TIME Magazine: Are you Mom Enough, to Breastfeed

May 11, 2012

Time Magazine made a bold breastfeeding statement this week. Check out the article if you haven’t read it yet; it discusses the viewpoints of attached parenting. We shared the photo on our Facebook page yesterday and wanted to share a few comments that came in from our moms:Photo Courtosy of TIME.com

ROBIN

“Who cares how old he is? If it works for them then who is anyone to judge? I wish women, especially mothers, would support each other.”

KATRINA

“I think the article and photos do exactly what it set out to do…bring extended breastfeeding out in the open and start discussion/debate. Personally, I do not like the title; however, I am a firm believer that most parents have their child’s best interests in mind and do the best they can with their life circumstances and the information they have (whether it’s evidence-based or outdated).

Currently, the WHO and AAP recommend exclusive, on-demand breastfeeding until the age of 6 months (breastmilk directly or pumped from mother, breastmilk from a healthy wet-nurse or milk bank if not available from mother, and formula as a prescription medication if breastmilk is not available from any source), breastfeeding with solids until the age of 1-2 years, and continued breastfeeding as long as mother and baby chose to do so.

Research shows the natural age of weaning to be 2.5-7 years of age (meaning some wean before and after those ages). However, according to Healthy People 2010, most mothers in the United States do not even breastfeed the recommended 6 months. Many researchers theorize this is one of the reasons why the United States has more health issues than other countries who breastfeed for longer periods.

It is a reflection of how society views breastfeeding in our country. I am glad to see extended breastfeeding in the media, because it is another aspect of parenting that some parents do and some don’t – either way, it is NORMAL. Although I haven’t breastfed in public for a while, Aurora (age 5) still nurses about once every other month with her brother, Landon (age 3), who still nurses about once every other day. Serenity breastfed for 2.5 years before she self-weaned. I prefer child-led weaning (I don’t offer, I don’t refuse, but I will delay…by then, they usually forgot until bedtime). Sometimes I wish they were weaned; other times I cherish our special time together (but I know they get more out of it than I do: comfort, nutrition, medicine)…once they’re done…they’re done…and they’re only little once. Extended breastfeeding may not be for everyone, but it’s what works for us. Who are any of us to judge?”

WENDY

“I support breastfeeding, people are always criticizing moms for breastfeeding in public and this photograph is definitely in your face. We need to start talking about the importance of breastfeeding and stop judging moms for when, where, and how long they breastfeed. It puts pressure on some moms and it makes them feel guilty. It is the best food for your child, pure, organic and safe. You are not more or less of a mom for breastfeeding longer or shorter than the recommended 6 months.”

AMY

“Bottles and breastfeeding should not be compared. There is so much more to breastfeeding than just the milk.”

KAREN

“I’m not 100% attachment parenting, but I nursed all 4 of my kids (13 months with the first, 20, 24, and 30 months for the others). So I guess that qualifies as “extended breastfeeding”. The cover is intended to be shocking, and does the issue of extended breast feeding a disservice by portraying it in a very unnatural way, bringing up emotional reactions that make it difficult for people to be reasonable. But reactions sell magazines, I guess.

I would like to respond to the people who say that “once they can walk or ask for it, they shouldn’t be nursing”. So, once they can say “baba” for bottle, do you wean them to a cup? My kids all walked between 9-11 months old. So I should automatically wean them but it is ok for the mom whose baby doesn’t walk till 18 months to keep nursing? Ridiculous. Motor and speech skills are in no way indicative that nursing is no longer beneficial or normal. All it means is it makes YOU more uncomfortable to watch because you are hung up on breasts being sexual and not wanting to look all “third world”. They are still babies. It’s your hang-ups that make it seem “wrong” to nurse a baby that can walk.”

What are your thoughts about the article? Share in a comment below.

8 thoughts on “TIME Magazine: Are you Mom Enough, to Breastfeed

  1. I completely respect all good mothers and their choices. I do think that the cover was meant to be extreme and that mother obviously is, but is that a bad thing.. No, it is her right and breastfeeding is not hurting her child at all. Do I think it should be on the front of a magazine? Definitely NOT. I dont like that the cover puts a bad spin on breastfeeding as a whole, and gives it a stigma. A stigma, I fight when I publicly breastfeed my child. But breasts were made to feed children, that is what they were made for – they are not sexual objects; Our society has turned them into such sadly. But the bigger matter is what type of mother is she, she looks like one who cares, and gives her child what she believe is best for them. I have to say I am tired of people thinking that all parents have to PARENT THIER CHILDREN in some cookie cutter, one size fits all way. Parenting is so indiviualized because we are individuals and so are our children. My style fits me and my kids, and I never tell anyone to do exactly what I do. If she parents this way and her kids are loved and cared for, then why are people so upset with that – because she is the best mom she can be – seriously people. Let parents be good parents and then focus on the finding the bad ones and save those children from abuse, demoralization, save babies from being shaken, and tormentd by people who dont love and care for their them at all and stop judging good parents.

    • Hi Rebecca – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We love hearing what moms have to say when breastfeeding is in the news.

  2. I think breastfeeding is a personal choice & how long u breastfeed is up to u, what works for u may not work for other mom’s & their babies. I think people need to be less worried about other familys & what other moms r doing and worry about their own family and children.I think breastfeeding needs to be talked about a lot more & taught & incouraged to young mothers. It bothers me when ur out in public feeding ur child & u get several shocking looks like ur disgusting for breast feeding ur infant out in public, that indicates to me that people r not being educated enough on the benefits of breastfeeding both for mom & baby! I walk around thinking to myself after getting those dirty looks Yes I am feeding my child & yes we even have a boobie milk song we sing & we r proud of it, do ur research its the best thing for my baby so if u want to judge me for being a good mom and giving my child what is best for her then Im GUILTY! I’m a blessed breast feeding Momma and Proud of it!!!

  3. If you are interested in hearing the voices of some real, caring, intelligent mothers speak about their experiences breastfeeding past the first year, you can hear “Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy” at http://www.knitwisemedia.org .

    “Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy” is an independently produced hour-long radio documentary.  It features the voices of fourteen women who have breastfed their children between one and four years.  Some of the major topics covered include:  dealing with judgment and criticism, public nursing, benefits and challenges, weaning, nursing while working, and support. Also featured is commentary from Dr. Nigel Rollins, of the World Health Organization, Dr. Jay Gordon, a Fellow of the American Association of Pediatrics, and Dr. Katherine Dettwyler, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Delaware.

    The goal of this radio documentary is to give voice to breastfeeding mothers, and to stimulate dialogue about breastfeeding past one year in the United States.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Comment validation by @