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Time magazine cover stirs breastfeeding controversy

posted 5/11/2012 3:15:58 PM |
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Anyone see this cover yet? Looks like the kid is a little too old to be breastfeeding in my opinion. What do you think?

Shocking or no big deal? Time magazine's newest cover, with mom Jamie Lynne Grumet breast-feeding her 3-year-old son, is drawing fire on the Web.

The photo showed Jamie Lynne Grumet, 26, a stay-at-home mom in Los Angeles who says her mother breastfed her until she was 6 years old. She told the magazine in an interview that she's given up reasoning with strangers who see her son nursing and threaten "to call social services on me or that it's child molestation."

"People have to realize this is biologically normal," she said, adding, "The more people see it, the more it'll become normal in our culture. That's what I'm hoping. I want people to see it."

Some questioned why the magazine used the photo of Grumet, a slim blonde pretty enough to be a model, to illustrate a story about a style of childrearing that's been around for a generation. The issue includes a profile of the attachment parenting guru, Dr. Bill Sears, who wrote one of the movement's bibles, "The Baby Book," 20 years ago.

Mika Brzezisnki, co-host of MSNBC's weekday morning program "Morning Joe," suggested on the air that the cover was needlessly sensational: "I'll tell you why it bothers me — because it's a profile of Bill Sears!"

On Twitter, the cover inspired X-rated jokes along with concerns that the child might be teased when he's older. But on many message boards, there was debate about whether it's OK to breastfeed beyond babyhood.

Bobbi Miller, a mother of six who lives in Arkansas, expressed disapproval in a tweet and said in a phone interview, "Even a cow knows when to wean their child." Of the cover, she said: "Why would this even be out there? It's ludicrous. It's almost on the verge of voyeurism."

But Bettina Forbes, co-founder of an organization called Best for Babes that promotes breastfeeding and supports women who want to nurse their children beyond babyhood, said she hopes the cover "will make mainstream America less squeamish" about women breastfeeding children of any age. "It's high time we talk about these things," she said.

Reaction to the cover underscored a cultural rift between traditional childrearing and what some have deemed "extreme parenting." The attachment philosophy encourages mothers to respond to their babies' every cry and form close bonds with near-constant physical contact through "co-sleeping" (letting them sleep in the bed with parents rather than in cribs) and "baby-wearing" (carrying them on slings instead of pushing them in strollers).

Retail chains including Target, Wal-Mart and Safeway did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether the magazine, which goes on sale Friday, would be displayed in stores.

Time Managing Editor Rick Stengel said he had not heard of any retailers concerned about displaying the cover. But he acknowledged that the image is "provocative. We're posing an interesting question about a subject that couldn't be more important — how we raise our children. People have all kinds of mixed feelings about that."

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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May 11 @ 5:33PM  
Gosh she must not have anything better to do . I breastfed all of mine but once they got teeth and take a bite its history . SAlways told mine husband not to bite either.

May 11 @ 6:50PM  
3 years old is a bit old for bottle or breast feeding. The kid has teeth and is capable of eating regular food now.


May 11 @ 8:25PM  
I'm a tad older than the lad.....
But to share the other boobie,
I'd be glad......

All jokes aside, I understand the mothers antibodies and such
keep the kids healthier and then there is that 'bond' thing.
Whatever happened to personal choice and responsibility?

What was done 200 years ago? Or even before formula came out? And that stuff ain't cheap.

Although female co-workers have gotten pissey with me, when they complained about the costs of feeding 'em....
and I'd just innocently say, "I thought baby food comes about naturally".

May 17 @ 12:31AM  
Breastfeeding is supposed to be a personal activity to bond with and nourish one's child. Public breastfeeders just want attention. They could just as easily use a breast pump and fill bottles with breast milk to use when child is hungry when they are in public. They just enjoy plopping out a breast for the world to see; it is about them, not their child's needs.

Also, breastfeeding beyond one year old is odd unless one lives in a Third World country and there is no other food available.

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Time magazine cover stirs breastfeeding controversy