Mother who breastfeeds her sons, aged 5 and 2, claims her milk has boosted their immune systems and means they’ve never needed medicine – and is happy to keep going until they’re 8
- Laura Smith, 25, from Michigan, breastfeeds her sons Joel, five, and Bennett, two
- She claims nutrients in her breast milk have kept her kids from catching the flu
- Mother-of-two hopes to encourage other parents to breastfeed at any age
A mother who nurses her sons, aged five and two, said they are in ‘extremely good health’ thanks to the breast milk.
Laura Smith, 25, from Michigan, breastfeeds Joel, five, and Bennett, two, up to three times a day, alongside their solid foods.
She claims her sons have never caught the flu or needed medication thanks to the nutrients in the milk.
And, despite receiving criticism from friends and strangers, Laura said she will happily keep breastfeeding her boys until they are eight years old.
Laura Smith, 25, from Michigan, who has no plans to stop breastfeeding her sons Joel, five, and Bennett, two, is hoping to encourage other mothers to nurse, regardless of their child’s age. Pictured: Laura breastfeeding Bennett, with Joel
Laura believes breastfeeding her sons keeps them in good health and has developed a special bond between them. Pictured: Laura with her husband Zane and their sons
Laura revealed her friends began to comment on her extended breastfeeding, by the time Joel was two years old. Pictured: Laura breastfeeding Joel and Bennett
She said: ‘The immune benefits are so huge. Joel and Bennett have never had the flu, an ear infection or needed medication for anything. People don’t realise how much vitamins and nutrients there are in breast milk.
‘I think my own personal limit to feed them would be age eight. But if they still didn’t want to stop then I wouldn’t say no to them. I won’t wake up one day and think this disgusts me, when they are ready to stop then I will.’
Laura and husband Zane, 28, an internal auditor, welcomed their eldest son Joel in May 2015.
The mother-of-two said doctors recommended she stop breast feeding at around six months but realized when Joel reached the age that there was ‘no way’ she was stopping.
‘My mum breastfed me and my four siblings until we were aged up four and five. So extended breastfeeding ran in my family,’ she said. ‘I began giving him some pureed sweet potato on the side but he continued feeding up to six times a day.
Laura who has received dirty looks while breastfeeding in public, said it’s silly how something ‘so beautiful and natural can be frowned upon’. Pictured: The 25-year-old nursing her sons
‘I had no problem with my milk supply so I knew I’d be able to go past a year. When he was eight months old I introduced some solids like avocado, apples and pears for him to nibble on between his feeds. Before I knew it, Joel was one.’
Whether she’s out at the park or zoo, she feels little hesitation in feeding him in public.
But she claims that some of her friends have been judgmental about her choice.
Laura said: ‘By the time Joel was two, I had a couple of friends who said they didn’t think it was normal that Joel was still feeding. Others asked if I thought he was too old for it or when I was going to give him some real food.
Laura claims Joel was jealous of her closeness to Bennett, when she began breastfeeding him. Pictured: Laura and Joel, her eldest son, who is now five years old and is still nursing
Laura who would breastfeed her sons up to the age of eight, said she will stop when her sons are ready. Pictured: Laura and Joel
‘I had a niggling feeling they didn’t agree with it but they were afraid to say. Thankfully my husband and family were so supportive throughout.’
In November 2017, Laura gave birth to her youngest son, Bennett.
‘It was really hard to say no to Joel when I needed to feed Bennett,’ she explained.
‘It was a bond only the two of us shared up until that point. So there was a lot of jealously. I think it was more the closeness that Joel was jealous of rather than the milk.’
Afraid of Joel feeling left out, Laura soon began tandem breastfeeding her sons.
Laura continued: ‘Joel has breakfast lunch and dinner like any other kid.
Laura believes nursing her five-year-old makes him feel safe and gives him stability. Pictured: Laura breastfeeding her son Joel
‘But he also feeds up to three times a day. Bennett has started eating some solids on the side as well. There’s nothing I love more than nursing them, it brings us all closer together. I feed them at parks, the zoo, or wherever if I need to.
‘If Joel and Bennett are running around and one gets hurt, I’ll nurse them to make them feel better.’
Despite her keenness to continue breastfeeding her kids, Laura has grown self-conscious of nursing them in public over the years.
She added: ‘As Joel is so big now, strangers do give me dirty looks or stare at me. It’s very silly how something so beautiful and natural can be frowned upon.
Laura claims people lack education about extended breastfeeding, but she’s passionate about teaching them. Pictured: Laura and Zane with their children
‘I now avoid feeding them in shopping centers as there are too many people who stare and I don’t want to deal with the drama. I try to wait until we get into the car or go home.
‘A few months ago I uploaded some photos of my tandem nursing and some moms commented ‘You’re too old.’
‘Others said ‘Why is she nursing a toddler?’ and ‘Shouldn’t she stop?’ It was upsetting, but I tried not to let the negative comments get to me.
‘People just lack education about extended breastfeeding and I’m passionate about teaching them.
‘The next week I joined some support groups for extended breastfeeding on Facebook and people said my photos were beautiful. Some were moms on there breastfed their kids up to eight, which made me feel so much better.’
She added: ‘I know there is a huge stigma around this, but I hope one day there won’t be.’
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