Mom Defends Choice to Breastfeed Her 5-Year-Old, Even Though Her Husband Is Over It

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U.K. mom Sophie Mei Lan is in the news this week after going on television to talk about breastfeeding her five-year-old daughter, even though her husband is ready for it to stop.

According to The Sun, the 29-year-old mom of has two daughters, ages five and two, and she currently nurses both of them. She enjoys it and the girls still want it, so she sees no reason to stop.

Lan says breast milk is nutritious, and nursing is an important bonding tool. She also says it alleviates the symptoms of her depression.

“It wasn’t the plan but I found because I’ve spoken about mental health and depression, breastfeeding really anchored me,” she said. “Sometimes I can zone out and be in my own little episode, but when I’m feeding my baby it anchors me and I focus on them.”

All three of them find it mutually beneficial.

Five-year-old Jasmine did start school recently, and Lan said she explained that probably the other kids at school wouldn’t be nursing. She says Jasmine didn’t care.

“It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons,” said Mei Lan’s husband, Chris. He’s supportive of her decision, though he does find it tiring. He sleeps in a different bed so Lan can nurse the girls to sleep, and so she can nurse them if they wake up in the night. He’d probably like his bed back.

They’ve argued about it from time to time, but overall Chris seems in favor of breastfeeding and realizes that that weaning is ultimately up to Lan and Jasmine.

“It’s caused a bit of friction in my relationship. Chris would like me to stop because it’s so tiring,” Lan said. “We do argue about it, but we know breast milk is one of the healthiest things we can give our children.”

Lan seems content to continue nursing her daughters. Sometimes she even tandem nurses them. She told The Sun that molars are supposed to make it more difficult for a child to latch, so perhaps Jasmine will stop nursing when she’s seven.

This all seems very scandalous to the readers of The Sun and The Daily Mail, but extended breastfeeding is not that uncommon. It is a little unconventional that Lan is still publicly nursing five-year-old Jasmine, though. Lan says she does get stares when that happens. Infants have to be fed constantly, so sometimes a nursing mother will have to sit down right there and feed the baby right where she was. Five-year-olds eat solid foods, so there’s usually less need to nurse a child that big out on the street.

It doesn’t sound like that’s particularly common for Lan and Jasmine, though. She says Jasmine usually only nurses to sleep now. Two-year-old Arianna still nurses eight to 10 times a day, though. It sounds like Lan has at least a few more years of breastfeeding in front of her.

What do you think of nursing a five-year-old? Let us know in the comments.

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(Image: iStockPhoto / quintanilla)