Time Cover Of Breastfeeding Boy

When I saw the new issue of Time Magazine, my first thought was – “Hey! That could have been me!”
nursing a 3 year old
I’m just glad I wasn’t asked to pose for this cover, as I’m not sure if I would have done it.

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?

3 thoughts on “Time Cover Of Breastfeeding Boy”

  1. I dunno, my brothers and I were breastfed until age 4 and beyond and none of us mind nursing pics of us being shown. I think maybe, just maybe, it will be accepted enough by the time he is old enough to care. I think it’s getting more and more accepted as time goes on. It has to be, when the breastfeeding rates are steadily rising and are the highest they have been since the formula boom. But personally, I doubt I would have done it either, I am just a more private person. I don’t want myself or my kids on Time Magazine at all.

  2. Thanks for the insight camille- i hope you’re right! It’s so interesting to me how much press this has received. I like the conversations it has started!

  3. I saw that woman on the Today Show and the whole
    thing made me sad for her son. I got the feeling that she was doing this for her own publicity, as opposed to drawing attention to the importance of breastfeeding. Not to mention that I suspect no mom of a nursing three year old would nurse them standing up. I have a lot of thoughts about that cover – including the language. “Are you Mom
    enough?” is just baiting Moms to judge one another, which there’s already too much of in the media anyway, re: stay at home, working moms, parenting techniques, etc. I surprised myself with how passionate I was about nursing my boys. I chose to follow my pediatrician’s advice of stopping just after a year. The best decision for me was to follow the advice of one person I trusted instead of getting overwhelmed by all of the advice out there in support or
    against that decision. There’s so much guilt involved in motherhood and it bothers me when something as personal as breastfeeding is turned into some kind of competition by a magazine. Having spent my career to-date in the media, I understand why they decided on that cover. Sadly, it always comes down to sensationalism and what will sell. As you pointed out, it does get people talking about nursing and that’s important.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *