Sophie Mei Lan has heard the comments. After all, most people aren’t used to seeing a 5-year-old who’s still breastfeeding.
As The Sun reported, the mother of two from England firmly believes that breastfeeding helps her bond with her daughters and that the health benefits associated with breastfeeding make it worth the inconvenience.
But there are definitely a few inconveniences. Sophie’s daughters, who are 2 and 5, sleep with her so they can feed at night. And breastfeeding her 5-year-old daughter, Jasmine, in public often results in unwanted attention. Sophie told The Sun:
People do stare. I feel a bit awkward.
What’s more, Sophie’s husband isn’t a fan of her continued breastfeeding. She told The Sun:
It’s caused a bit of friction in my relationship. Chris would like me to stop because it’s so tiring.
But while it has caused problems in their marriage, Sophie added that she has no intention of stopping:
We do argue about it, but we know breast milk is one of the healthiest things we can give our children.
In fact, the mom has become an inadvertent symbol of extended breastfeeding.
Sophie wrote on her blog about the attention she got when her toddler interrupted her during a live TV interview to latch on and feed:
I’d been asked on to BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire Show to talk about how our family had overcome fussy eating habits, following research that indicated a lot of fussy eating is in the genes.
But my youngest daughter, aged 22 months, aka my side kick, had come with me.
And of course as the cameras turned to me… she pulled out my boob to get some milk.
I’ve been overwhelmed with the reaction to it. I’ve received so many positive messages from other families who have breastfed as well as people who are pleased to see breastfeeding normalised.
Sophie has no immediate plans to wean her daughters.
She told The Sun that her oldest daughter has continued even into her school years:
Jasmine started school last year and I told her not many kids in her class would be feeding, but she’s not bothered.
It seems clear that Sophie plans to keep breastfeeding for as long as her children want to continue. She told The Sun:
When they get molar teeth it’s supposed to be harder for them to latch on, so maybe she’ll wean herself off when she gets to around seven.
For now, however, both of Sophie’s daughters have shown no sign that they want to give up breast milk. Though Sophie did admit to The Sun that she “would like to stop eventually because sometimes it gets too much.”