In fact I know I wouldn’t have.
I love it. And I don’t love it.
Even though I know it’s meant for shock value and will cause an insane media firestorm, I’ll take it. Anytime the public sees a picture of a mother breastfeeding her child, it becomes more normal, less shocking.
I recently heard a popular, late night, shock loving, WOMAN talk show host say, “If you’re kid is old enough to ask for it, it’s time to stop.” Oh how original.
I haven’t read the article and I am presuming it doesn’t paint attachment parenting in the best light, especially considering this image has nothing to do with attachment parenting. But I love that attention is brought to breastfeeding a child beyond infancy.
I have friends and family who continue to nurse into the third and fourth year, and they are not hippies living on a commune. But you wouldn’t know who they are- we don’t see them, and they don’t talk about it. The kids usually don’t ask to nurse in public, and the whole scenario is a bit taboo. Maybe with this conversation starting, it will become less so.
And my hope is that the public will see this and then be less shocked when they see a nursing baby, as the pendulum swings.
I recently had two separate encounters where women made me feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding my baby. And as publicly outspoken about the benefits of breastfeeding as I am, I always use a nursing cover and am as discreet about it as I can be. This is the world we live in, and even though I have to see barely covered breasts on the covers of magazines in the checkout line at the supermarket, people are uncomfortable watching a mother use breasts to feed a baby. Whatever.
But I don’t love this cover shot, because the truth is we still live in a country where it is not the norm to nurse past 6 months (only 23 percent of moms are still nursing beyond this age), and that three year old boy had no say in the photo. He has privacy rights too, which is the very reason I never show photos with my kids faces in any of my articles.
I’m pretty sure that boy will resent his mother for a long time. Especially when he goes to middle school.
What do you think?