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May 10th, 2012
04:37 PM ET

Breast-feeding: Too much of a good thing?

It's hard to avoid staring at the cover of Time Magazine this week. If you're on social media like Twitter and Facebook, the widely shared image may have arrived on your screen before you ever saw it in the supermarket.

The provocative cover shows Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old mother from Los Angeles, breast-feeding her son. This isn't your typical mom-and-baby shot: Grumet's son is 3. In case you were wondering, Grumet told CNN's Erin Burnett that her son is actually breast-feeding in that now-iconic image.

Grumet said her own mother breast-fed her until age 6, and Grumet still remembers it. "I'm proud of her," Grumet said.

The picture promotes an article about the growing popularity of "attachment parenting", a theory first advocated by Dr. Bill Sears and his wife, Martha, in their 1992 best-selling guide “The Baby Book.”

The Searses argue that co-sleeping, “baby wearing” (where the baby is attached to the parent with a sling) and extended breast-feeding will help parents respond better to the individual needs of their babies.

Celebrities such as Mayim Bialik of "The Big Bang Theory" are also promoting ideas about attachment parenting. Bialik said on Friday that she still breast-feeds her 3-year-old son. "He's not done breast-feeding, and I'm not ready to tell him not to," she said.

Many moms and dads have strong opinions about these practices, especially the breast-feeding advice.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be breast-fed exclusively for the first six months of their lives.

"We don't all nurse older kids," Bialik said of mothers who subscribe to attachment parenting ideas. "But the notion that a child's voice matters, that every child is different, that's the basis of attachment parenting."

Heather Curtis, wife of Fark.com founder Drew Curtis, told CNN's Geek Out that she practiced breast-feeding for an extended period, carried her babies in slings and practiced co-sleeping, as Bialik did. So did Caryn Rogers, a science writer for the Preeclampsia Foundation.

"I didn't really choose to eschew conventional care so much as chose to get what I believed was the most evidence-based care," Rogers said.

Grumet said that sleeping with her baby does not affect intimacy with her husband.

Watch: Breast-feeding cover-mom defends pose

"I think intimacy is extremely important in a marriage and I think a strong marriage is going to be a great foundation to show your children how to be raised confident and happy and I had that with my family, too," she said.

Time: Extended breast-feeding is more common than we think

CNN.com readers expressed mixed views on the subjects of the best age to stop breast-feeding and the appropriateness of the Time cover in general. See what they said.

We want to know what you think.  Is it OK to breast-feed well past toddler-hood, or is it too much of a good thing?


soundoff (2,707 Responses)
  1. Betty Cox

    WIC chooses to cut kids off formula at 1 year of age. Most moms have their babies weaned from the bottle at 1 year which I feel is too early but that is what they do. Now that photo looks stupid and like someone that likes a lot of attention. If he is big enough to stand there and suck then he is big enough to drink out of a cup. Does he still dirty his diaper. This is the same mom that probably is upset that he is not potty trained by 1 year old. Disgusting and I am all for breastfeeding but lets use some common sense.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jo Ann RNC, MSN, IBCLC, PNP

      Addendum: We are all taught in lactation ,following "Infant Feeding Practices and Growth" by Katherine A. Dettwyler and Claudia Fishman, Annual Review of Anthropology, 1992, volume 21, pages 171-204." That as with the apes, humans naturally wean from the breast when their adult teeth come in. That is between 4-6 years. Also in those years after solids are introduced the breastfeeding is for token feeds, nap time etc. It does not reflect the total nutrition for the child. I use that as my own barometer to measure if this was becoming an addiction to the act vs the actual need for the baby. Most people who respond here are doing the right thing. I have met many who are not. The recommendations are exactly what they are based upon research those children who breast feed benefit from a healthier life then those who don't. But, also breastmilk from a bottle=to breastmilk from the breast.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • Mary Frances D. Pate, DSN, RN

      Agree, once teeth come in, it is nature's way of weaning children to solid food.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Does it really matter? Does it affect your life? Quit judging people.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • RusTnuts

      Give him a few more years mom and maybe you guys can trade places and he can return the favor sick B. Get some help Jamie before you harm the child beyond repair.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • Sharon H

      Here's the thing, if the child has teeth and is also potty trained , pump the milk and put it in a bottle. For goodness sake, buy the kid a cow or a goat! Borderline incest.... you think!?

      May 11, 2012 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
  2. PokingBears

    This woman is doing far more harm then good, and I am not talking about her children. She is really presenting all nursing in a bad light. I really don't care how you rear you children, there are thousands of methods that work. Keep it in your home because the last thing I ever want to hear is how your method "works". I don't care, I really don't, I will raise my kids, you raise yours. We can agree, we can agree to disagree, but seriously, starting a "discussion" over something as asinine as this just leads to good old CNN commenter backlash. Besides that picture does not good for her, and will only serve as Bully fodder when her son hits highschool. You are a very selfish woman that sold out and sold your son to TIME and CNN. Well done.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Curious

      Why not just buy him some Nesquik?

      May 11, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
  3. Stephen

    Our daughter, now 25, was breastfed for two years and nine months. We traveled a lot in those days, and this certainly helped, especially on flights, of which we took an inordinate amount, as well as nighttime. After one year or so, my wife and I decided to attempt to let her decide when to ease off and end. She obviously ate all the other foods in the world when it was appropriate, but, guess what, she DID decide to end it, with hardly any prompting from mom or dad. Now, whether or not anyone could find any direct correlation between this and the beautiful and super intelligent person who now lives – who knows. We believe it does, simply as we ALL now have an extremely close relationship, and she is as healthy as can be. The photo is only going to bring out the pervert in many others, certainly not in those pictured. Good work.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MsAledella

      Well said. I remember my friends complaining about the nonsensical fits their toddlers would throw - you know the ones where they're overtired and cranky but won't even sleep and nothing gets them to stop crying. They would ask how I dealt with them and I'd tell them I just pop her on the breast, of course! It's an instant reset button and every woman who extended breastfeeds is fortunate to have this "secret" weapon!

      May 11, 2012 at 14:20 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Our daughter also stopped bottle feeding on her own terms (we never had the option to breast feed), in spite of what our doctor told us to do; likewise, we never forced potty training. Our daughter is nowhere near as old or capable as yours, Stephen (ours is still 5), but she is kind, caring, and at least two years ahead in scholastic ability. Like your daughter, ours does not seem to have been harmed by the experience - quite the opposite.

      I say, whenever practical, let the kid choose the timetable.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
  4. Mommie Zombie

    Sad, psych cult

    May 11, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      What is? The belief that early weaning isn't best for all children? Or the rote timetable that many parents follow, regardless of the needs of the infant?

      May 11, 2012 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
  5. Jackie

    I personally wouldn't want to breastfeed my child when my child is old enough to have memories of it when he/she gets older (particularly for a boy), but as long as other people are taking care of their children, I say mind your own business (although you should try to limit how much of it you do in public, particularly as your child gets older and doesn't need round-the-clock feedings).

    May 11, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MsAledella

      Yeah it would be just terrible if your son grew up thinking that breasts were for nurturing human life.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Well said, Jackie!

      May 11, 2012 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
  6. vinme

    awesome!! where can I find that mom??

    May 11, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobster

      i agree.. i was breast feeding at 32 after my wife had our third child!

      May 11, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
  7. Whipped Cream

    Why doesn't her husband have a say in the way his boy is being raised?

    May 11, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Curious

      He took the picture...

      May 11, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      The dad is waiting his turn?

      May 11, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  8. Prdparent

    Breastfeeding at THREE YEARS OLD is CREEPY, period. Mothers who feel the need to infantize thier toddlers for their own personal needs are a bit selfish – what happens to the kid on the magazine when he's 15 and his "friends" find out about it?

    May 11, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • duh

      When Junior here is being bullied at 15 because a schoolmate finds this picture, then his mom will contact the media about how her son is being bullied.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Why would you even care? Does how someone else chooses to feed their child affect your life? Quit judging people. Live your own life.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      When he is 15, the magazine will be 12 years old. No 15 year old is even aware that news goes that far back.

      And if they find it, how is it worse than them finding the baby picture with the stupid hat, or the one on the potty?

      May 11, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
    • Google

      15 year olds no how to google. They will easily find this in 12 year.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
  9. suck it

    very nice!!!!

    May 11, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. mparr22

    Is it bad that I don't want my wife to breastfeed because it makes her boobs sag?

    May 11, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      don't brestfeed after 60.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      breastfeeding doesn't make your boobs sag, getting pregnant and having a baby and getting older makes your boobs sag.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
  11. lunchbreaker

    Maybe she will stop when he's tall enough to not need a chair.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MsAledella

      Now THAT is funny.

      Even if I am pro-super-extended breastfeeding, which I am.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
  12. Sarah

    Everybody who is aghast at "extended" breastfeeding is blowing this issue way out of proportion. My daughter is three, and she still comfort nurses. She doesn't rely on it for nutrition, but when she's upset or had a nightmare, she still wants to feel close to her mommy. I don't see the harm. Breastfeeding well into the toddler years is common the world over, and my family doesn't think anything of a three-year-old still "snuggling" when she's upset.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Curious

      snuggling? You can call a dog's tail a leg...but it's still a tail...

      May 11, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
    • MsAledella

      Good for you! We're still nursing here at 4.5 YO. If you nurse past 3, there is a strong possibility they will nurse until 5 if you let them decide when to wean. Not sure if you know that. My lil one says she is nursing until she is 6 - not while she is six, she says, but while she is five and when she's six she'll stop. These little nursers are just about the most rational creatures you can meet. Hope you enjoy your adventure!

      May 11, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Once they start attending school, I bet the desire to nurse dissipates rapidly as they begin the social shift from parents to peers.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
    • grace

      And when they are in preschool or kindergarten and need comfort............are they going to ask for mommy's breast? I get the comfort nursing (I nursed too0 but past 3? How about a hug or a snuggle, doesn't need to suck on mom's breast. I'm sorry, that's just gross.

      May 11, 2012 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
  13. ziggychk

    To each his own. I honestly could care less what people decided to do as long as they don't preach to me about it. Everyone should be allowed to make their own decision on how best to raise their kids. However, the Times picture was intended to be inflammatory, and I question the mother's judgement for allowing this. It's like she knew this would stir up controversy and she decided to put her and her kid at the center of it.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • scots

      The correct response would have been, "you couldn't care less."

      http://www.alyssonfergison.com/couldnt-care-less-or-could-care-less/

      May 11, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      scots: "I could care less" is a figure of speech, not a literal statement. In this case, the figure of speech means the exact opposite of what the words imply - much like sarcasm functions. Thus ziggychk is correct in using that phrase; your phrase choice would also be correct.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
  14. Jack

    look at her figure. she probably just does it to burn calories.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. saopaco

    II am male, so I am not part of the group of people who breastfeed. I dunno when breastfeeding should stop, but at what point should society look down on continued breastfeeding? It is a natural, nonsexual thing- I get that. I don't care if women do it in public (a blanket is nice) but, how old can the kid be and still breastfeed? Will the woman in the photo still be doing it when the kid is 12?

    At some point society needs to let mom know that what she is doing is not normal and could impact the kid's mental health. What is that point?

    May 11, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. frank

    that breast IS NOT a breastfeeding breast..it has no milk!!!!!! ridiculous

    May 11, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kay

      No Frank – it's not ridiculous. Why do you even care? Is it affecting your life? Live your life without judgement. Let other people do what they choose. Life is so much better when people quit judging others.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  17. MsAledella

    I just showed this picture to my 4.5 year old (still nurses once before bedtime). Here is our conversation:

    Me: Look at this little boy nursing. He looks like he's your age, doesn't he?
    Child: Yeah, ha ha haa haaa!
    Me: What's so funny?
    Child: He's standing on a chair!
    Me: Yeah that's kind of funny. How do you like to nurse?
    Child: In the chair.
    Me: Why?
    Child: Because it's relaxing!

    Just thought I'd share. I'm sure the naysayers will say their "neigh" but you pro-nursers will enjoy it!

    May 11, 2012 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Courtney

      Love it! I didn't nurse that long, but I loved it while I did it. I don't understand why people care. I nursed till my son was 17 mos. or so, yeah he could talk, and walk, so what? It really isn't anyone's business, it's natural, he'll let go when he's ready. There are so many things in life we learn we have no control over, childhood is so brief. I think it's very comforting to a child to know they have such access and closeness to their parent. Brava to all the moms who are able to and choose to breastfeed, no matter the lenghth of time.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  18. JMH

    I am definitely not opinionated regarding this matter, but I think as humans (regarding this matter and many others) we often need to take clues from other beings in the animal kingdom. In considering some issues, we often think and try to reason far too much. Other animals/mammals function based upon instincts, etc. Maybe in some way, their behaviors regarding matters such as breastfeeding should serve to inform our behaviors. All my life I have raised dogs, livestock, etc. In every case the mother animal has exhibited behaviors at a certain time in the maturity of her offspring that results in the baby being encouraged to stop feeding from the mother. Now for humans, the issue is the correlation of human maturity verses the maturity of other mamamals. However, it has always seemed pretty clear that when the offspring could begin to eat on its own and nourish itself with other foods provided for it, the mother began to withdraw breast feeding. Just a though!

    May 11, 2012 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WhatNow

      It's not just a thought, it's biology. It is difficult to continue to reproduce if you are nursing several children at one time.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • drinker75

      i tend to agree. I know all babies are different but both mine self weaned at 10 months and 12 months. I didn't do anything to encourage it but watched their cues. I have a hard time believing Mom isn't encouraging her child when extended breastfeeding is involved.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • Changer

      You should think about it in dog years then and then realize how long they are actually feeding for, just saying.

      Primates often nurse up to 6 times the gestational period, in human years that is ~4.5 years.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
  19. Al B.

    The best recommendation is to always have the babies call the shots. My nephews really didn't care for it no matter how much my sister tried. My daughter stopped at 3 yrs.

    People also have a misconception about the breastfeeding relationship. During the toddler years, it's more comfort & mommy time. Children nurse to sleep (as opposed to the bed time bottle) & when they've hurt themselves. Naturally, whatever breast milk they're receiving at that age continues to strengthen their immune system.

    As always with such articles, it remains incomplete since the author chooses to obtain a quote from the AAP. The best source for breastfeeding info - bar none - is La Leche League, Intl.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. M

    Did Time really need to have this on the cover? Sales must be down.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JimTheo

      Sales are WAY down for all printed magazines. They need whatever free advertising they can get.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
  21. Wanda

    I nursed my two kids until they were about 3. It was a wonderful bonding experience. When my first one was born, I thought I would stop when she was about 1 year old. However, when she was 1, she was not ready to stop at all, so I kept going. It ended when my children were ready. Some people here are saying that the moms probably have a hard time stopping the nursing, but I can tell you that this wasn't the case with me. When they were done, I was absolutely done. 🙂 It was great to have been able to give my children what they needed, but I was also happy to have my body back and say goodbye to the wonderful experience.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Jo de

    To me the issue isn't how long to breastfeed or not, it's the deliberately provocative (yes, I know the purpose is to sell a magazine) nature of the cover photo. The tank top pulled down, bra-less, seems unnecessarily challenging. Being a mother is a really tough job. Everything you do is about helping your children mature into independent, terrific adults. I just wonder how Jamie's son is going to feel about this photo a decade from now...

    May 11, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. ValenzMom

    Time Magazine was trying to sell magazines for Mother's Day. This is what they went with. This is what they were hoping for. This controversy is as old as time itself (no pun intended).

    May 11, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mylie28

    What poor journalism to use a child in this way. Another poor decision by Time. Valid issues regarding breastfeeding can be discussed, using lots of photos without harm to the child. It seems to me, this photo with mom dressing provocatively was likely meant to stir some prurient interest just to sell your magazine. Sorry, kid, your mom is a sad defender for breastfeeding, or for you.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • K8VJ

      I completely agree with you. Breastfeeding is a wonderful and healthy way to feed/comfort your kids, if it works for you. The problem I have is the 3-year old staring down the camera. He has no idea what is going on. He's breastfeeding – fine. But I just get a sick feeling when I think of this sweet boy, unaware of the adults' motivations around him, doing what he normally does – not realizing that a nation will soon be honing in on him, his mother, and their family's decisions. I can't believe Time would allow this. Shame on the grown-ups for putting your stupid money and profits ahead of this child. Shame on you.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
  25. Sureyya Tuncel

    It is perfectly normal to breastfeed well past toddlerhood. Here is a perfect article that explains why:

    http://www.llli.org/ba/aug94.html

    A Time to Wean
    Katherine A. Dettwyler, PhD Department of Anthropology Texas A & M University College Station Texas
    from Breastfeeding Abstracts, August 1994, Volume 14, Number 1, pp. 3-4.

    I would like to quote from that article:
    "Like all mammals, humans have mammary glands that function to nurture their offspring. Within the class Mammalia, humans are members of the order Primates, and have the basic primate pattern of breastfeeding and weaning activity that has been molded by more than 65 million years of natural selection to ensure the best possible survival rate of primate offspring. This basic pattern is assumed to be primarily genetically based. In addition, a number of life-history variables are also associated with age at weaning in the non-human primates. What do these variables suggest about the "natural" age of weaning in humans?"

    "Our evolutionary past has produced an organism that relies on breastfeeding to p"rovide the context for physical, cognitive, and emotional development. The human primate data suggest that human children are designed to receive all of the benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding for an absolute minimum of two and a half years, and an apparent upper limit of around 7 years. Natural selection has favored those infants with a strong, genetically coded blueprint that programs them to expect nursing to continue for a number of years after birth and results in the urge to suckle remaining strong for this entire period. Many societies today are able to meet a child's nutritional needs with modified adult foods after the age of three or four years. Western, industrialized societies can compensate for some (but not all) of the immunological benefits of breastfeeding with antibiotics, vaccines and improved sanitation. But the physical, cognitive, and emotional needs of the young child persist. Health care professionals, parents, and the general public should be made aware that somewhere between three and seven years may be a reasonable and appropriate age of weaning for humans, however uncommon it may be in the United States to nurse an infant through toddlerhood and beyond."

    May 11, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Jenn

    As a mom who breastfed her 4 children.. most of them well into toddlerhood, I find this picture to be in bad taste. It was chosen to incite a fight. It doesn't depict what a real breastfeeding woman looks like. Just because I nursed my 3 year old doesn't make me a militant or weird. And I certainly don't support "mommy wars". Raising children is hard work, we need to be supporting each other more and one upping each other less.

    The natural weaning age is between 2 and 7 years for human children. That doesn't mean that if your baby doesn't nurse past 12 months that you have done something wrong, just like it doesn't mean if your older child is still nursing that there is something wrong. My philosophy is that as long as breastfeeding is mutually beneficial for the mother and child, then there is no need to wean. I have a high schooler and I can tell you that none of his friends are leaving school at lunch time to go nurse from their mothers. Children will all eventually wean on their own.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      If a 7 year old is nursing something is definitely wrong.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Carie R

      Sorry Jen, but I read a few of your previous posts (based on the views, it's a safe assumption that they are from you) and it appears that you are the one igniting these "mommy wars". You've critical of others and their views while practically declairing yourself mother of the year. Shameful.

      May 11, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
  27. Jim

    My wife breastfed until our kids were each 2-3 years old. The frequency and duration changed as they got older, but they still benefited. Beyond 3 years could get to be a bit much, but at some point it's not too different from needing a comforting hug, sucking a thumb, a blanket, etc.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Alex

    When children start developing TEETH is usually a good time to stop breastfeeding. Just sayin'.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Puzzled

    I am sorry – I think it's disgusting. I breastfed my kids – one to 1 year and the other to 9 months (she quit on her own, probably because she has an independent streak). I feel for the boy. The mother probably needs it more than the boy and I think this will bring problems to him in his tender pre- and teen years. This reeks of "look at me, look at me." Sickening.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Josh

      I have to agree with you.

      I think it is simply taking it to a ridiculous extreme, to invoke discussion on exactly when b-feeding should stop. If a 3 yo is too old to still be using a bot, then the 3 yo is too old for b-feeding.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
  30. Nick Kennedy Sr

    Just one question for those who read or make comments: Who has the authority to say how long a mom can brestfeed ? I certainly don't but there will be those who will ignore the question.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Marti

    Sorry, when they are old enough to ask for it, they are too old. I don't even want to think what that boy will go through in school if his classmates see this picture.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Lina

    I have travelled across the world and in many non western countries nursing older children (above 2 years of age) is totally the norm. Not looked upon as a controversy as it is in this country. I personally nursed my two children almost till 3 years old and touch wood till now they never had a single attack of an ear infection, nor did they ever need a single dose of Antibiotics. The nursing motion keeps ears and teeth development healthy in the early years.
    In many south Asian and east Asian countries, during a hot day at a bus station or train station it is not unusual to see a 3 or a 4 year old nursed for a drink or for a quick fix for hunger. And yes, they do stand and nurse in those situations. Every mammal species that live long enough like human nurse their off spring for a few years. If the time magazine pictures a Hollywood actress with barely there clothes it would have been so acceptable but not a mom nursing this almost 4 year old.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. jen

    thats sex......looks like a may december romance going on................

    May 11, 2012 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • saopaco

      You have a dirty mind.

      May 11, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
  34. romeo

    it's not cnn's business and it is no one's business how long a mother should breastfeed her child.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. thats just wronge

    sick people kid at that age she must need money she did the shot and now is doing the TV circut

    May 11, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Bonnie

    Breastfeeding is completely natural for a mother and baby. This boy, however, is not a baby and this doesn't make any sense at all. Seems to me that this is being done more for the comfort of the mother and not that child. Does he still wear a pull-up or is he allowed to use the potty like a big boy? He is too old and this is going to lead to humiliation for him in years to come because if this picture gets out to his friends when he is older he will never hear the end of this. Poor kid.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. MaiTai

    I stopped nursing my son right before his first birthday. After being pregnant for 9 months and nursing for 12 months, it felt so good to have my body to myself again. And I think it gave us both the autonomy we needed. He quickly became more independent, and I started to feel like my old self again. It was very simple – that stage of our parent-child relationship had ended and we moved onto the next stage.

    So while I don't want to pass judgment on women who breastfeed for an extended period of time, I do want to point out that there are a lot of benefits to moving on.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. scott

    I don't understand why, after a certain age, this isn't considered child molesting. But I'm a dude, so...

    May 11, 2012 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Lina

    Did some one every study the relation between length of nursing time and its relation to ear infections and healthy teeth development.? It is essential to nurse longer to avoid antibiotics and have healthy teeth and ears for children. That sucking exercise and changing nutrition in the milk is needed for that. Dr.Sears has been my children's paediatrician. Such a wonderful place to take children for check up. Most paediatrics offices were like drive through places with the doc interested in collecting insurance money, and barely paying attention to what the mom is saying. But Dr.Sears carefully listens to what the parent is talking about their child.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Nana Bears

    Due to my daughter's allergies to Milk, Soy and Corn products, she nursed 2 to 3 times a day until she was 2 years old. This was for nutritional needs that supplements couldn't meet. Just like many places in the World. She slept in my bed almost nightly til 8 or 9 years old, like many families world wide.I did carry her in a front pack or back pack until the toddler years. Again common world wide. She hated strollers- being at the level of everyone's hand bag to hit her head. As a 14 y/o, she went on a 10 week Summer Mission trip to Costa Rica. And almost every Summer after that to some where far and 3rd World. Now she takes Teens to Africa or Columbia. As a mother, she would Breast feed each of her own close to or just after a year, letting each child wean themselves. She preferred to use strollers, but her little ones always wanted to be held on a hip. Everyone has normal attachments and are able to function well in society. But I do object to the photo. That poor kid is going to be picked on big time for it when he gets older.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Jennifer Goltsberg

    The World Health Organization recommends children be breastfed for 2 yrs. I think the American standard to cut off at 1 year is too soon.... but maybe nursing until 3 or 4 yrs is too long. However, each must find what is right for them and they're family. I breastfed my eldest until he was 16 months, and the younger weaned at 11 months. Those were the right times for those two babies but to each her own.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Brook

    When will people in our country stop thinking of breast as a sexual object? God put boobs on us for a reason and not for our husband's enjoyment. LOL Every kid is different when it comes to weaning. I breastfed all 3 of my kids. My boys weaned very early as around a year... my daughter was still nursing at 2 though only at night and early mornings but it was when they wanted to not when I wanted them to. Not one of my kids has ever been on antibiotics (they are now 17,15 and 11). Not because I didn't take them to the doc but because they never had an infection. I am not a granola hippie mom I promise HA HA However most other countries in the world nursing until 3 or 4 is the norm not the exception! Boob are not put on this earth to make men happy!

    May 11, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • saopaco

      Boobs serve double duty. Only an ignorant person would say that they are not a secondary sexual attribute.

      Who is this god you speak of?

      May 11, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  43. Anna

    I don't care how long she breastfeeds, but putting that photo on a magazine cover is guaranteed to humiliate that kid and make him a target for the remainder of his school days and maybe beyond. I doubt he'll thank her for it. Can you imagine what his schoolmates will do to him when he's nine and they find the picture on the internet?

    May 11, 2012 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Barlon

      EXACTLY! Well said! This magazine cover is going to do absolutely no good for that child. The Mother did not think about the consequences for her child, this is in poor taste and it is that poor boy who is going to pay for it.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
  44. luis

    STOP !! Please Sotp!!
    Stupid news, not a big deal, CNN lets move on!!! Please??

    May 11, 2012 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. jordan

    this is ridiculous! 3 years old and still breast feeding!! come on lady-you are stupid and just want attention!! you are doing more harm than good to that child. get some help before its too late for the child!! now that you have had your few minutes of fame-go away!!

    May 11, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. hmm

    I was breastfed until age 2, I actually have memories of it. I got too active and restless to want to breastfeed so I stopped on my own, and remembering how I felt as a toddler I have to agree with that. After that point I preferred to run around with a bottle of juice.
    My mother also said I would accidentally bite, making her yell and that startled me a bit. However my mother didn't work and had a rather well-off income. I never had an ear infection in my entire life yet my brother has them often, who was only breastfed for a few months.
    Militant breastfeeders are probably nuts. I think that many of the health benefits are more of a result of the mother willing to take the extra step in raising her child properly, moreso than the natural milk.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. I'm A Fan Of It, But...

    Okay, I have to ask the question...what about their teeth. My son is 8 months old and his teeth are super sharp and hurt (when he chews on my finger/hand) so I cannot imagine breastfeeding him at this age. Ouch!

    May 11, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Dunlar

    If the choice for lunch is a taco, or breast milk, it's probably time to stop breast feeding.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Mark from Canada

    I used to think this was a problem. I separated from my boys mom. She breast fed him until he was 5. At first I didn't like it. Now I think it is perfectly fine. My boy is now 6 and he is totally fine. He's smart, happy, healthy, and there are far more important things to be concerned about in the world. We get all up in arms about this. Be more concerned about pollution, starvation, climate change, wars, and the fact that we have a sixth extinction on our watch. Leave people's personal liberties to themselves. Breastfeeding is not a danger to the world, it is a beautiful thing. Just deal with your own insecurities.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Al

    I suckled until I was four and stooped only because my older siblings teased me mercilessly. Now it wasn't exclusive. I ate from a plate and drank from a glass but would still want that nutritious snack. I had no abnormal issues because of it other than the fact my parents and siblings would jokingly remind me of it through the years. My wife also breastfed our seven children until they took that first bite with their new teeth. Knock on wood none has ever had a serious illness which we firmly believe the breastfeeding contributed to.

    May 11, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
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