Sophie Mei Lan, 32, has revealed she was branded as a ‘child abuser’ when she breastfed her daughters aged 4 and 7 years old together.
According to Sophie, from West Yorkshire, she would breastfeed her daughters, Arianna, then four, and Jasmine, then seven, in public despite being told to ‘put it away’ and that it was ‘child cruelty.’
Speaking on Friday from her home in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, the single mum said she aimed to normalise breastfeeding and didn’t let critics get to her.
Sophie says Jasmine would ask for milk both before and after her school day and never struggled to suckle her breast.
Sophia said; “I’ve always aimed to normalise breastfeeding so I would do it in public regardless of the looks I would get from others.
“I did feel more embarrassed as the girls got older but it’s not my problem that people have decided to sexualise it in a way that makes it seem ‘abnormal’ as it’s completely natural to breastfeed.
Sophie only decided to stop last year after a difficult break up as the girls now spend a proportion of their time with their dad.
“I had no idea how to stop breastfeeding and decided to go with the flow when Jasmine still asked for it as she got older.
“Luckily I liked wearing tops that were easy to breastfeed in as I’ve been feeding both Arianna, now five, and Jasmine, now eight, for 12 years.
“I only decided to stop last year after a difficult break up and the girls now spend a proportion of their time with their dad and wouldn’t be able to breastfeed every day.
“I would encourage other mums to do it for as long as myself as long as they feel right for them and their child.”
Sophie says the worst backlash included strangers stating that breastfeeding a seven and four-year-old was ‘child abuse’:
She added: “I have always been open about breastfeeding online and I have received a lot of comments over the years both on my social media platforms and when out in public.
“I have done a lot of research around breastfeeding and the natural weaning age is actually when a child’s adult teeth come through not when they’re a baby.
“I enjoyed challenging backlash in the street as it was interested to know why I should ‘put it away’ or how in any way it was ‘child cruelty.'”
She added: “Over the years breastfeeding has saved us loads of money not to mention how much it helped with bonding.
“I wasn’t a natural breast feeder as it felt alien to me at first but I went on to do it for 12 years.
“It also helped massively with my mental health as it made me feel like I was doing the best possible job for my girls.
“I wouldn’t say that other women should breastfeed for as long as I did but do just do it for as long as it works for you.
“Even though I didn’t initially want to stop last year, I am now pleased to have my body back and it’s nice that the girls just want a cuddle now rather than milk.”