An Aussie mum who still breastfeeds her seven-year-old child has spoken out to defend her actions - which have been described by a social worker as 'child abuse'.
Lisa Bridger, a 46-year-old mum of five from Adelaide, South Australia, is still breastfeeding her two youngest sons, Chase and Phoenix, despite them being five and seven years old.
She had come in for criticism for her decision, but has defended it and said that it helps with her son's autism.
"I started to notice he would behave a little differently from my other kids at six months," Lisa told the Daily Mail. "He wouldn't want to stay strapped into the pram, didn't like full-on cuddles... but would nurse happily."
She says that she has been publically commended for actions while on a holiday in the United Kingdom, although the reaction has not been exclusively positive.
Credit: Lisa Bridger
In fact, a social worker called her actions 'child abuse', according to Lisa.
"I would often baby wear but he [Chase]'d be hysterical unless I was feeding him," she said.
"As children it was obviously the normal every couple of hours but it's mostly just before bed now. It's so sweet, he just needs that security. He often doesn't ask in public but if he's having a meltdown I prioritise it."
"'It has been pretty good out here [in the UK], really. People don't come up to us and say anything. But online it can get really bad."
Credit: Lisa Bridger
Lisa is part of the team that runs a pro-breastfeeding online forum, Occupy Breastfeeding, and regularly puts photos of her nursing her two children online.
"People will comment all kinds of things," said Lisa. "That they should have a bottle, or a cup, that it's abuse, that it's bad for them, once you get past six months you should be covering..."
Both of her youngest two sons are autistic and she explained how she deals with the difficulties that that can create.
"We have other strategies in place to deal with Chase's autism," she explained. "Sometimes a cuddle is enough, breathing exercises or distractions. They'll use the trampoline as a mechanism for calming down as well."
On the breastfeeding, she added: "Sometimes I just want them off but it's like saying no to a hug. When they come over to me and ask so nicely, how can I say no?"
Featured Image Credit: Lisa Bridger