest vlog, Florence upped the ante. She revealed that she plans to breastfeed her son until age 6, just like Einstein's mother did. Her argument was very simple: Breast milk is chock-full of nutrients that science says can support brain development. Einstein was (allegedly) breastfed by his mother for a minimum of 6 years, and he was a genius. You do the math.
“I am breastfeeding the next Einstein," Florence said.
Hey, a mom's got to do what a mom's got to do! But the controversy swirling over her choice misses that it's a personal choice — and no one says other moms have to do it.
In fact, extended breastfeeding, even up until the age of 6, is normal in plenty of other cultures, but scientists have yet to agree on the benefits of breastfeeding. At best, the breastfeeding research that new moms so desperately seek is mixed, with some studies touting the benefits of extended breastfeeding, while others say the breastfeeding buzz is overblown.
Here is some of the most compelling — and contradictory — research available on breastfeeding to date to help you make your choice:
In other words: Florence could be on to something. Or not!
If this research tells us anything, it's that breastfeeding results are mixed at best, and extended breastfeeding is the type of decision every mother has to make for herself. While one mother may be taking heat for claiming she can breastfeed her son to genius status, another mother could breastfeed for just as long without any noticeable boost in IQ.
This brings us back to choice. Florence has every right to breastfeed her son for as long as she sees fit, and she's making great strides in championing her cause to normalize extended breastfeeding in developed countries. But her claim that extended breastfeeding could make babies smarter is just that: It's her opinion. And it's also her right to breastfeed her son until he's 6 if she wants to.
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