Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Age limit on nursing

31 October, 2015

Question:

Hi, thanks for you wonderful site. I refer to it all the time. I recently read the page about breastfeeding duration and was quite surprised to hear that it's not halachically ok to nurse children above a certain age. Why would it be a problem to nurse a child at any age? If it was "wrong" wouldn't the child feel awkward at that point and refuse?


Answer:

A woman may nurse her child up to age four (in some circumstances five).  After age two, if the mother and child voluntarily cease nursing for three days or more, they cannot go back to nursing even if the child asks, unless it is critical for his or her health.

The halachic issue is the resemblance between nursing and more animal means of sustenance.  That resemblance becomes a factor when the child is older.


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