Mother accused of 'paedophilia' for breastfeeding seven-year-old son

An Adelaide mother is hitting back at people online who are calling her "sick" and a "paedophile" for breastfeeding her children.

Lisa Bridger, 46, came under fire last year when she revealed in a blog post for Kidspot that she still breastfeeds her seven-year-old son Chase, along with his four-year-old brother Phoenix.

The mother of five wrote in the essay it was a healthy option, and comforting for the boys, who were both diagnosed with autism.

Now, in a new open letter for the parenting website, Bridger says she has received a torrent of "unacceptable" abuse.

"To the adults who have commented that I am sick and need to get help, there is nothing mentally wrong with me; I am only doing what is natural," she writes.

"It's not a sexual act. I'm not a paedophile, which is what quite a few have suggested."

Bridgeman says her son is "very independent, self-assured, none damaged".

"Watching and seeing all you adults bully and abuse me, telling me what I need to do for your comfort, overriding my child's comfort, I can see why so many children bully these days."

While she writes that the breastfeeding was especially helpful for calming her son without medication, Bridgeman added she would have continued to breastfeed her son until he no longer requested, "even without autism".

In Bridgeman's first Kidspot post last June, she wrote the "natural" act prevented her son having to go on medication, because "it calms and grounds him and is a fantastic way to reconnect".

"Anyone feeding a child beyond a year gets accused of child abuse, pornography, damaging their health and told that if they walk and talk they don't need it," she wrote.

"How is respecting their needs abuse? You can't breastfeed a piranha."

The World Health Organisation (WHO) offers broad guidelines about breastfeeding, but provides no limit on what age a child should be weaned off.

"Infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond," the WHO states on its website.