Mom Breastfeeding her 3-Year-Old Son on Time Magazine Cover

Have you seen the cover of Time magazine this week?   It has a picture of a mom, Jamie Lynne Grumet, breastfeeding her three-year-old son for the cover story on attachment parenting called “Are You Mom Enough? Why Attachment Parenting Drives Some Mothers to Extremes–and How Dr. Bill Sears became their Guru.” There are other pictures of mamas nursing in the magazine, too, and you can see the cover photo and some of the other pictures here: Behind the Cover: Are You Mom Enough?.

As a mom who breastfed all four of her children when they were older and who is an advocate of attachment parenting, I definitely want to buy a copy of the magazine so I can read the articles in it. I saw on an article about Kroger Pulling Time Magazine From Registers. She wrote:

It appears that Kroger’s corporate office made the decision to pull the issue from the front registers. Kroger stores nationwide have removed the issue at least from their registers, if not entirely from their stores.

I was planning on buying it at Fred Meyer (owned by Kroger) and so I called to see if our local Fred Meyer has it. An employee looked for me, and I was disappointed when she said she couldn’t find it. :-/ I hope that doesn’t mean that they aren’t carrying it.

I think it’s amazing and good that breastfeeding an older child is being discussed. I don’t know what the articles in the magazine say, but the fact that the topic has been brought to light in the public eye provides a great opportunity because the only way it will become the norm in this country is if people become more educated about it and see how normal and good it is. I am saddened by thoughts expressed that make fun of it, call it gross or inappropriate. Those who write such comments show that they do not know much about it and do not understand it. Breastfeeding an older child is the norm worldwide. Also, we can see it in the Bible as well — read the story of Samuel. Just because we don’t commonly see it here in the USA doesn’t mean it’s strange or extreme. One of the moms who took part in the photoshoot has a blog called Code Name: Mama, and she wrote an article about it called TIME Magazine Cover: Extended Breastfeeding Does Not Equal Extreme. I love how she explained why her son (age four) still nurses. She wrote:

So you see, nursing past infancy simply does not feel extreme to us. Why does my son still nurse?

He nurses because I am his warm, safe place.

I found that to be true as well. Each of my children weaned at a different age. My first daughter was still nursing (but nursing less and less) at age four, my second child nursed until he was two and a half, my third child weaned sometime after her third birthday, and my fourth child nursed until he was five and a half (he just nursed at bedtime by then). It never felt extreme, and I didn’t feel like I was better than any other mother.  My children got older one day at a time, and if the day before they weren’t “too old” to nurse, why would they be too old the next day? I wanted to meet each of my children’s unique needs. It continued to provide good health benefits but also it provided emotional nourishment and helped meet their needs for security and love. Nursing them as they grew older until their nursing needs were met and their time of full weaning from the breast was reached was natural and good and beautiful.

nursing my first child

nursing my first child

ETA: 5/13/2012 We went to Barnes and Noble today (Sunday) to see if they had this magazine. We couldn’t find it, so we asked a cashier. He said they hadn’t gotten it yet, but that it should be there tomorrow.

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