Adelaide mum 'The Breastmilk Queen' has been breastfeeding for 11 years straight
By Cindy Lever
October 30 2019
Amy McGlade has dubbed herself The Breastmilk Queen.
It's a title she feels she’s well and truly earnt after feeding four children for eleven years non-stop.
“I started feeding my first in January 2009, but I started antenatally expressing at 28 weeks," Amy, from Adelaide, tells 7NEWS.com.au.
"I was really passionate about making sure my breastmilk was the first thing she had. My mantra was, ‘you’re only one feed away’ from reaching your breastfeeding goals, whatever they are at this minute, and before I knew it, it had been 11 years."
Amy’s first daughter, Violet, continued to breastfeed until well into her third year.
Her second child, Jonny, kept feeding into his fourth year, her third child, Luke, went through until just before fifth birthday and her fourth child, Scarlett is two and still feeding.
“I get all these jokes about whether I’ll feed Scarlett until she’s ten,” she says.
But like most mums, her breastfeeding journey hasn't always been easy.
“I had all the normal first-time mum issues, like learning how to attach and I worried about all the usual things," she says.
"Was my baby getting enough milk? My breasts were soft, so was I producing enough milk?"
Thrush was a concern, as was having to return to work and make sure there was enough milk in the freezer.
Amy developed a breastfeeding plan for her first baby, similar to a birth plan, which included ensuring the baby had immediate skin-to-skin contact, not bathing the baby until several days after birth and limiting friends and family holding the baby.
As a midwife and nurse, she encourages all mums to develop a breastfeeding plan to increase their chances of successfully breastfeeding.
“I’m passionate about breastfeeding. It is more than just a feeding tool. It has been one of our greatest parenting tools. Our children are all smart and healthy and well-adjusted. We are all incredibly close.”
Amy, who birthed all her children at home, is also proud of the fact that her last three children have only ever fed from the breast and never had a bottle.
“Eleven years is a long time, but in the scheme of my life it’s not a long time. It has been so right for my family, but I know it’s not right for all families.”
She is also happy to share that it has not been an “eleven-year romantic walk in the park”.
Having a newborn and a toddler tandem feeding tested her commitment. But even being pregnant with morning sickness didn't deter her continuing to tandem feed.
"That was exhausting. I suffered terrible morning sickness and felt incredibly drained. When your body is making a baby and you’re feeding two others it’s exhausting. But this is the choice I made, and I felt was important to me,” she shares.
While confident breastfeeding a baby in public, Amy had to overcome insecurities which arose as her first daughter got older and past what she calls the “societal norms” at around a year old.
But she decided to do what she wanted to see herself and hoped it would inspire and offer confidence to other mums.
“People ask how I’ve kept up my supply for eleven years and I tell them it’s just a matter of supply and demand.”
She said she has also made a conscious effort to continue her life and not let breastfeeding prevent her from doing things. She brazenly displays her tattoos, piercings and cosmetic enhancements, which she says have all been done after a lot research into any potential impacts.
In 2014 Amy decided to share her breastfeeding passion on her Facebook page, The Breastmilk Queen, which now has 43,000 followers. Her social media is also a family affair with ten-year-old, Violet, taking most of the photos.
Through her social media she has hundreds of mums reaching out to her daily, desperate for up-to-date information.
She hopes all mums will realise they are only feed from reaching their goals, whether that’s one month, three months or three years.
“I didn't start my journey aiming for 11 years straight of breastfeeding, I started because I wanted to breastfeed my babies and my awesome little mantra kept me going,” Amy said.
Watch: I breastfeed my 7 year old
Originally published as Adelaide mum dubbed 'The Breastmilk Queen' on how she's been breastfeeding for over a decade