A mom who continues to breastfeed her five-year-old and promises herself that she will only stop breastfeeding if he wants to

Meet the mom who still breastfeeds her 5-year-old and promises to stop feeding only when he wants to – despite the trolls claiming she’s abusing her baby. Lauren McLeod, 29, gave birth to her first child, Bowie, in August 2017 and hoped to breastfeed him until he was two, just like her mother did. But by the time Bowie turned two, he showed no signs of wanting to give up breastfeeding, so mum continued – even after he’s a week older in May 2020 and Tigerlily feeds “on demand” – feeds as many times as she wants in during the day. The mum continues to breastfeed her babies because she believes breast milk is powerfully immune-boosting and provides great comfort – and even breastfed her friend’s eight-month-old son so she could care for him. Trolls accused her of child abuse and being “gross” – claiming her children were too big to breastfeed – but she promised to stop breastfeeding only if her children wanted to. Lauren believes her five-year-old will stop breastfeeding soon, but says she will stop breastfeeding at any age she wishes. Lauren, a doula from Perth, Western Australia, said: “It’s perfectly normal to breastfeed after infancy. . “It’s not weird or sexual, it’s perfectly normal and I’ll keep doing it until they want to stop. I get nervous when I think about when we’ll stop – it’s been a huge part of our lives and I don’t think Bowie was still feeding until six.” Lauren gave birth to Bowie on August 10, 2017 at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch, Western Australia, and he weighed 9 pounds 3 ounces. She said: “Both my husband, 33-year-old Anders, and I were breastfed until the age of two, so that was always the goal. “We thought he would wean himself by then, but two came and went. She’s five now and only breastfeeds at bedtime and a few times a week.” Trolls attacked Lauren online, accusing her of being “disgusting” and one even called her “abusive”. “Sometimes people will say something really mean because of their lack of education, but no one has ever said that to my face. “Someone accused me of not feeding him food – of course we do. “I believe we are doing the right thing for each other. “It’s a beautiful thing that we can bond and reconnect after a long day,” Lauren said. On May 27, 2020, Lauren gave birth to her second child, Tigerlily, at 7:55 a.m. who weighed 10 pounds 1 ounce. She said: “When Tigerlily was born, I had to set more boundaries for myself because I was breastfeeding both of them – I started feeding Bowie less. “I was lucky that feeding was easy and I didn’t have any major problems. “Tigerlily no longer feeds at night, but feeds on demand during the day. “It’s a comfort to her.” Lauren made the decision to take Tigerlily off at night after experiencing the feeling of “excitement” – when you’re overwhelmed by too much touching. “I’m sure there will come a time where I’ll have to set more boundaries, but Tigerlily has never taken a bottle so if she wakes up in the night she has water or cow’s milk from a cup,” Lauren said. “Bowie would take the milk from the bottle when I came back to work one weekday morning, which made things a little easier.” Lauren also breastfed her friend’s baby, who refuses to take bottles when she is caring for them. She said: “I breastfed my friend’s baby a couple of times, it was totally fine. “It was a little weird feeding a baby that wasn’t mine, but not in a bad way. “It was so natural and it was really nice to help my friend because he was only eight months old and she didn’t want to leave him with anyone else.” The mother-of-two believes society should normalize breastfeeding their children. “Many breastfed babies do not take bottles, which makes it harder for breastfeeding women to return to work.” “It’s like the saying, it takes a whole village and that’s a really lovely way to look at it. “People have been doing this since the beginning of time, grandparents fed their grandchildren. “I donated a lot of express milk to parents who need it.”

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