Breast milk is often called “liquid gold” because it gives the baby so much protein. Lauren McLeod, an Australian mom who is 29 years old, thinks that breastfeeding is good for your health and is still doing it with her 5-year-old kid. But she got into trouble because some people think it’s wrong to breastfeed bigger kids. But McLeod supports what she did and explains why this bad reputation needs to go away.
Lauren McLeod is a nanny and a mother of two.
In 2017, McLeod gave birth to her first child, Bowie. Then, in 2020, she had her second child, Tigerlily. Since both of her kids were born, she has been breastfeeding them. In one film, she said, “I’ve never thought about giving my child a bottle. Not because I don’t like it, because I don’t. This worked perfectly for us, and it was easy.”
McLeod also works as a doula, which is a trained worker who helps people who are giving birth, having a miscarriage, or going through other health issues related to reproduction.
She thinks that breastmilk is good for the immune system and wouldn’t think twice about giving her “liquid gold” to someone in need, like the newborn child of a friend. “Feeding a baby who wasn’t mine was a little strange, but not in a bad way. “It was so easy, and it was great to help my friend, who was only 8 months old at the time,” she said.
“I never thought I’d still be nursing him when he was 5, but here we are.”
McLeod and her husband, Anders McLeod, were both breastfed by their mothers until they were about 2 years old. This was Lauren McLeod’s original plan for her kids. “We thought [Bowie] would be able to wean himself by then, but two came and went. He is now 5 years old and only breastfeeds at night and a few times a week.
When Tigerlily moved in, McLeod started to set limits for Bowie and tried to give him less. At one point, she said that being touched too much was too much for her.
“Now that my kids are older, there have been times when I just thought, ‘I just can’t. I can’t keep going on like this. I must stop.” McLeod gave some. She has bad days, just like any mom, but she made it clear that she’s mostly happy with how things are going. She is also ready to keep going until it’s time for a change.
Some people online don’t like the way she does things and say it’s “gross.”
McLeod has been criticised a lot online for breastfeeding her preschooler, even though no one has said anything bad to her in person. She said, “It’s not weird. It’s totally normal, and I’ll keep going until they tell me to stop.” She also said that they feed Bowie good food and milk.
McLeod said that she feels a little sad just thinking about how important nursing has been in their lives. “I think we’re going in the right direction. It’s wonderful that we can bond and catch up after a long day.” Also, McLeod thinks her son will stop nursing when he’s 6 years old.
Experts say that you can breastfeed for at least 2 years and even longer.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that breastfeeding is one of the best ways to make sure a child stays healthy and lives. Institutions say that a baby should be breastfed within the first six months, if possible within the first hour.
Also, babies should be breastfed as often as they want. In terms of age, the WHO page says that breastfeeding can go on even after the first two years.
McLeod is sharing their family’s story on social media to make it more normal for women to breastfeed after their babies are born.
Lauren said that most of the texts she gets are encouraging. People also ask her a lot about her experience with tandem feeding and how it works.
“A lot of the negative thoughts about breastfeeding come from cultural bias and a lack of knowledge about the topic. This is why I share my story: to help people understand that natural breastfeeding is biologically normal.”
She also wants to help parents who are going through something similar. “Everything they do is completely normal and right. It’s just that many people in the modern West have given it a bad name.”
How do you feel about what happened to Lauren McLeod? Do you think there’s a right time to start breastfeeding a child?