Controversial 'Time' Breast Feeding Cover: Moms And Experts React

Fri, May 11, 2012 2:45pm EST by 72 Comments
Time Are You Mom Enough

Moms around the country have erupted over the controversial magazine cover. Do YOU think you should breast feed your kid until he’s nearly 4 years old in order for him to feel attached to you, or is it too much? Find out what moms and experts are saying!

When the explosive Time magazine cover of blogger Jamie Lynne Grumet nursing her nearly 4-year-old son Aram hit stands on May 10, it spurred intense debate all over the country. Is the idea behind “attachment parenting” too much?

More that 122,00 people responded a TODAY poll with 27 percent answering “It’s great”, and 73 percent saying “I don’t really want to see that.” Here are some expert reactions to the cover.

  • “It’s immediately shocking, and it’s meant to be shocking,” said Harvard sociologist Levey Friedman to New England Cable News.
  • “When you give a child the feeling that the whole world revolves around them, it’s not good training for the real world because the whole world doesn’t revolved around anybody,” said psychologist Robi Ludwig to the TODAY show on May 10.
  • “The idea of a mother breastfeeding a grown boy is both outlandish and disturbing, which is also a good way to characterize what Time magazine has become,” said Dan Gainor of the Cultured Media Institute said to Radar Online. “But people have to realize this is biologically normal. It’s not socially normal. The more people see it, the more it’ll become normal in our culture. That’s what I’m hoping.”
  • “We understand that Americans are uncomfortable with [the Time cover], but in cultures where babies wean themselves normally, usually somewhere around age 3 or 4, it is perfectly acceptable,” Bettina Forbes, co-founder of Best for Babes, a group dedicated to educating moms about breast feeding, to TMZ.

Time Magazine ‘Are You Mom Enough?’ — Are You CRAZY Enough?

What are YOUR thoughts HollyMoms? Check out Jamie’s video, and tell us what you think!

[RadarOnline.com]

– Lorraine Chow

More HollyBaby news:

  1. Time Magazine’s Breast Feeding Cover: Dane Cook & More Celebs React
  2. ‘Time’ Magazine Breast-Feeding Mom: Why I Did It — VIDEO
  3. Mom Breastfeeds Three-Year-Old Son On ‘Time’ Cover — Appropriate?

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Barbara

Posted at 5:22 PM on May 12, 2012  

This is the worst of parenting – in “societies” where the “cultural norm” is breastfeeding until this age, is a matter of need to keep a child fed – America is not in this (type) of society or cultural need, and in fact, Jamie Lynn, does not appear to me to be an impoverished mother in a third world country who cannot feed her child: this is about keeping a child fed, isn’t it? Otherwise, what is it? She has a slim body, and he’s a little chub – so, is this a weight loss system for her? Can she not bond in other, normal ways? Does she hate this boy…setting him up for really serious emotional, attachment issues? I’m pretty open minded and can usually see the side of another, but I have racked my brain and searched my heart to yield some kind of comprehension over this one, and I cannot, for the life of me, scrape up so much as a drop over this one.

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mary york

Posted at 4:28 PM on May 12, 2012  

Why don’t they put a picture of men and women going to the bathroom, Now thats healthy. I think this is in such bad taste. Somethings should be private and not for viewing Who in the world thought a child that old should stand on a chair and nurse. She isn’t even holding him like you would with a baby.

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Linda Perog

Posted at 2:52 PM on May 12, 2012  

This is disgusting and looks perverted. That kid looks about 32 years old. Is he her stepson?

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krystal

Posted at 12:33 PM on May 12, 2012  

Ok first of all breast feeding is normal and i dont have a problem with it! But the women are doing a huge disservice to there own children. I mean 4 years old and breast feeding? Come on, these women must have lost there minds! I mean theres not only the mental ramifications but the phsycial ones also! the sucking is going to affect there teeth! The kids at school are going to bully him so much its going to make the kid feel worthless and then we can just add him or her to the stats! and that is not right by any means!So these mothers need to use there heads a lil more and relize that this isnt all about them, which thats why they do it its so the child will always be close! These women need to grow up! O and i have a son and to be honest he’s 5 and he would even say something about the kid being wierd! Granted it would be to me probably! These women need to understand that u dont have to do this to be close with ur children! There are other ways to build on that bond you already have with your child or children!

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Sabrina

Posted at 11:39 AM on May 12, 2012  

It’s disgusting, and sick!, the child is simply too old. For me personally it’s so annoying that people keep saying how it’s wrong in the US, foreign countries, have to many lackadaisical
practices, and breastfeeding past the age of 1 YEAR OLD, is sick and insane. I think breastfeeding in general is beautiful and beneficial, however I agree with other posters who said, children can get nourishment other ways when their teeth come in. It’s sick and I feel sorry for this kid, he’s probably gonna be mentally screwed up. God forbid any kid pulls a copy of this ridiculous cover when he starts school, assuming he’s not already going, kids are gonna call him some sort of freak, and it’s his mother’s fault, not his. 1 year is more than long enough.

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MR

Posted at 12:52 PM on May 12, 2012  

And your caustic opinions are based on exactly what…? Oh, right, nothing. Just the way things are supposed to be, so says you. All this mother is saying is that this works for her and her child, even though it may not work for others. None of us really knows the perfect way to bring up a child. If this works for them and they want to share it, great! Clearly, Time did a great job at encapsulating a very interesting story in one shot. The more interesting social experiment is to watch people’s reactions and how intolerant many people are to anything that disrupts whatever story they have in their heads about the way things “should be.”

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lewwho

Posted at 8:46 AM on May 13, 2012  

Agreed….breastfeeding mothers have to make decisions as to what’s best for their children BUT keep it private. Do not express their decisions on a national magaizine cover therefore forcing it into the public forum. Breastfeeding mothers deserves respect but it starts with them. The way she did this was outright selfishness for her own gratification. She did not consider her son nor the future ramifications on him. She’s created some very diffcult challenges her child in his upcoming school years and for what….her own personal gain and as if that wasn’t enough, then claiming this was for all breast feeding mothers. I have no respect for this egocentric mother who thinks she’s in a position to speak for other breastfeeding mothers.

 
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QQJones

Posted at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2012  

The child is innocent but the mother is a narcissist, which is a disorder under the heading of psychopath. Breastfeeding in indigenous cultures may last until the child is 4 years of age. Breastfeeding is a natural act. But flashing your picture on Time Magazine is a shame for Time Magazine. It seems all media is intent on shocking to gain the attention of readers. Many parents sleep with their children until those children are fairly grown. Sometimes this happens because culturally this is normal. But, the earlier one can “wean” a child from the breast and from sleeping with the parents, the better. A child needs support in quieting themselves and learning they are never alone as we all carry wisdom within us we need to begin listening to as soon as possible.

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Stacey M.

Posted at 8:44 AM on May 12, 2012  

“Do you agree with the attachment parenting theory?” Your poll is biased and has no neutral option. I neither agree nor disagree. I do not think breastfeeding until four is so outlandish that “That’s too much!” Though I can’t imagine myself breastfeeding any future children that long. My daughter adamantly refused the breast by six months and I had to start pumping. She’s only 19 months now, and if she hadn’t fought me so hard would probably still be nursing. But I also do not agree that “it’s a way to develop a bond with your child!” Though if that’s the primary reason parents are still breastfeeding into the preschool years, okay? I just don’t believe that’s the case.

If it’s not the insistence to keep breastfeeding, it’s using a binky or sucking a thumb into the teen years. I carried a security blanket with me, secretly, in my backpack all the way up until high school. I still sleep with an extra wadded up sheet I like to hug in my sleep and bury my face in. Quite a few adults, as a recent study showed, in Britain, still sleep with teddy bears. I don’t see how extended breastfeeding is any different than that, though this boy’s peers are probably going to be more focused on the “dude that’s so awesome!” aspect that he’s got his mouth around a boob, because in our society breasts are still ridiculously sexualized.

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Cindy

Posted at 4:54 AM on May 12, 2012  

I think breast feeding is beneficial for both health & bonding reasons. If at all possible, I believe it’s best to let the baby wean him or her self. HOWEVER, this is ridiculous and it also appears to be more for the mother than for the child. This lady and those doctors are out of their minds! I’m not impressed with this ‘attachment parenting’ philosophy and think it sounds more harmful than anything else.

I have 3 & 4 year old grandsons & comparing their behavior with this boy–I see a BIG difference. That child is going to have issues…he already does. There’s so much to this & not enough time or space to type it all out…but no wonder kids today feel so entitled AND have emotional & social issues. I see comments with regards to the U.S. versus Europe. Hurray for the U.S. then….Europeans are an odd sort & family values are sure different. Definitely a whole different set of values & morals. They prefer 1, 2 at most children but when they have them–they treat them like morons…making morons out of them…just like this boy acts. My goodness…so much wrong with this whole thing….

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Taco

Posted at 6:09 PM on May 12, 2012  

Thanks for pissing off europe peeps, love you and God bless

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Laina

Posted at 2:46 AM on May 12, 2012  

I see nothing wrong with this. How could you even compare this to child pornography?? This is what’s wrong with the world, why is everything someone does that is not considered “normal” sick or perverted?? I didn’t know there was a rule book on breastfeeding your children. If it weren’t natural she wouldn’t still be producing it. Frankly I find her fortunate that she has been able to do it for this long, I stopped producing
after just a year. And for everyone talking
about stopping when children get teeth, um my baby got his first tooth at 3 months old. Are you telling me that I should have stopped then, that that was natures way of telling my infant baby to get off the “tit”?

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gup

Posted at 2:36 AM on May 12, 2012  

Breastfeeding is a natural thing. It is done to nourish a baby. However, as the child grows and becomes capable of eating a wide variety of foods, the mother’s milk is no longer needed to nourish the child. That is part of growing up the way nature intended it.

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Kelly

Posted at 12:59 AM on May 12, 2012  

Can we say CHILD PORNOGRAPHY???. Yuck…

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Taco

Posted at 6:10 PM on May 12, 2012  

if it is in your mind

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Me

Posted at 11:33 PM on May 11, 2012  

This is the sickest thing I have ever seen! I can’t believe a mother would do this to her child! This woman should be locked up! That poor little boy is going to have so many emotional problems. This is a woman who has mental issues and needs perfessional help!

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Elizabeth

Posted at 1:22 AM on May 12, 2012  

How is this sick?

I still breastfeed my son, and he is 4 years old now… there is nothing sick or “perverted” about it. Damn Americans think EVERYTHING is perverted these days.

It is nature. He is healthy, well-adjusted, extremely intelligent and happy.. what more could any mother want?

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K

Posted at 4:01 PM on May 15, 2012  

Can you not afford to buy the kid real food?

 
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Sue

Posted at 11:25 PM on May 11, 2012  

lol Lisa. Very strong statement. Seems like your view of the world is loaded with your own experiences. Seem a bit biased.

So according to your “nature’s way” argument, you probably think that procreation w/out the intention of having kids, is WRONG. since, women “naturally” ovulate and menstruate every month.

After all, it’s nature’s way of saying, “If you don’t plant it, get off it!”

In that case, you must of had never used birth control or are a virgin. :)

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Lynn

Posted at 11:17 PM on May 11, 2012  

There’s nothing wrong with breastfeeding a child. And only stopping when they are ready to do so.

People are too judgemental of one another. She loves her kid, period. And she is not hurting him, period.

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Lisa

Posted at 10:47 PM on May 11, 2012  

Um, what do they think TEETH are for? That’s nature’s way of saying get off the tit. These “attachment mothers” are doing it more for themselves than their children. They are pedophiles but in our culture, women can get away with it.

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Sue

Posted at 10:34 PM on May 11, 2012  

And I agree with some of the previous posters. In this culture and in this age, definitely the issues of breastfeeding is better left a private matter. In this case, the magazine are trying to rack up the controversy to rack up sales.

the original purpose of breasts are to nourish and nurture children. it’s comical that they’ve been so fetishized.

haha, “the typical american man, thinks breasts revolve around them.”

I’m just poking fun. Not all cultures have such a taboo against extended breastfeeding. Maybe they’ve come more to terms with the blurred edges of sexuality….

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Sue

Posted at 10:24 PM on May 11, 2012  

Every child is different. And this woman is trying to do the best that she can for her child. Some kids might be able to be weaned at 9 months and some kids might want to continue to nurse until 4 years. IT DEPENDS ON THE KID. We as parents need to more flexible. It does NOT damage the child, to do so. And in response to the woman in the MSN video, who said that extended breastfeeding causes the child to “think the world revolves around them”, is incorrect. Extended breastfeeding lets the child know that their mother considers it, their highest priority to attend to that child’s most BASIC need. Big difference between having one’s basic need for food/comfort/routine and thinking the “WORLD REVOLVES” around him.

And for the posters who likened cavities with extended breastfeeding, there is a huge difference and their is no relevant evidence to support that claim. Bottles are usually left in the child’s mouth for extended periods of time (and thus have extended contact with teeth), and contain most likely, formula. Formula which has been artificially flavored is indeed worse for developing teeth, then breastmilk. Again, entirely different and incorrect.

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kathy gc

Posted at 10:37 PM on May 11, 2012  

Wish all women thought the same way you do Sue!

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lily

Posted at 9:15 PM on May 11, 2012  

oo! this is become gross….ust for mother things.breastfeeding is the right first thing for newborn baby until 1 year it’s still ok…. acceptable.3 year??? his mother need help.this is weird behavior.

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gabe

Posted at 9:08 PM on May 11, 2012  

As a father of three children and a husband, I know that when my wife was pregnant and breast-feeding her body was devoted mainly to the children and their needs. I did not like knowing my infant children were sharing my wife’s breasts. As long as my wife was lactating I did not want to have anything to do with kissing her breasts, I Felt her breasts had other purposes at that time, Which I was perfectly okay with it was just a turnoff for me to treat them as sex objects to enhance our intimate relationships knowing that they had more important purposes.

I do feel it is important for women to breast-feed there are many psychological reasons benefits and health reasons for that however just like allowing your child to not be potty trained it is a parent’s duty to train them to be potty trained as well as to train them to eat other sources other than what their instincts when they were born.

Unfortunately the three-year-old doesn’t get to say what they would like to have happen to them and they’re doing only what they’ve been taught what they have learned and believe is the right thing for them. It is a parents duty and responsibility to educate and to make proper decisions and choices that profit their child socially and physically and have a natural balance.

If the mother is worried about the nutrients that their child is to be getting there are pumps for that and they are able to pump and still provide that milk for them if that was a decision that they made. I feel that it is very disturbing if the child is able to communicate and describe even draw what his mother’s breasts look like.

It is obvious that breast-feeding child for “intimate” purposes is clearly for the mother’s benefit and not for the child’s benefit. I remember intimate moments with me and my mom we’re not called intimate moments however was a bonding moment or comforting moment when I would be getting a hug or a kiss after I hurt myself.

What is depicted on the front of Time magazine by breast-feeding your child at such belated ages is clearly an intimate moment borderline pornography, And is obviously inappropriate if local news stations are having to blur it out of view of adults let alone this poor four-year-old who has to experience that regularly throughout the day.

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kathy gc

Posted at 10:42 PM on May 11, 2012  

What all of those comments say to me is that the general public is still in serious need of education about breastfeeding, its benefits to children, and what it is and isn’t.
Even men are weighing in!?!?

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Mel

Posted at 12:56 AM on May 12, 2012  

Benefits BABIES…there are other forms of food for CHILDREN to get their nutrients…that’s why they grow teeth.

 
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Julie

Posted at 6:38 PM on May 11, 2012  

Their is nothing wrong with breast feeding but this child is clearly to old for that and now the mother is profiting from it by being paid for the interviews she is recieveing so the real question is? Isn’t this child exploitation? She is using her child as a means now to profit off of. When was the last time you seen a mother walking around in a store with a 3 to 4 year old hanging from he breast. I am all for breast feeding but I believe people who do this are not creating security within the child but insecurity and detachment problems. At 3 or 4 I am sorry but your child is on table food and all pediatricians recommend weaning a child off a bottle by age 1 because it can cause teeth problems such as cavaties and buck teeth. This women wants attention so now she is getting it.Bravo.

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Think Like Ya Enemy

Posted at 5:21 PM on May 11, 2012  

Whats wrong with food? The kid lose all his teeth?

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Alyssa

Posted at 4:31 PM on May 11, 2012  

Isn’t this kid too old to be breast fed just saying!

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kathy gc

Posted at 10:35 PM on May 11, 2012  

Only in the US sadly

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k

Posted at 4:06 PM on May 15, 2012  

The reason mothers in those third world countries breastfeed so long is because there is a shortage of food or they simply cant afford it. Rme..

 
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gbtw

Posted at 4:05 PM on May 11, 2012  

also, i would like to comment on this concept that babies don’t wean themselves naturally until 3 or 4 years old. i don’t think that’s a widely accepted concept— there are plenty of experts who disagree. my daughter started weaning herself at about 9 or 10 months, and i have heard similar stories from many other moms. i don’t think my situation was unique!

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Shelly

Posted at 3:52 PM on May 11, 2012  

If a mom wants to breastfeed her child until the child can drive that’s her business but keep it PRIVATE. That pic on the cover is disturbing. Breastfeeding is an intimate moment between a mother and child, not a mother, a child and the rest of the world.

It does not sound like this is really about breasfeeding in general but more like this organization wants approval from Americans or want more Americans to get into this “attachment parenting” thing.

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gbtw

Posted at 4:01 PM on May 11, 2012  

thank you for articulating why i don’t like this cover. i mean, i fed my baby out in public, eventually- but using a cover and being discrete, and it took me some time to be comfortable with that (didn’t do it for a long time, nor all the time). but, with a baby it’s different. they aren’t getting solids and when they are hungry they really need to eat immediately. you can’t stay imprisoned in your house frightful for the moment you get caught outside and your baby starts wailing b/c it’s starving. but, with a child that age- it’s not about nourishment, really, it’s about attachment and wanting to feel close and safe with mom. that’s okay/fine/good, but i do think that’s an intimate moment that isn’t appropriately flashed on a magazine cover for sensationalism. i don’t know… i mean, i can’t imagine nursing my child that long, but, i don’t really judge it. i do think it is an intimate moment between mother and child, not to be cheapened by a magazine cover.

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June

Posted at 2:33 PM on May 11, 2012  

Who cares? Goodness! Moms need to stop judging other moms and start supporting them! Did people forget that as women one of our greatest gifts is to nourish our children with our own bodies?!?!? It is not a big deal and I find myself envious of women who have the ability to breast feed for so long. Get over it.

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Kelsi

Posted at 8:51 PM on May 11, 2012  

Yes, one of our gifts is to nourish our children with our bodies…but 3-4 years old?!? No way! Children grow teeth to eat food with…if we as women were supposed to be breastfeeding until our children are that old than God wouldn’t have our children growing teeth at 1 year….

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kathy gc

Posted at 10:32 PM on May 11, 2012  

Thank you June!!! I’m frankly amazing at the number of women who have a problem with this.

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krystal

Posted at 12:42 PM on May 12, 2012  

You my be right as far as nourishing our own children but at ages 3 and 4, thats no longer about the child its about the mother!She wants her child close to her and thats fine but come these women need to pull thier heads out of there butts and relize the damage there doing to thier children! These kids WILL get bullied and these mothers are to blame!!! so really, look long term not just the moment!And besides theres other ways to be close with ur children!

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Amanda

Posted at 8:07 AM on May 15, 2012  

And by the way, breastmilk contains longstrain proteins that aid brain development that you won’t find in cow’s milk. so yeah, it DOES make children smarter. and in case you haven’t been taught basic biology, cow’s are pretty big animals with pretty small brains?? that’s because their mothers milk is designed to grow their bodies, not their brains. so in effect, you and i were given a substance that made us fat babies who didn’t reach their full mental potential. i deeply resent my mother for not breastfeeding me and giving me a better start in life.

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@amanda

Posted at 4:11 PM on May 15, 2012  

You are pathetic. You resent your mom for not breastfeeding you?? What is wrong with u???,!!

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