This is Maha’s journey as a breastfeeding advocate and pioneer.
In early 2012 Maha Al Musa was reading an online news story in TIME Magazine about Jamie Grumet who was breastfeeding her 3.5 year old son. At that time Maha was breastfeeding third child, her daughter, who was also 3.5. Maha wrote a supportive comment on the news website saying, “good on them for breastfeeding. Mother and child know best. This is the biological norm. I am 49 and breastfeeding my 3.5 year old.”
Before she knew it Maha was contacted by an Australian news program asking her to tell her story to Australia and that set the ball rolling. She was happy to stand in the role as an advocate for awareness of public breastfeeding, child led weaning, biological norm breastfeeding.
She was consequently interviewed as a guest on Sunrise TV Channel 7 Australia, The Mornings Show Australia Channel 9, A Current Affair Channel 9 and graced the cover of The Australian Woman’s Day November 2012, New Magazine UK and Take 5 2013. her story was featured in The Australian Woman’s Day again in 2015 and her story went viral worldwide from 2012-2016.
Maha also started advocating on social media as a means to educate a public who were not well versed in biological norm breastfeeding and the possibility that a mother and child could continue this mutual relationship.
She felt the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of breastfeed till 2 years or beyond, often limited women’s ideas that two years is deemed the longest time.
She feels that the recommendation should read:
Breastfeed your child to “natural term” which is generally between the ages of 4 and 8 years or beyond. This is normal.
Maha was a guest speaker in 2013 at the Australian Breastfeeding Association Conference Queensland and spoke on her experiences in the media presenting natural term breastfeeding and the need for more exposure, images and education in this modern day on the benefits for mother and child as a possibility and choice for women.She often shares the story that when she was 25 years of age in 1987 and a teacher at a primary school in Melbourne Australia they had a room dedicated to the mothers whom breastfed their 7 year olds at lunchtime. The mothers were welcomed in to the school, respected and never vilified!
This was the society in Australia in which I grew up” Maha says.
In 2015 Maha and her daughter were featured in 3 documentaries for Discovery Channel, RTL Germany and Inside Story Australia Channel 9
She was also featured again in Woman’s Day Magazine Australia May 2015.
She accepts not all women want or can breastfeed to term and supports all women in making informed choices that are right for them and their baby and family.