Time Magazine’s Breastfeeding Cover Photo Causes Outrage
Time Magazine has caused quite the conversation with their most recent and extremely controversial cover story. Some people were outraged, and others were just a bit confused, when they looked at Time’s cover and saw a mother standing there with her breast in the mouth of her three year-old son who stood on a chair next to her.
The story is supposed to discuss the issues of attachment-parenting, and the amount of time one should breast feed…at what age should it stop? Is this a parent’s way of making their child feel nurtured for as long as possible…or is this some sick twisted way for the parent to stay extremely close to the child as long as they can.
The mother in the middle of the controversy, Jamie Lynne Grumet, stopped by the Today show Friday to discuss the issue.
On breast-feeding advocates being upset, Grumet said:
I understand some of the breastfeeding advocates are actually upset about this because I feel like [the photos] don’t show the nurturing side to attachment parenting. This isn’t how we breastfeed at home. It’s more of a cradling, nurturing situation. And I understand what they’re saying, but I do understand why Time chose this picture because it … did create such a media craze to get the dialogue talking.
Grumet on the drama the photo caused:
No, I don’t think any of us were expecting it. Yes, we knew exactly what we were going to get into. I felt like our family was basically one of the better ones to handle this because of my mom’s own personal breastfeeding [experience.] I mean, I don’t feel like that takes away from my own personal life . My relationship with my husband is very, very important to me and I think that it gives my children a strong bond , too. So I think a lot of people say, you can’t really be intimate with your husband if you’re co-sleeping and that’s just — I mean those are kind of myths, too.
Grumet on how long the breastfeeding will continue:
Well, we’re going to do weaning but I’m personally hoping [that the] fourth year, just for me, is probably going to be our final. He’s self-weaning right now and it’s a big commitment and it’s not right for everybody. I think that that’s the big thing — is you need to do what’s best for your baby and for your own family. So, you can take some of Dr. Sears attachment parenting philosophies and others, it’s okay, you’re not a bad parent. Your child will still be okay.
Dr. Bill Sears, who’s been deemed by Time as attachment-parenting’s guru chimed in:
If you were on an island and you had no mother-in-laws, no psychologists, no doctors around, no experts, this is what you would naturally and instinctively do to give your baby the best investment.
How do you feel about breast-feeding a child when he’s already old enough to walk and talk? Is this a problem? What about Time’s photo…was it too extreme? Or was it the only way to get people talking?