Have You Seen the Time Magazine Cover?

Have you seen this photo yet?

If you haven’t, you will. It’s going to be EVERYWHERE for awhile. I mean how could it possibly not be?

It’s on the front page of Time Magazine and the featured articles are all about attachment parenting. I didn’t see the cover first. I started reading through the articles (side note: I’m going to address some of these tomorrow) and somehow read them backwards so I ended up at the feature story last. Which means this pic came at the end of my reading. I burst out laughing. I just couldn’t help myself.

Yancy happened to be home at the time and I showed him the picture.

“Man, how old is that kid?” He asked. And next. “Whoa.”

I set out on a mission to find out how old he is. And not because I wanted to engage in a lengthy debate about how long women should breastfeed and when breastfeeding goes on to long, but because Yancy brought up some really great points about the pic like, “I hope that’s her kid. That has to be her kid, right?”

Everything that I’ve read says he is three years old. If he is three that is the biggest three year old I have ever seen in my life! I have a three year old who is huge. Off the growth charts usually and he is not that big.

Who is this kid? And who is this woman? I hope it’s his mother. God, I hope it’s his mother. Because if it’s not his mother than some young kid was pictured and plastered all over the media suckling a blond woman’s breast.  It’s got to be her kid, right?

But then let’s just say it is her kid. Really? I mean what model mother (and she is clearly a model) would say alright, let’s do this picture. It’s clearly provocative which we all know is the point, but still…

And if women who choose extended breastfeeding don’t already have enough to contend with then we pile this on top of their plight? Here’s the other thing. I also know tons of AP parents. And even though many of them breast fed for a considerable period of time, I don’t know a single one who breast fed until after age 3.

Last piece of my rant and then I am finished until tomorrow. Do we really need another sexualized picture of breastfeeding? Really? Who nurses this way? Are we ever going to be able to separate breastfeeding from sexual connotations?

It can’t be real. It’s got to be photoshopped, right? What do you think? Please tell me it’s Photoshop…

 

 

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79 Responses to Have You Seen the Time Magazine Cover?

  1. Shawnie says:

    I follow attachment parenting as a guide, not a rule, and have always tried to stick to what felt natural or what I know has worked for humans for thousands of years. I breastfed my daughter until she was 3, and now at 4 will still have a nip now and then along with her 8 month old sister. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. This photo however is clearly meant to be provocative and shocking.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Shawnie. If I were a hardcore AP parent, I would actually be insulted by this cover. Like I’ve said, I don’t have a single problem with breastfeeding or extended breastfeeding. I do have a problem with the exploitative nature of this picture and how it contributes to women being uncomfortable to breastfeed in public. This undermines all of the hard work that has gone into breastfeeding awareness.

      • lyndsay o says:

        It is provocative. It is shocking. Now, getting past the emotions of it, what exactly is “wrong”? For the argument of “this sexualizes breastfeeding” my thoughts are: Holy moly this is NOT sexy. If anything, it desexualizes the concept. This is a mom. It is HER son. (Cause we freaked out at the chance that it wasn’t.) Now, with that said – what bothers us? What caused a moments transgression? Blogger, your thoughts?

        • Mommy Psychologist says:

          I think it’s exactly what I said above in that rather than promoting breastfeeding it does the opposite.

          • lyndsay o says:

            “I don’t know a single one who breast fed until after age 3.”

            I am assuming you meant “didn’t breastfeed after age 3″ – well, I did :) On one hand, you are supportive of extended nursing and our rights as women to nurse, covered or uncovered, in public or in private, skinny or fat, ugly or model-esque – but then your opinion turns to squeamish and insulted and as long as we don’t do it past age 3 and especially if our kid is big and wears camo pants. Just a little confusing.

          • Meagan says:

            I think she’s not upset because the kid is older than three (since he is more o less three), she’s upset that the kid has been STAGED to look as old as possible solely to cause controversy. If you looked at the photo I pointed to below, it is a much sweeter, less provocative image, even though it’s the same mom and child, and they’re even both dressed the same. If you’re trying to open up a dialog on extended nursing, the less provocative photo was a BETTER choice. Time wanted to get people saying things like “insest” and “Can I have the other titty?” which are exactly the kind of comments they’re getting. This cover is objectionable because it’s DESIGNED to be objectionable. That is WHAT is objectionable about it. OP is commenting on how disgusted she is with the conscious choices Time is making to cause trouble, not with the choices that mothers make to care for their kids. She’s not upset that the kid is old, she’s upset that Time is exaggerating his age. She’s not upset that the mother is attractive, she’s upset that Time seems to be highlighting her sexuality to increase discomfort.

        • Julie says:

          The post has nothing to do with the mother nursing her son. It has everything to do with how Time Magazine exploited this mother FOR nursing her son, exaggerated his age and used the title “Are You Mom Enough?” to flame controversy.

          You’ve posted numerous comments asking the blogger what her problem is with breastfeeding and she’s answered you every time- that she has none… No one here has a problem with breastfeeding or extended breastfeeding. But we do have a problem with Time Magazine exploiting women who choose to breastfeed longer than what is considered “normal” in this society.

          • lyndsay o says:

            I understand, all very valid points – you made the bloggers position better than she did because I was still left confused after her replies. For the record, I never asked “what her problem with breastfeeding was”, only what caused her high level of discomfort. I understand (now, thanks to you) why she was upset. Thanks for the intelligent discussion :)

    • Meagan says:

      *shudder* Parenting philosophies aside, can you PLEASE not use the word “nip” regarding nursing? My son is teething!

      • Marisa says:

        Meagan, how old is your son? Mine started teething at 5 months, but quickly learned if she wanted to nurse there was no biting. Hopefully you are not getting bitten!

        • Meagan says:

          @Marisa He’s 11 months and (mostly) knows not to bite with the two he’s got. :-) He DOES ocassionally give me a *nip* when he’s done eating and wants to see what entertaining noises I’ll make this time. Mostly I was just being silly.

  2. Meagan says:

    It’s not photoshopped, but it’s obviously staged to make the kid look older than he is, both with height and the freaking camo pants. He looks about 7, and he’s obviously supposed to.

    BTW the cover has a subtitle with the woman’s name and the boy (not named)’s age (3, like you said). He’s obviously a big kid, but I don’t think he’s quite as tall as he seems. I’d guess that without the chair and the creative camera angles he probably stands a little higher than her hip bone.

    As for whether we need another sexualized photo of breast feeding, I guess that depends on who “we” are. If “we” are a crappy magazine with shrinking revenues and grumpy shareholders, desperately trying to figure out the quickest way to make it look like we’re still relevant… I’m gunna go with yes?

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Meagan. It’s very good photography. It certainly achieves exactly what it set out to do.

  3. Meagan says:

    Oh, and yeah, it’s his mom.

  4. She is not a model and this is her kid, almost 4. She has an adopted son, now 5, whom she also breastfed when he joined their family (not sure how old he was, but not an infant tho). Her name is Jamie and she is a fellow blogger at BlogHer; she has written about some of her parenting philosophies (her website imnotthebabysitter.com seems to be down). Her member name there is Jmorjig, if you want to read them yourself.

    I’m uncomfortable with this photo too. For many reasons.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Megan. I have zero problems with breastfeeding or extended breastfeeding. I just have so many issues with this photo for other reasons. Namely, it is completely exploitative. Not to mention that this picture actually contributes to why it is so hard for women to breastfeed in public.

  5. Julie says:

    In much of the world kids are still breastfed until the age of 4 or 5. The United States is the country that is different from everyone else. Yes the pose is unusual but not sexualized. We have sexualized woman’s breasts. Yes breasts can be sexy but they also serve the purpose of feeding babies. This attitude that anytime a breast is show it is pornographic or sexual is what makes it harder for women to breastfeed in public.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks for your comments, Julie. As I said and to be very clear, I have absolutely no problem with breastfeeding or how long a woman chooses to breastfeed. I breast fed my son until he was 14 months old. I would have kept at it, but he naturally weaned himself. I have absolutely zero issues with breastfeeding a child who is 3 or 5 or 15 if a woman wants to. That was not the point at all. I am completely supportive of woman choosing to breastfeed and having complete control over their bodies. I think this cover counteracts and undermines everything breastfeeding advocates have fought so hard to bring awareness and acceptance to. Women have worked very hard to educate and try to make it easier for women to breastfeed in public. The issues I have with the picture have nothing to do with the merits or practices of breastfeeding.

      I have to disagree with you in that I think it is this picture that contributes to why it is so hard for women to breastfeed in public.

  6. Jessica says:

    It is not photoshopped and that is her kid. She is a blogger. Her blog is I am not the babysitter which is currently shut down as far as I can tell probably due to traffic her FB is: http://www.facebook.com/iamnotthebabysitter

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Jessica. It’s been down all day. I tried to check it out earlier and it was down. Still is.

  7. Marisa says:

    I think Meagan is right, it’s gotta be staged to make the boy look older.

    I’m just going to throw this out here, I’m nursing my daughter who turned three in February. I think we’ll be weaned by four, but who knows. I would have never thought in a million years I would still be nursing after the age of two. We are down to just nap-time and bed-time. I think as always you have to do what’s right for you and your little one.

    You never know what the situation is, I know a mother who nurses a 5 year old because she is allergic to a lot of things. I want to exaggerate and say she’s allergic to everything, but it almost seems like she really is.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Marisa. I have zero problems or issues with extended breastfeeding. I think moms should be free to breastfeed their kids until they are 18 if they like. What I do have issues with is the completely exploitative nature of the picture on so many levels that I feel are insulting to women.

  8. Heather says:

    Thankfully, I think most people are seeing this for what it is — an attempt to stoke up “controversy”. If anything, I think the hard-core attachment parents are the ones most upset about it because they feel like they are being vilified.

    I will say, though, if I saw an article like this right after my daughter was born, when I gave up my struggle to BF after 3 weeks, it would have crushed me. Even now, 2 and a half years later, I’ve come to terms with what happened, but my heart still aches about it and I still feel twinges of guilt.

    So, it’s not the idea of [hard-core] attachment parenting or extended breastfeeding, etc, that is offensive to me (I say “to each their own”) but the way they are trying to stem up “mommy wars” with a title like “Are you Mom Enough?” I hate that there are still people out there who think that women like me, or even a woman who just didn’t want to, deserve to be made to feel inferior or like less caring/dedicated parents. We’re all doing our best, after all, so much of parenting really comes down to trying to not mess them up TOO badly :)

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Heather. I completely agree with you. If I were a hardcore AP advocate I would be completely insulted.

  9. Rach says:

    Why oh why must they toss more gas on the flames of the mommy war? :sigh: I think many of us struggle with the choices we make and question ourselves and this certainly will fan it even more.

    As for that photo, I can assure you, although I’ve nursed my girls in many strange positions, we’ve never nursed standing up. Weird.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Right? Nursing standing up with your son on a stool…Never seen that. We have worked so hard to bring awareness and education to the public front regarding breastfeeding. This just seems like ten steps in the wrong direction.

  10. Carolyn says:

    As for extended breastfeeding. I met a mom at a LLL meeting who was still nursing her 3 and 5 year old son and daughter… but most mom’s I’ve met who breastfed past 1 year, stopped well before 3 years.

  11. momma says:

    She is not a model. But I’m sure she would love to see that you think she is! It is her child, the cover says he is three.. right there. Nothing to “search” for. My son is 2.5 and shows NO signs of weaning anytime soon. He will probably be nursing beyond age three. MANY women breastfeed beyond age three when it is what the child desires/needs. I am PROUD to have this beautiful woman represent me as a FULL TERM NURSING MOMMA!

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks for your comments. As I said and to be very clear, I have absolutely no problem with breastfeeding or how long a woman chooses to breastfeed. I breast fed my son until he was 14 months old. I would have kept at it, but he naturally weaned himself. I have absolutely zero issues with breastfeeding a child who is 3 or 5 or 15 if a woman wants to. That was not the point at all. I am completely supportive of woman choosing to breastfeed and having complete control over their bodies. I think this cover counteracts and undermines everything breastfeeding advocates have fought so hard to bring awareness and acceptance to. Women have worked very hard to educate and try to make it easier for women to breastfeed in public. The issues I have with the picture have nothing to do with the merits or practices of breastfeeding.

    • lyndsay o says:

      Hi “momma”! Yours is the first post that I could (calmly) reply to. Your response is rational and reflects my feelings on extended nursing and this photograph. Sure, it’s a little out there but geez, let’s get PAST the idea of breasts and nursing and what is “normal” and remember that Americans (with the lowest percentages of breastfeeding mothers overall) don’t know everything nor is our culture the only one that is “right”.
      My first response to peoples “outrage” about her being a possible model is “Would it have made you feel better if she were fat/unattractive/ect?” I read in another news blog that mentioned, outrageously, that she was gasp! wearing skinny jeans and a tank top! Should she be covered up in a mumu perhaps?
      I also took issue with peoples perception of the size of the child and whether he is EVEN HER CHILD! Oh my goodness, how dare we breastfeed a child that isn’t ours! Oh but wait, it is hers. And he’s barely 4. Maybe he should have a job and be out there in the big world on his own by now? C’mon he’s 4 already!
      And we wonder why our kids/teens/adults are messed up, angry, obese, sexually deviant…we get our panties in a wad over a mom breastfeeding her kid. Let’s cover up, play nice, and pretend this doesn’t exist ;) (Original blogger, I’m looking at you. No, it wasn’t photoshopped. And yes, it’s her son. But what of breastfeeding an adopted child or a starving infant whose mother cannot lactate?)

      • Mommy Psychologist says:

        Thanks for your comments, Lindsey. I’ve been clear from the beginning that I don’t have any issues or problems with breastfeeding. I breastfed my son til he was 14 months old. Women can breastfeed for as long as they want to and whomever they want to. I think you my have missed my point or misinterpreted it. My issue has absolutely nothing to do with breastfeeding.

        • lyndsay o says:

          I understand that you do not have a problem with breastfeeding; thanks for the clarification :) However, it seems a lot of people, you included, are okay with breastfeeding AS LONG AS it is done correctly. Meaning, hidden, covered up, not in skinny jeans and a tank top, not with a child that is older than however long you breastfed yours for, not on a magazine cover, not done defiantly, ect ect. Yes, the cover is over the top. But would it have made YOU ‘feel’ better (an irrational debate) if it were done differently? I think that is the question here, one that was the basis of my comment. Thanks for the forum, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to debate with intelligent women :)

          • Meagan says:

            Time has a slide show up with other photos from the photoshoot. Check out the one immediately following the cover photo: http://lightbox.time.com/2012/05/10/parenting/

            Same mom. Same kid. Same stool even. Totally different feeling. It’s a sweet photo of a woman feeding her child. That’s it. If Time had opted to use that photo instead, we’d be having the same conversations about extended breastfeeding, about attachment parenting. And if they’d chosen to go with a headline like, “The real deal about Attachment Parenting,” we’d be having the same conversations.

            But they didn’t. They titled it “Are you Mom enough?” and that photo? It is EXACTLY the visual equivalent o the headline. It’s sole purpose is to get people fired up. It’s not a realistic view of either AP or extended breast feeding. It is meant to start flame wars, not conversations.

          • Mommy Psychologist says:

            The cover turns people off to breastfeeding which is counterproductive when we are working so hard to encourage moms to breastfeed. No problem with the clothes she’s wearing. I think I have the same outfit:)

  12. Alyssa Tuininga says:

    Ok I will put it out there too. I am a normal average American woman and I am still nursing my 3rd child who is 3 1/2 (to be 4 in the fall). He nurses in the morning when he wakes up and at night before bed. He isn’t interested in stopping yet and I am willing to continue nursing him for now. I would like to think we will be done in the next 6 or so months. My oldest son nursed till 4 1/2 and my middle child was 2 when he chose to wean. Of the 40 or so families in my extended network of friends almost all nurse their children till at least 2 and many to 3, 4, 5 and even some older than that. It happens a lot more than you think we just don’t put it out there. We choose to do it quietly in our own homes. Oh and my 3 year old is often mistaken for being about 5. Just because he is physically big doesn’t make him any different than any other 3 year old.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks for your comments. As I said and to be very clear, I have absolutely no problem with breastfeeding or how long a woman chooses to breastfeed. I breast fed my son until he was 14 months old. I would have kept at it, but he naturally weaned himself. I have absolutely zero issues with breastfeeding a child who is 3 or 5 or 15 if a woman wants to. That was not the point at all. I am completely supportive of woman choosing to breastfeed and having complete control over their bodies. I think this cover counteracts and undermines everything breastfeeding advocates have fought so hard to bring awareness and acceptance to. Women have worked very hard to educate and try to make it easier for women to breastfeed in public. The issues I have with the picture have nothing to do with the merits or practices of breastfeeding.

      I’m not saying there is anything problematic about being physically large. My son is large for his age. They editors intentionally made him appear older. In addition, they put him on a stool which adds to the age distortion.

    • Marisa says:

      Thanks for putting that out there. I try to do the same. I think it is way more common than all of us think. It’s all okay! The nursing relationship is between the mom and child, and when it’s not working for one, then things will change. Mine is 3.25 years and I don’t see the end any time soon. Before I had children I didn’t picture myself nursing past 2 years…but we are both fine with it so we continue. I love my secret weapon, when she’s sick, we can nurse more and IMO heal faster. :-)

      Thanks to Mommy Psychologist for your post and all your kind comments.

  13. Julie says:

    http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/time-magazines-breastfeeding-cover-moms-react-185700989.html

    The woman is 26yr old Jamie Lynne Grumet of Los Angeles. She’s a lactation consultant and that is her son. He is 3 but he’ll be 4 in a month. She’s trying to convey a message of encouragement in breastfeeding and to stop the war between conventional and attachment parenting. I agree with her views, but I feel this picture and title go against what she’s trying to say. Not sure why she agreed to such a defiant pose. And “Are You Mom Enough” sounds more intimidating than encouraging to me. Sounds like Time Magazine is trying to stir the pot, rather than help her in her quest. I’d be mad, if I were her, that this is what they turned it into.

    As one of the yahoo commenters said: “That is not the look of a loving and caring Mother, but the look of a defiant woman, daring you to tell her to cover up and/or wean her child”.

    And as for making the boy look older, the photographer clearly states that he used the pose of the boy standing on the chair to do just that- make him appear taller and older, to amplify how unusual this is. But how unusual is it really? Mothers make these kinds of decisions every day, and I don’t think it’s fair to vilify women who choose the attachment parenting way of doing things. It may not be the right choice for me and my family, but I see nothing wrong with it for others if that’s what they feel is best. And really, that’s what it’s all about. Finding something that works for you and sticking to it. And we SHOULD be encouraging other mothers to do what feels comfortable and right for them.

    • Meagan says:

      It sounds like they did a whole series of photographs. She may not have even realized she was looking confrontational, I’ll bet they had her do all sorts of odd poses, and I doubt she knew which photo they went with until the cover was released. I’m with you, if I were her I’d be kind of pissed.

      • Mommy Psychologist says:

        Ditto, ladies. Totally support that message. But as you’ve said, the pic certainly doesn’t support that message.

  14. Kendra says:

    Heavens, I hope it’s her own kid honey! EEEW! I totally agree with you, age three is REALLY pushing it. My family never breastfed and it’s not for me, but still! It’s time to get that sucker off mommy’s chest. Wow! I’m kinda surprised that’s even on the front page… what? No, I’m actually not surprised, especially considering NY legalized viewing child porn! Nope, nothing will ever surprise me again. :)

    Very nice post, honey. It’s humorous and fun. I enjoyed it very much.

    Warm wishes,
    Kendra

    • Shawnie says:

      Oh God Kendra I HOPE you are not comparing a picture of a mother breastfeeding, no matter how unusual, to legalizing child porn!!!

    • Julie says:

      She also never says anything about the child being too old to be breastfed. You’re aloud to have your opinion about breastfeeding, but so are other moms. Not your place to say “get that sucker off”, which I think is a rather vulgar way of putting things. And child porn? Not even close.

    • Meagan says:

      I’m just trying to figure out the legalized kiddie porn viewing comment? Is that true? I feel like I would have heard SOMETHING about that on one of the three billion parenting blogs I follow.

      • Julie says:

        I’m with you on that too Meagan. I feel like I would’ve heard something about that. If it’s true, it’s pretty damn disgusting.

      • Andrea says:

        I agree that the comparison to pornography is completely inappropriate. BUT, for those of you trying to figure out what she’s talking about, here’s the story: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/tagblogsfindlawcom2012-decided-idUS26525766220120510

      • Warner Losh says:

        The kiddie porn viewing came up in a case where one clicked on a link, believing it to be something else, but instead kiddie porn showed up. That was ruled not to be a crime because there was no intent to find it. This is based on the doctrine of accidental viewing that goes back to cases arising when someone accidentally walked in on someone else in the bathroom. If you did it on purpose, then that’s a big deal, but accidentally doing it and then popping back out is not illegal, just embarrassing. Doing it on purpose, by whatever means is still unlawful…

        So it is a highly technical detail rather than some blanket permission to look at the stuff…

        Warner

    • lyndsay o says:

      “Ewww”? Really, Kendra honey?

      Child porn? Not quite. You are (as are countless Americans) projecting your puritanical sexually-repressed issues onto this.

  15. There is a piece on TIME.com (on-line only, I think) that talks with the photographer who says he used this pose to show that it is still unusual to breastfeed older kids and shows some of the other shots he took, of other (real) moms and their children. There was a nice one of a mom BF her older child on her lap. It is too bad they didn’t use that one and lose the provocative caption (Are you doing enough?). Obviously they picked this one to get a reaction, but it is too bad they did so in a way that undermines a balanced discussion. I thought the articles themselves were okay, but the cover just plays into the stigma of BF an older child without being an accurate depiction of what it really looks like. (My youngest is 2 1/2 and still BF once/day…never thought we’d go this long, but he has no interest in weaning!)

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      I completely agree with you, Ellie. I think there are so many other wonderful pictures that are much more supportive of breastfeeding than this.

  16. Krystal says:

    I told myself I wouldn’t jump in… but I will. First off, I breast fed both of mine exclusively for a little over a year. They weaned themselves. In fact, I probably pushed it a month or so further than they even wanted to. I tried to continue even when I saw the signals that they were done, and what baby isn’t going to at least taste what is offered? I wonder if AP has guilted SOME (not all) women into continuing bf past when their child really needs it. I know that I could have pushed by babies to keep nursing to the point that they got back into it, and once a child becomes a toddler/ preschooler habits form fast. Developmentally a child in that category loves repetition and craves habitual activities(they watch the same shows over and over, they want the same book etc.), so if you have pushed a child to bf to this point, there is NO WAY they will give it up easily. I’m not saying all women who do extended bf are doing this or that they are abusing their children even if they are. Every child is different! The problem with many advocates ofAP philosophy is that they encourage this competition of who is the better mom, extended bf has just become one of the events in the game. AP makes you feel guilty if you don’t or can’t do some of the attributes. I am a strong advocate for bf, and I do not discourage it in any form. I do have a problem with the lactivist who make those who feed their babies formula feel like they are actually giving them arsenic. I chose to bf because it is best and I could stay at home, but I acknowledge that some of the research on bf is inconculsive, inflated in some instances and impossible determine if it’s just a correlation. Yes, it is best to bf and more woman should, but you are not a bad parent if you don’t and your child will still be attached. Let’s face it, as long as you aren’t abusive ( and sometimes even if you are) your child WILL be attached to you. Also, one thing that AP overlooks is that a child will also feel secure if their home is secure. If mom and dad are fighting due to lack of sleep (or, ahem, sex), it isn’t healthy for your child no matter how long they bf or if they are toted around until they are driving :). I have one more point that I want to make and I’ll shut up. I am really frustrated that people blame the modest and conservative attitude (and by extension conservative Christianity) of the US for why our mom’s don’t bf. I breast fed in public quite frequently (store, church, Bible study, etc) and I was never made to feel like I was being indecent, and I live in the deep south. I used a light cover, because that’s how I feel comfortable. I was never made to feel obscene by my Christian friends and acquaintances, but I was made to feel insecure about my choices in parenting by liberal, militant feminist friends. When I got pregnant with my 1st, I was never made to feel like a “slut” by the church, but I was made to feel like an idiot by pro-choice feminist. My point is, militant feminism in this country made many women feel inadequate if they chose to stay home with their kids or follow traditional (ie AP) parenting styles. Don’t get me wrong, feminism was an important movement that empowered women, but now it’s become about empowering only the women that agree with them. There are some who say that the reason why the research for bf is inflated is because its just another way to keep women in the home and not what it really is, a tactic to encourage women to make the best choice for their children. I know our view of breast come into play, but come on, even in other cultures that aren’t as squeamish about breast still have a sexual tie to breast. They have a sexual purpose, and you will always have problems with some old guy getting offended by you feeding your child because their mamma… blah blah blah. There is nothing prudish or non AP about covering. In fact, many children are soothed by being able to hide away and eat. Anyway, there are many reasons why the US is behind in bf, and our view of sex is not the only one. This picture only inflames people and doesn’t actually accomplish anything. If a woman unsure of bf saw this, she wouldn’t decide to do it, she may even have fears of weirdness affirmed. From my own experience in talking to young expectant mothers, all it takes is encouragement to do their best. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and that’s ok, the child gets benefits from just a little bit of breast milk. Not all lower income and single women can stay home and that doesn’t make them terrible, unattached parents. Can we all just say that we are all trying our darndest to be good parents, and quite competing with each other?

    • Krystal says:

      wow, that was a term paper. I didn’t realize how long it was until I saw it up there. Sorry about that.

    • Deanna says:

      I just want to reply to the comment that AP makes women feel guilty if they don’t breastfeed. No where in the AP literature does it promote that idea. AP literature encourages all sorts of bonding behavior that promotes strong attachment and encourages parents to do what works for their unique family. It’s the “shoulds” that make people feel guilty (self imposed “shoulds” and well as the “shoulds” from others.) It’s about balance. Even too much of a good thing can be too much. Each mother needs to decide what works for their family. (No one would claim that promoters of healthy eating or lifestyle choices are trying to make you feel guilty if you eat cookies and ice cream or watch tv.)

      In my life, my mothering evolves daily. What worked one day, may no longer work the next. So I find myself making adjustments all the time. I also find that if I tune in too much to what others think – I can not hear my own inner voice and I get off track with what I know is best for my family. AP is about knowing your child(ren), being responsive and balance.

      • Mommy Psychologist says:

        Thanks, Deanna.

        • Deanna says:

          Dear Mommy Psychologist. “The idea that the average crying that infants engage in would result in brain damage if not immediately attended to is insulting to the children and babies who suffer actual real trauma.”

          I am not sure if you are replying to someone else’s comments, because I don’t know how this relates to my post. However I do a lot of research (including many different parenting styles). No where have I seen that AP promotes the idea that “the average crying babies engage in” results in brain damage. As you stated
          “In some of the “research” that AP advocates provide, they make references to the trauma brain that results from extended crying. ” The key word is “extended.” With advances in technology, we are learning more and more about the long term negative effect of stress on the brain and I don’t think anyone would argue that. And I don’t see how acknowledging that insults anyone. I don’t think creating a debate by laypersons on the continuum of levels of disability (engaging in conversation about who has “real” brain injury) is productive for anyone. In context, AP advocates address this issue (extended crying/stress effects on the brain) in response to the idea that parents should ignore their instincts to pick up and comfort their babies and just let them cry-it-out so they don’t spoil them. (I know of a few moms whose husbands actually physically held them down to prevent them from picking up their crying baby. One mom whose baby died that night from SIDS. I have personally received a great deal of pressure NOT to respond to or pick up my infant – I was told my infant was just trying to control me and I was spoiling him – that babies are suppose to cry – that it’s good for them.) Regarding the “average crying” that you referred to – even responding doesn’t eliminate that. I am responsive to my children – and even when I am responding – they sometimes still cry. But the key is that they are being comforted serving both a physical and an emotional need. These extreme comments about or attempting to ascribe to AP parenting style are not accurate, are devisive and only serve to be harmful to mothers who are practicing a parenting style that works for them. Breastfeed or not, for a extended time or a few months; sleep in the same bed, same room or separate rooms; carry in a sling, in your arms or a stroller; use cloth diapers or pampers or huggies or no diapers; feed store bought baby food or homemade or both; stay at home or daycare; preschool or home school… there are sooo many decisions that mother’s face. There is no one size fits all approach. The way I look at all groups or proclaimed parenting styles is that it is another option available – another useful tool for the parenting tool box. Let’s just support one another.

          • Mommy Psychologist says:

            I just noticed this here. I’m confused because I don’t know what post you are referring to or which comment you are referring to?? Is it from another post? Or did I comment on your site?

          • Meagan says:

            This is the comment she’s responding to:

            “Thanks, Deanna. The idea that the average crying that infants engage in would result in brain damage if not immediately attended to is insulting to the children and babies who suffer actual real trauma. In some of the “research” that AP advocates provide, they make references to the trauma brain that results from extended crying. I would like to point out that in order to create what we call in the field a “trauma brain” a child must suffer repeated, extensive, and intensive abuse over a considerable period of time. This is when the brain can become altered due to prolonged release of cortisol. And even when this horrific abuse occurs, sometimes the children still don’t develop a trauma brain because the brain has such a high degree of plasticity. I completely agree with you on your views about mothering. The best piece of advice I got was “just when you think you’ve got a routine down and now what you’re doing-everything will change.” This has certainly been true for me.”

            No idea where it went, but it was emailed to me because I’m subscribed to comments.

          • Mommy Psychologist says:

            Thanks, Meagan. That’s so weird. I don’t know how that happened. I realized I was addressing it to the wrong person (not you Deanna, my apologies), so I deleted it. Apparently, it was deleted by sent out to those who subscribe. Bizarro! Sorry Deanna, didn’t mean to do that.

  17. T. says:

    But did this woman thought about her kid? Really?

    I hope that by age the kid is in school (say, 8, 9… or, gods forbid, a teenager) this photo will be forgotten, or he will be on for a lot of bullying.

  18. Bel says:

    Thanks for posting this. I agree that this cover made it harder for me to breastfeed my 2.5 yo in public. He’s still very into nursing and never liked to be covered, so it can be really obvious at times. It’s not something I mind, but I really don’t want comparisons of that moment with my son to her defiant stance and the mommy wars. I get enough strange looks anyway.

    Re: nursing while standing… We’ve done it a few times. Mostly while cooking. My son loves to stand on the stool and help cook and he gets a little hungry while smelling all the food, so sometimes I need to nurse him while I cook. Very awkward, but at least the food doesn’t burn. :)

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Bel. Whoa- you are very talented:) I would burn the house down, I’m sure!

    • lyndsay o says:

      Now comes the question: Just what does the blogger “mind” about this photo/article/idea? What bothered her? What got her goat enough to write “we pile this on top of their plight”? What is “this” exactly? The fact that she is blonde? As you are, blogger? (You mentioned it in your article.) Just what bugged you (and your husband) SO badly?

      • Mommy Psychologist says:

        I thought I was fairly clear on what bothers me about the cover photo. As far as the articles inside the magazine, I think the articles do a great job in presenting attachment parenting.

    • Marisa says:

      Bel, I’ve been there. Nursing my 2.5 year old in public, uncovered. She never wanted to be covered. When I would get looks I would just look them in the eye and smile, sometimes waive. That usually made them move on.

      • Mommy Psychologist says:

        Marisa,
        Lol. My son HATED to be covered. So we just didn’t. And I got lots of looks even though he was quite a bit younger. What a good idea to wave!

  19. Woa. I take a couple days away from the computer to play outside in the beautiful spring weather and all hell breaks loose. As a blogger, tho, I’m glad you got so much traffic and thoughtful discussion!

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