Mom Called ‘Gross’ & ‘Abuser’ for Breastfeeding Her 5-Year-old Son Even After Drinking

Every breastfeeding journey is different. Many mothers shed tears along the way because their babies have trouble latching or their breasts aren’t producing enough milk. Some babies take to breastfeeding quickly but want to nurse 24 hours a day. Some moms are exclusive pumpers and feel they are tied to a machine all the time. And other mothers choose to breastfeed for extended periods because it works for their family. No matter how a mother feeds her baby, it’s her choice.ailyn

Even so, critics will always want to weigh in on other people’s parenting. A mother from Perth, Australia, has been under fire for breastfeeding her 5-year-old son, which some say is abusive. The 29-year-old doula, Lauren McLeod, actively nurses both her son, Bowie, 5, and daughter, Tigerlily, 2. She isn’t interested in what the haters have to say and plans to continue mothering her children her way. She’s committed to extended breastfeeding.

McLeod never intended to nurse her son this long.

The thought that nursing a 5-year-old is unusual is not lost on McLeod. The New York Post reported that she told South West News Service she didn’t go into her nursing journey thinking it would last this long. “I’m just like any other mom doing the best I can for my children,” she said.

She insists there is nothing sexual or weird about breastfeeding her children at this age and that it is “completely normal.”

McLeod and her husband were both breastfed babies.

The mother and doula said she and her husband, Anders, 33, were breastfed until they were 2 years old and that that was her goal with both of her children. Right now, Tigerlily nurses on demand and Bowie receives breastmilk three times a week before bedtime.

She explained that some people call her “gross” and an “abuser” and assume that because she is breastfeeding her children, she doesn’t feed them food as well. She asserts that this is entirely ridiculous and that she also gives her children food.

“I’ve been really lucky to have easy breastfeeding journeys, and I’ve had no major struggles,” she shared.

This is the second time she has defended her choice in recent months.

The Post reported about McLeod’s breastfeeding journey in September and discussed the constant criticism she receives. At the time, she spoke about society’s obsession with women’s breasts being sexual and not for nourishing children, which they are biologically designed to do.

“The fact that people associate the two, to me, that’s weird. I don’t know why you’d sexualize such a natural act between a mother and child,” she explained.

She said she breastfeeds her children because it is an excellent source of nutrients for them, and she claims it is good for her too. “There are some beautiful benefits for me as well, it can lower your risk of some cancers and release of oxytocin every time you breastfeed,” she said at the time.

McLeod also has ruffled feathers with her stance on drinking while breastfeeding.

A recent image on her Instagram got people talking. Many parents think that drinking alcohol while breastfeeding is a big no-no. Others will use the “pump and dump” method that allows them to imbibe, discarding any breast milk that may be tainted with alcohol. She said mothers should think of it this way: If you can drive, you can drink.

“If you are planning on having a few drinks, prepare a stash of expressed breastmilk beforehand, do not bed share with your baby, and organize a babysitter or a ‘designated caregiver’ for your baby,” she wrote in the post.

There were differing opinions on the snap.

“and why not light a cigarette and spit the smoke on her baby? it does not pass in the milk … on the other hand it should be known that children having mentally deficient parents can be intelligent. phew!” one person wrote.

“Yes yes yes 🙌 this is why I was able to breastfeed my girls for so long because I didn’t put unnecessary restrictions on my post baby life. A glass of wine was not a guilty pleasure and could be enjoyed without the stress. ❤️❤️❤️,” someone agreed with McLeod.

No matter the choice, it is the mother’s.

When a person puts themselves in the public arena, they are setting themselves up for criticism. That’s just the way the internet works. There will be trolls. Mothers are still going to choose what is best for them and live the way they want to with their children.

It is never anyone’s business, yet here we are once again. McLeod takes the backlash in stride and doesn’t plan to change just because the comments section doesn’t always agree with her.

“That might change, but for now it is what is working for us. I always say, just take it one feed at a time,” she said.

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