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Time's new cover: extended breastfeeding

Everyone's talking about it, so why don't we?  What do you think of Time's new cover?  Are you an extended breastfeeder?  What does this image say to you?  


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It says that a magazine is desperately trying to be provocative and invite judgement about an issue and a decision that ultimately lies with a woman and her family. It says to me that it's easier to judge individual choices than it is to tackle systemic issues like poverty, environmental destruction and more. I care far more about the latter than whether a woman decides to breastfeed and until when.

Breasts are for entertaining men not feeding babies. There are countless magazines from Cosmo to Maxim with half dressed women on the cover and no one blinks an eye but a woman feeding her child is somehow controversial? l breast fed my son past two and so the image made me smile. I am tired of the judgment.

I have no problem with extended breastfeeding. I breastfed for "only" 18 months. But I don't like this cover. I am quite fit myself, but my breasts don't look anything like hers and she isn't even wearing a bra. Seriously, it is hard to believe they could look that well after breastfeeding a child for over 3 years.

Totally sensationalist and irresponsible, and sealed my absolute dislike of Time magazine and I will *never* purchase it again. Breastfeeding and for how long is a wholly personal decision, and I heartily support women who are able to breastfeed for as long as it is mutually agreeable!!

I'm all for attachement parenting and extended breast feeding as it works for each set of mamas and kiddos. I was a baby wearer, co-sleeper, and a breast feeder. My only issue with this cover is the showing of the child's face. He is too young to decide to pose for this, and will probably be hearing about it forever. It's probably just an ad for this woman's blog.

Sigh. Some of my best memories of having nurslings is lying in bed naked, nursing the baby and my husband cuddled up to me behind. Why couldn't something so content and sweet but also sensual be on the cover?

My complaint is the picture doesn't seem nurturing or "attachment parenting" AT ALL. Where is the skin to skin contact, the gazing into your child's face? At that age nursing is as much about comfort and fulfilling emotional needs as it is nutrition, but this picture doesn't tell that story. It just says "I'm doing this to shock you" not because of any authentic mother child bond. I truly believe that breast feeding is as close to having a super-power as any woman can ever come. But this picture does a very poor job of portraying it's near magical power to comfort, heal, and love.

I agree wholly with all of the comments here so far. I want to add this: I am SO sick of moms criticizing other moms, and the media playing into that weakness to sell their products/ads. It's a bad cycle. With different camps of moms sparring, whether it's breast vs bottle, career vs stay home vs work from home, cloth vs disposables, immunizations vs none/some, (remember these older wars?!), etc etc etc, it is awfully similar to high school cliques, and therefore a teen girl's brain. It insults grown women, and the wisdom we have earned through age, education, experience, relationships, and raising children. It isolates us, breeds pettiness and lack of acceptance - if moms refused to war with each other, this sort of media would go away.

Wow, pdxmomto2 brought up a really good point i had never thought about. The photo is so conflicting to the idea of attachment parenting. The mom doesnt show any warmth or affection which AT is all about. This picture/article is, im sure purely for shock value.

I too HATE this photo. In my personal experience as well as observation of other extended breastfeeders, it is ALL about connection. The kid doesn't need to nurse for nutrition and usually mom isn't producing much milk. My own daughter who nursed past age 2 (and would have longer if I hadn't be done), always curled up in my lap. It was often after I'd come home from work or before bedtime. It is about the need for both mama and kid to connect. From what I've seen, this seems to be quite typical. This image is inflammatory and implies there is something weird and vaguely sexual about this relationship. TIME has gotten what it wanted I'm sure, lots of people talking about and probably buying their tired magazine. I'm really sick of the 'mainstream' coming down with opinions about how everyone should and should not parent.

And the kid standing on a stool? It's like he is a puppy lapping at the water bowl. This is not my image of extended breast feeding either. My daughter quit on her own at exactly one year old, and I was so sad (but I sure got a lot more sleep). I imagined us cuddled on the rocker nursing and rocking until she was at least 2. But the thought of her having to reach up to me and stretch for the breast...it looks a lot like subservience.

I saw her as defiant. Women who breastfeed in this culture are told to hide it like it is shameful even to the point of expecting mothers to hide in a filthy bathroom so not to offend. If you nurse longer (even though it is supported by WHO and others) you are REALLY supposed to be ashamed. I like that she faces the camera (as do the other women in the article) and says I won't be shamed or embarassed or pose like some early renaissance Madonna with downcast eyes or like a Pietà. She is standing up (literally) for her rights. I don't see the image as sexual although since women are regularly viewed as the sex class in this culture and our bodies objectified any image of a woman can/ will be construed as sexual.

Well I have not read the article, but I appreciate the cover photo while I find the caption annoying. I like that there is coverage (no pun intended) of a woman breastfeeding, regardless of the age of her child, and I think breastfeeding should be normalized in our culture. However, the photo was obviously taken for shock value rather than to praise breastfeeding mothers, and the caption makes it sound like Dr. Sears is a cult leader and that parents who practice attachment parenting are loony. But maybe, regardless of the implied negativity, this article will inspire parents to research various parenting styles/methods before choosing how they want to raise their children. And even better, perhaps this article will give support/encouragement to the many moms who do practice extended breastfeeding. GO MOMS!

If anything, the photo will make moms less likely to nurse, and more likely to war with each other. We got our copy of time today, and the writer clearly looks down on attachment parenting and the sears themselves. The reason I am going to cancel our time subscription is because I just now realized this issue was designed to drop for mothers day after watching snl's "really??!" segment. It is painful to me that of all days, a major magazine would have a cover photo and "are you mom enough?" that are both designed to drive wedges between moms and to also put down moms of all ideologies. If every mom who was bothered by time mag trying to create controversy btwn moms on mothers day canceled their sub, they'd lose over half their readership.

As an adoptive mom who did not have the choice to breast feed, I feel like a complete outsider to the whole debate. And now I'm being asked if I am (if any of us are) 'mom enough?' That's offensive. Ef you, Time Magazine. There are different ways to become a mother and many many reasons breast feeding is not an option for some of us (even some who give birth). And I'm glad that extended breast feeding works for many others. Please spare the judgement one way or another.

I just ignore this kind of crap, no matter where it's being flung from. The more the collective "we" talks about it, fumes about, analyzes it, debates it, the longer they stay in the news cycle and the more it draws readership and advertizing dollars. Inflammatory and sensationalist news is like a big pimple; annoying and distracting as it may be, ignore it, and it will go away.

I LOVE your words here anon3- "It insults grown women, and the wisdom we have earned through age, education, experience, relationships, and raising children. It isolates us, breeds pettiness and lack of acceptance - if moms refused to war with each other, this sort of media would go away." So, so true and very eloquently put.
That said, my gut reaction to this photo every time I see it is "gross". Not specifically the idea of nursing a child that age (though that idea is beyond unappealing to me personally), but just the pose, the little chair, the looks on their faces, the exploitation of their relationship (especially for the little boy; who knows how he will feel about this in ten or twenty years). The juxtaposition of the sexiness of her clothes, the image of her bare breast combined with the nursing relationship is jarring to me. But that doesn't mean that I judge her for her choice to nurse her preschooler. That is of course her choice and she has a perfect right to make that choice for herself and her family. I gathered from doing some reading in response to the article that she also nurses her older, 5 year old son, and that she herself nursed till age 6. I am aware that my reaction to the photo is just that, my reaction which is based in my personal beliefs and biases. I do wonder if she had the authority to approve this photo for the cover or not. I read that she is "surprised" by the reaction to the photo which seems disingenuous or maybe she is just naive about how breastfeeding is thought of generally in our culture. I nursed my son till he was 2 1/2 and definitely was starting to get some surprised and somewhat unpleasant reactions from certain people about it the last few months, particularly from people who are outside our little Portland bubble. Extended breastfeeding is a controversial topic in this country, silly as that may seem, since it really only affects the people involved.

The headline is what upsets me. Salt in the wound for someone who was unable to breastfeed past 12 weeks. Was I mom enough? I'm finally certain that, YES, I was and am. Back then, though, I could hardly bring myself to leave the house with my baby, for fear of what someone would say about the bottle in my hand.

My approach to teaching has a strong emphasis in community, nature, and nurturing the spirit of the child. In addition to the core curricum based on traditional montessori materials and lessons, children will enjoy tending and cooking from the garden, doing yoga, and exploring nature. I teach with warmth and compassion, and a constant eye toward creating love and respect among our little group.

It may sound controversial but I think Time magazine take a bold act that implore that importance of breastfeeding. Although, not all women can have the luxury of time to breastfed their baby, as often as they liked as they are busy juggling from work to home. It is just too sensationalized which end up making it controversial. The bottom line is that breastfeeding is not a way to gauge about motherhood.

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