By now I think everyone has seen this cover and is aware of the controversy surrounding it. When I first saw it I was taken aback. My initial thought was it looked disgusting and highly inappropriate. I think that was the sentiment shared by many people as well. Without reading the article I can not honestly speak to the substance of the article. I do know that the picture relates to the story of moms who breast feed and are participants in what is called attachment parenting. Luckily today I was able to watch Anderson Cooper's talk show in which his guests were the woman featured on the cover and Mayim Bialik, Ph.D.
Mayim, who will forever be Blossom to me; (yall remember that show Blossom with Joey who always said 'Whoa" in the coolest way with the coolest hair. I got my love for hats from her. True story), received her Ph.D in neuroscience and is a proponent of attachment parenting. She wrote a book entitled Beyond the Sling which is about the style of parenting that encourages attachment parenting techniques.
As a pregnant person, you can imagine that I found this segment to be particularly interesting. Hate it or Love it, I never heard of it before and I found the show to be informative. My limited understanding of attachment parenting is that it encourages mothers to breastfeed their children well into toddler hood, allowing them to ween themselves, as well as co-sleeping with the children and allowing the marital bed to become a family bed. These things are believed to help children in the long run. More accurate information can be found at Attachment Parenting International.
Obviously there are many people that disagree with this style. Even those that breastfeed. I plan to and hope to breast feed my baby. There are so many health benefits! Breast milk is full of protein and antibodies that help the baby well into adulthood. The powerhouse that is breast milk has been linked to a decrease in childhood cancers, SIDs, and obesity. It is also linked to a decrease in all female cancers for the mom. My first priority as a parent is to ensure the health and wellness of my child. So I can certainly agree with that. I tend to disagree when it comes to breastfeeding a 3 year old. I am not knocking those who do, but something about that seems a little odd. I think this TIME cover picture conveyed that message. It's an odd picture. The child looks much older than 3 years old, though his mother said he is indeed 3. I do think TIME intentionally used that picture to sensationalize the issue. Which is good and bad. When I was younger there seemed to be a stigma around breastfeeding which seems absurd now. Everything appears to be moving back toward to natural methods of child birth and breast feeding.
I can understand both sides of the argument. Anderson had a guest host today Rebecca Romijn, and I felt she made some equally good points as far as saying she has a duty to maintain her sex life with her husband and to teach her children that mommy and daddy have a relationship too. She also said that she did nurse her children and they are allowed to sleep in the bed, however they must start out in their own beds first. I thought her points were reasonable and in line with my ideas of parenting. I do think there are some things I can gain from delving more into attachment parenting and seeing what it's all about. The one thing I know for sure is that I will NOT nurse a 3 year old!
What do you think?