Mum who breastfeeds her five-year-old son vows to only stop when he wants to
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A mum who breastfeeds her five-year-old son has said she'll only stop when he wants to, despite having become the target of trolls.
Lauren McLeod, 29, from Perth, Australia, welcomed her little boy, Bowie, in August 2017 and had planned on breastfeeding him until he was around the age of two.
But when Bowie turned two, Lauren decided to continue after her little one showed no signs of wanting to stop. Lauren had her second child - a daughter named Tigerlily - in May 2020 and now breastfeeds them both.
While Bowie now only has three feeds a week, Lauren feeds Tigerlily on demand.
"Breastfeeding beyond infancy is completely normal," says Lauren.
"I never thought I'd be breastfeeding my child aged five but I'm like any other mum doing the best I can for my children.
"It's not weird or sexual, it's completely normal and I will keep going until they want to stop.
"I get upset thinking about when we do stop - it's been a huge part of our lives and I don't think Bowie will keep feeding until six."
Lauren believes Bowie will stop breastfeeding soon but will only stop when he wants to. As a result, Lauren has suffered cruel comments from trolls who say she is 'gross' and have accused her of child abuse.
"Both my husband, Anders, 33, and I were breastfed until we were two so that was always the goal," she adds.
"We thought he would self-wean by that point but two came and went. He is now five and breastfeeds only at bedtime and a few times a week.
"Occasionally people will say something really mean, coming from a lack of education but nobody has ever said anything to my face.
"Someone accused me of not feeding him food - of course we do. I believe we're doing the right thing for us.
"It's a beautiful thing for us to bond and reconnect after a long day."
Lauren has also breastfed her friend's baby who wouldn't take a bottle.
"I've breastfed my friend's baby a couple of times, it was totally fine," she says.
"It was a little strange feeding a baby who wasn't mine, but not in a bad way.
"It felt so natural, and it was really nice to help my friend as he was only eight months old, and she didn't want to leave him with anyone else.
"A lot of breastfed babies won't take bottles and it makes it harder for breastfeeding people to go back to work.
"It's like that saying, it takes a village, and it's a really beautiful way to look at it.
"People have been doing this since the dawn of time, grandparents would feed their grandchildren.
"I've donated a lot of express milk to parents who need it."