An Adelaide mother-of-five has a very special reason for continuing to breastfeed – even though her son is seven years old.
Six months ago Lisa shared her story she is now defending her decision to breastfeed her seven-year-old son, hitting back at the trolls who’ve branded the act “sick”.
Lisa received abuse online from people saying she was “sick” and even called her a “paedophile”.
In an open letter to her critics for Kidspot.com.au, the mum-of-five from Adelaide said the abuse was not acceptable.
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“To the adults who have commented that I am sick and need to get help, there is nothing mentally wrong with me; I am only doing what is natural,” she said. “It’s not a sexual act. I’m not a paedophile which is what quite a few have suggested.”
Describing her son as “very independent, self-assured, none damaged”, Lisa said none of his friends tease him about the fact he still feeds as they have been “educated” that what he is doing is OK.
“Watching and seeing all you adults bully and abuse me, telling me what I need to do for your comfort, overriding my child’s comfort, I can see why so many children bully these days,” she went on, adding Chase can’t take any sort of medication as it makes him sick — which is why breastfeeding is an invaluable tool for them.
“Anyone feeding a child beyond a year gets accused of child abuse, pornography, damaging their health and told that if they walk and talk they don’t need it. How is respecting their needs abuse? You can’t breastfeed a piranha,” she said, explaining that Chase and Phoenix are happy to choose to breastfeed.
Despite the backlash, Lisa is still determined to continue breastfeeding for as long as the boys want — even doing both the boys in tandem.
“You can’t force a baby or toddler or older child to breastfeed, in fact I’m ready for him to wean whenever as I have been for quite some time,” she said.
Last June Lisa originally shared her story…
‘I started to notice he would behave a little differently from my other kids at six months. He wouldn’t want to stay strapped into the pram, didn’t like full-on cuddles… but would nurse happily,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘I would often baby wear but he’d be hysterical unless I was feeding him.’
Along with his younger brother, four, they have both been diagnosed with autism and are still being breastfed – mainly because it helps to soothe them.
‘As children it was obviously the normal every couple of hours but it’s mostly just before bed now. It’s so sweet, he just needs that security,’ Lisa explained.
‘He often doesn’t ask in public but if he’s having a meltdown I prioritise it.’
Lisa admitted that one social worker told her it was ‘child abuse.’
‘It has been pretty good out here, really. People don’t come up to us and say anything. But online it can get really bad,’ she said.
Lisa is an administrator for the online support group Occupy Breastfeeding and sometimes uploads photos of her sons nursing.
‘People will comment all kinds of things. That they should have a bottle, or a cup, that it’s abuse, that it’s bad for them, once you get past six months you should be covering,’ she said.
‘We have other strategies in place to deal with Chase’s autism. Sometimes a cuddle is enough, breathing exercises or distractions.’
‘Sometimes I just want them off but it’s like saying no to a hug. When they come over to me and ask so nicely, how can I say no?’ She explained.
People have shared their own stories on Lisa’s post revealing how they too find breastfeeding helps calm their autistic child.
One mum shared, “I know how this woman feels I have a 10 yr old with ASD and she still nurses to sleep and after a meltdown.”
Other mums have thanked Lisa for sharing her own experience and offering them support.
We recently shared the story of a Mum still breastfeeding her five-year-old daughter says her child has avoided the usual viruses children are exposed to at school. Read more here
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