Time cover mom defends breastfeeding

2012-05-11 20:30

New York - An American mother shown breastfeeding her 3-year-old son on a controversial cover of Time magazine that has sparked a national debate about attachment parenting defended the practice on Friday, saying it was a personal choice.

Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old mother from Los Angeles who herself was breastfed until she was six, said extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting has benefited her family.

"I don't feel like it takes away from my personal life. My relationship with my husband is very, very important to me. It gives my children a strong bond too," she told the "Today" morning program.

The provocative photo of Grumet feeding her toddler son Aram who is standing on a baby chair to reach her exposed breast has caused a media uproar.

In a Today poll of 122 000 people who were asked what they thought of the cover, 27% said it was great but 73% said they really didn't want to see it.

Attachment parenting involves prolonged physical bonding with a child through extended breastfeeding, carrying and sleeping with the baby as well as responding to the infant's cries.

The phrase was coined by Dr Bill Sears, a 72-year-old paediatrician who wrote The Baby Book. Critics of attachment parenting say it takes motherhood to the extreme and is not good for the child.

But Sears denied it is harmful and said the style of parenting produces a happy, healthy, well-connected baby.

"I've never yet seen an attachment parenting baby who has become a school bully," he told the Today show.

Grumet, who also has a five-year-old child, said she knew the breastfeeding Time cover would create a media craze.

"It is a big commitment and it is not right for everyone. You need to do what is best for your baby and for your own family," she said.

Grumet added that she hoped her son's fourth year will be his last breastfeeding.

  • Squeegee - 2012-05-11 20:41

    Photo gives me the creeps - the child looks older than three.

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-05-11 21:06

    Iyoh! Given how I can remember certain things from when I was 3, I sure am glad my mother had long weaned me by then. I sure wouldnt want to remember THAT... especially considering how I perceive breasts now.

      eugene.scheepers.7 - 2012-05-12 05:27

      I don't think there anything wrong with that. I still breastfeed..........

      J.C. Erasmus - 2012-05-12 08:38

      @veritas. Maybe you should consider doing research before you comment. If someone decides to breastfeed their child for an extended period of time, they aren't forcing their child to drink from the breast, it is the child who continues to ask. As a child learns to eat solid foods and is introduced to other liquids,he will slowly wean himself. So you will rarely have a situation where a child will feel strange about continued breastfeeding. And obviously your perception of breasts has changed because you went through puberty...hopefully.

      veritas.odium.paret - 2012-05-12 12:22

      JC.Erasmus, All I said is that I'm glad I was weaned before 3 because I can remember things from then and hence, I THINK it would be kinda wierd NOW (given my 'dirty' mind) remembering suckling from my mother (and for your information, I was weaned earlier because my mom had another child 2 months after my 2nd birthday). I said nothing about kids being forced to breastfeed/wean. Or children finding it strange.

  • Leon - 2012-05-11 21:52

    We have a lady with 4 children who breastfeeds her children up to 6 years old. She She has a Cacium deficiency and a over production of Potassium. She also contracted severe osteoperosis due to the late breastfeeding. Is it worth-it?

  • J.C. Erasmus - 2012-05-12 08:25

    @leon. You cant contract osteoporosis, it is a condition of lifestyle and genetics. I'm pretty sure that no one can develop a calcium deficiency as a result of breastfeeding, why on earth then would it be natural to breastfeed. African mothers breastfeed their babies up to the age of 6 years and their rates of osteoporosis are lower than western countries.

      Jimmy - 2012-05-12 17:59

      just to correct you there, unless a breastfeeding mother increases her intake of calcium-rich foods or takes calcium supplements, she does run a signficant risk of a calcium deficiency. Medical fact proven by science.

  • Garth - 2012-05-12 10:10

    Its probably the mother transferring her fear of abandonment onto the child!

  • fishycraig - 2012-05-12 10:43

    As a model you have to wonder how much of this is just plain old narcissism. It is a sensitive matter and to drag a 3 year old into the fray reeks of exploitation. In a few years time do you think this boy is going to escape the teasing of other children? Everyone is free to do what they want but I am sorry, to drag your child out into the public arena to prove something (not sure what) about yourself is wrong.

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