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

Share This Story!

Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about

LinkedIn Pinterest

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.

Loading…Post to Facebook


A link has been sent to your friend's email address.


A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

Join the Nation's Conversation

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

This conversation is moderated according to USA TODAY's community rules. Please read the rules before joining the discussion.

  • Parenting
  • Money
  • Health-Safety
Sonja Haller, USA TODAY Published 6:00 a.m. ET Jan. 23, 2019

Give appropriate praise. Instead of simply saying, "You're great," try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, "Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was hard, and I really liked your patience."

facebook sharetwitter shareemail shareemail share

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.

Be strict about bedtime. A study published in 2013 in the journal Pediatrics found that seven-year-olds who had irregular bedtimes had more behavioral problems than did those with consistent bedtimes. And the longer the lack of a strict bedtime went on, the worse the problems became. If you work outside the home, it's tempting to keep kids up to have more time with them. But as much as possible, stay the course—even if that means you sometimes miss lights out. "We all make sacrifices," says Heather Taylor, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Morrissey-Compton Educational Center, in Redwood City, California. "Call or video-chat to say good night. Just be part of the routine."

"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?

Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being reported among children who are overweight. Onset of diabetes in children can lead to heart disease and kidney failure.

Connect with us on .