Mom who was called 'sick' for breastfeeding 7-year-old son responds to critics

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Mom who was called 'sick' for breastfeeding 7-year-old son responds to critics

Lisa Bridger said breastfeeding her son, 7, who has autism calms him. Critics said there is something wrong with her for extended breastfeeding.

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Sonja Haller, USA TODAY Published 6:00 a.m. ET Jan. 23, 2019

Role model good manners at all times and ask for them in return. Good manners often diffuse conflict situations.

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Mom-of-five Lisa Bridger said she hasn't worn a high-neck top or a dress for seven years because she's been breastfeeding.

She is looking forward to the day she gets her body back, the Australian mom told Kids Spot in a story about extended breastfeeding.

When the story was published last summer, the mom was breastfeeding her 7-year-old son, Chase, who is on the autism spectrum, and 4-year-old son, Phoenix, who is also on the spectrum.

The story brought the haters.

Bridger, 46, decided she'd had enough and wrote her an open letter responding to the critics this weekend.

"The responses online to the story made me really sad," she wrote. "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. It's not a sexual act. I’m not a pedophile, which is what quite a few have suggested."

Breastfeeding prevented son from 'having to go on medication'

In the original story, Bridger praised breastfeeding as something that helped her son deal with autism. She said it allowed her to give him supplements he wouldn't take otherwise and to avoid other medications.

Make your own family media use plan. Media should work for you and within your family values and parenting style. When used thoughtfully and appropriately, media can enhance daily life. But when used inappropriately or without thought, media can displace many important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, unplugged downtime and sleep.

"Breastfeeding has prevented him having to go on to medication because it calms him down. It calms and grounds him and is a fantastic way to reconnect too. We tried melatonin but it didn’t work as I couldn’t get him to swallow it. He gets melatonin from my breast milk. I can shorten the meltdowns by feeding him. It is a great tool to help with autism."

'It's not a sexual act'

The mom also answered critics who said that her son will be teased by other children. Or those that implied that he will be damaged by extended breastfeeding.

"My son is very independent, self-assured, none damaged," she said. "His friends and peers don't tease as they have been educated in the fact that what he is doing is OK."

Finally, Bridger said that her breastfeeding is not a sign that she NEEDS A MAN.

"Nope wrong, I don't need a man. It's not a sexual act. 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...So no, it's not for my benefit."

Like All the Moms?

Pay attention at age 14. That's when most kids start to resist peer influence and flex the think-for-myself muscle, rather than simply following the leader, according to a study published in Developmental Psychology. Want to help strengthen that muscle at any age? Put screens aside and circle the wagons every night. Ask, "What's new with your friends?" This will (here's hoping, if he talks) give you a chance to decode what's happening behind the scenes and offer support.

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