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 (3,790 Responses)
  1. Mom

    I nursed by son until almost three. Only before bed and first thing in the morning by that point. We certainly didn't stand on a stool and pose for a magazine. Nursing is for nutrition and comfort not publicity. My son has food allergies and after being weaned they got much worse. We are not sure he would have lived without extended breastfeeding. So do what you know is right for your kids moms, and stop worrying about what people will think.

    May 10, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A in Pa

      That is a perfect example of why the so called experts, should stop making blanket perscriptions. It's not one size fits all for every situation.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:46 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      As I am almost 50, this idea wasn't around when I was young and now I feel as I've missed out on something. Fortunately, we have a program in our area to allow recent mothers to offer their bonding services to others. I am on a waiting list but am hoping to be matched with a donor in the next month or two. I don't think we should make a distinction between breastfeeding newborns and any other age! This should be a personal decision as long as the mom involved is comfortable with her decsion, it shouldn't be anyone elses business. Wish me luck on finding a mom!

      May 11, 2012 at 07:51 | Report abuse |
    • MsAledella

      Hold onto your hats, people... (or should I say, 'bras?') I am nursing my 4.5 YO still and probably will for another year or so. Only once a day. Nutritional value? Not so much. Mommy issues? Not so much. No more than you and you and you. I made the decision to practice child-lead weaning when my child was 2 and it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made. My child is by far one of the most well-spoken, self-assured, confident, even tempered and compassionate 4-year-olds I, and everyone who knows her, has ever met. There is not one food she turns her nose up at. She is rarely sick. Sure, there are kids like her that aren't still nursing but at the end of the day when we still have those few sweet and tender moments, it's hard to discount the nursing. We've decided to let her grow up at her own pace in this regard. There are a myriad of benefits to nursing full term. It's a personal choice but in my opinion, the best one!

      May 11, 2012 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
    • Help those sad moms

      I think you need professional help if you are nursing a 4 1/2 year old and plan to continue to do so for another year or so...
      There is nothing right about that whatsoever and it is quite mental.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
    • Dreamr

      Really [Help those sad moms],

      Why isn't it right that MsAdella wants to nurse her 4-5 year old? You’re just a follower and can’t take the time out of your selfish day to educate yourself on the benefits or breastfeeding a child. You only know what some other uneducated person told you. People like you are so focused on what society will think of you that you can’t enjoy your life because of the fear of being rejected. Our world would be so much more peaceful if we stopped worrying about what everyone thought about our OWN choices!

      May 11, 2012 at 10:11 | Report abuse |
    • big bowman

      sorry, you moms that are nursing kids after age of 2 have issues. Its indecent, immoral and yes socially unacceptable. I think most of you have more "personal' reasons for doing it other than the highly touted nutritional value.
      Go see a psychiatrist before it festers into something more serious as you get older.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
    • MsAledella


      What kind of issue might you have in mind?

      Sexual issues? Dependent issues? Social issues? There is no evidence that extended breastfeeding until any age is linked to any issues. Children don't talk about whether or not the breastfeed. Or if they don't. Breasts are not sexual to a child until that vein of thought is impressed upon them by our society.

      Issues for me? Yeah, sometimes when I'm very tired and cranky at the end of the day, I may not feel like 'sharing' my breasts. But I made the commitment and I'll stick it out. Does that sound like someone whose emotional state is dependent upon my child continuing to nurse? Hardly. If she stopped tomorrow (or tonight for that matter) I will be just fine, thank you. Does nursing my preschooler give me some sort of sexual pleasure? You have clearly NEVER nursed a 4-year-old! The thought is enough to make me laugh to tears. Can I go out for the night and expect my child to get to bed just fine? Certainly. It is bothersome that some people who know nothing about another person other than some perceived "issue" can diagnose that person with something like a mental "issue."

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

      so all others with food allergies passed away?
      ignorance creates fear, fear feeds ignorance

      May 11, 2012 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      the Nutritional is a lame one to choose... then use a breast pump and get the max outta them cans.....

      May 11, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • Tex71

      There is nothing in the world more natural than breastfeeding. How long is right? Only Mom and child can say.
      People like "CC" and "Help those sad moms" are spiteful, hateful, underdeveloped, troglodytic subhumans and should go back to the gutter where it seems they grew up.

      May 11, 2012 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • Help those sad moms

      Uh Tex, maybe you need to go to shrink yourself.

      It's obvious you have deep seated hatred for anyone expressing an opinion.

      I personally think a parent that breastfeeds for that length of time has insecurity in their parenting and is trying to make up for whatever reasons they think they may be lacking skills elsewhere...

      That is not a hateful or spiteful thing to say, it's an opinion.

      May 11, 2012 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
    • Isabel

      I also nursed my children until they were 3 and 2 1/2 years old. They are now 20 and 18 and they are perfectly happy, thriving, respectful adults, and successful students. Both of my children, have been in the Honor Roll Society since their elementary years, and both graduated from high school with high honors. It wasn't that I breastfed them but I stayed at home to raise them. I also admire and respect the moms that work outside the house. Breastfeeding is just a part of being a mom, and no one, not even the child experts, know our children better than a mom. Moreover, it is quite beautiful to see a mom breastfeeding her child. What is sad and disturbing are the pictures of women, like singers and actresses, who feel like they have to show their breasts to promote their careers. Why are people not appalled about that? Happy Mother's Day to all the moms!

      May 11, 2012 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
  2. Cheryl Jefferies

    Unreal. As a mother who did breast-feed, I find this rather disgusting...both in the age of the child and the photo itself. If someone wants to breast-feed in public, fine. But, not everyone is comfortable watching it happen. What should be a moment of bonding and love between a mother and child has become a front-page semi-sexual full color lay-out. "Time" has to be on it's last legs. Why do I get the feeling I'm reliving some of the "bread and circuses" things that I read about in history class? Anything to get attention...while Rome burns. We're dying economically and all Time can do is this? Just another indication of the trouble we're in and how low we've sunk as a culture and as a nation. And, did anyone think what that child might feel like as he grows up and has to deal with possible taunting, teasing and bullying about this? How awful!

    May 10, 2012 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • William

      I also thought about the teasing. Imagine what this kid will go through when he gets into middle school and someone discovers this Time cover. It will make 'teacher's pet' seem like a compliment.

      May 11, 2012 at 04:19 | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Tampa

      "What should be a moment of bonding and love between a mother and child"???? Get over yourself, the main priority of suckling a kid of any species is for FOOD. The bonding may also come out of it, but that would come regardless through proper nurturing.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:01 | Report abuse |
    • NickiD

      Cheryl totally agree with you! mothers now a days are to open with brestfeeding. I am not against breastfeeding. (mothers can choose whatever they want) but what I dont like is when BF mothers think they can pop there breast out whereever and whenever they want.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:03 | Report abuse |
    • Dreamr

      Cheryl Jefferies,

      If you see a three year old breast feeding as something semi-sexual....you should seek professional help. How could you possible look at a picture of a three year old feeding as sexual...that is just sick!

      May 11, 2012 at 10:18 | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      it is probably to do with more fathers are trying to be part of their kids lives and these women are jealous which NEVER HAPPENS! using a means to keep the kid attached to them

      May 11, 2012 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
  3. Priscilla

    Cheryl Jefferies, how is this disgusting?! I don't see anything disgusting about it! It is BEAUTIFUL! A mother just being a mother and nursing her child!! NOTHING negative NOR SEXUAL about this! Only a PERVERT would think so.. I just wish people with negative things to say would just shut the h3ll up already.. Ok great, this is not for you... GOT IT... but for those females that do take the time and effort to breastfeed their kids in the way they see fit then let them be.. I am absolutely glad that there is more images and articles out there that is bringing light to breastfeeding past infancy! You don't like it then DONT LOOK AT IT!! Dont hate on a mother that is simply just doing what nature intended her to do!! You speak about dying economy... here is some food for thought::

    "Think breastfeeding has no impact on your life because you don't have children or you're not a woman? Think again. Here's a great reason for YOU to support breastfeeding women. If all WIC babies in the U.S. were breastfed, our economical savings would be $33,000,000 per month on WIC alone"

    May 10, 2012 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • epona30

      BS! These "attachment" mothers have hopped on some crazy train manned by a man with mommy issues. He just happens to have "Dr." in front of his name.

      Breast feeding is great! The child in the photo is too old to be breast fed. The nutritional value is simply not there anymore. The nurturing value is also not there anymore. As a baby matures and changes we change how we nurture. We want to teach children to self comfort and stand on their own two feet at some point. Breast feeding a three year old is not the way to teach that.

      May 10, 2012 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • Priscilla

      Oh my, I didn't know you knew DR. Sears personally to know he has "mommy issues", or maybe you're just a troll who has nothing better to do then belittle other people because your insecurities.

      Breastfeeding doesn't lose its nutritional value at any point!! Please, provide us with the facts on when HUMAN Milk loses its nutritional value!! The human body continues to produce milk filled with nutriants all the time until our bodies cease to produce!! Same goes for the nurturing values... again, how do you know it isnt there any more after a certain age!! Children WILL learn how to be independent and self nurturing when they are READY to do so! NOT when they are PUSHED to do it! In my opinion and from my observation, the more a child is pushed to become independent at an early, age when they aren't ready, the more they will resent their parents!

      May 10, 2012 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
    • Twan

      Well said and I'm not a mother.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:43 | Report abuse |
    • K

      I have a WIC baby and I was a WIC mother. I did breastfeed her until she was a year. There were occasions when we used a bottle and with the outrageous cost of formula WIC was a huge help. Not all WIC babies are just formula fed. There are different "groups" that help low income families provide for their children.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:55 | Report abuse |
    • Jill

      Women who do this are doing it because of their own insecurities with being a mother...not for the nutrition or attachment benefits for the child...they have their own mental insecurities and issues...

      May 11, 2012 at 07:57 | Report abuse |
    • NickiD

      breastfeeding is a private matter!!!!! PRIVATE! pictures like this have seriously went way to far. theres nothing beautiful about this picture. women who do this do it for attention.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:07 | Report abuse |
    • DoYouThinkShewillLetMeUseTheOtherOne

      There's a reason some kids are referred to as "teety babies." this kid is going to have a figurative teet in his mouth his entire life now.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:11 | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      your nutz if you dont think breastfeeding a kid at age 3 is extremely odd...

      May 11, 2012 at 08:12 | Report abuse |
    • MsAledella

      *Hold onto your hats, people... (or should I say, 'bras?') I am nursing my 4.5 YO still and probably will for another year or so. Only once a day. Nutritional value? Not so much. Mommy issues? Not so much. No more than you and you and you. I made the decision to practice child-lead weaning when my child was 2 and it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made. My child is by far one of the most well-spoken, self-assured, confident, even tempered and compassionate 4-year-olds I, and everyone who knows her, has ever met. There is not one food she turns her nose up at. She is rarely sick. Sure, there are kids like her that aren't still nursing but at the end of the day when we still have those few sweet and tender moments, it's hard to discount the nursing. We've decided to let her grow up at her own pace in this regard. There are a myriad of benefits to nursing full term. It's a personal choice but in my opinion, the best one!

      May 11, 2012 at 08:37 | Report abuse |
    • CC

      There are a few reasons why it's disgusting but I'll just name one. Just because there is a child attached to your breast does not somehow make it not a part of your body that is never shown in public. There is a reason why breasts are not shown at the beach or wherever on a hot day – because they are part of a womans sexual organs! Yes, they produce milk as well – but they still are a part of the sexual being. That is why a lot of women get aroused when touched (not saying that with a child btw). Breasts are sexual – period. I have nursed my children but I NEVER opened up my shirt for the world to see it!!! My v-jj is for childbirth but I'd never open my legs and give birth in front of a group of people at the park either!!! Yes it is natural but these natural occurances happen because of sex. NOW do you get it?????? I don't want to see any other womans boobs in public whether or not she is nursing and I would never do that if I ever become pregnant again!

      May 11, 2012 at 08:46 | Report abuse |
    • P.J.

      I wish people who don't agree with an opinion and therefore deem the comment negative would "shut the hell up".

      May 11, 2012 at 09:18 | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      You're correct breast milk doesn't lose its nutritional value. However, the nutrition needs of the child does change and it changes pretty dramatically after the age of two. These women aren't breastfeeding 4 years for nutritional reasons. They're doing it for their own attachment needs and assumed needs of the child. However, we have survived for the last few centuries without our mothers breast feeding us till 4. Parents today are raising co-dependent children with little common sense. They are given everything, without needing to know how to live & care for themselves. No wonder most young adults are staying at home, and have no ambition in life. We're nurturing our kids to death.

      May 11, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • SuperJen

      Nope, it's not beautiful. It's disgusting.

      May 11, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • S

      Sue- your argument makes no sense. Yes we haven't breastfeed much in decades, but look at the health of the nation. I think that says enough. Most people are sick and overweight. That makes your argument pretty weak.

      May 12, 2012 at 09:58 | Report abuse |
  4. themommypsychologist

    As a child psychologist and a mom, one of the things that is so misleading about attachment parenting is the name. It is only called attachment parenting because of the theory it was based upon. It is not called this because it is the only form of parenting which allows parents to develop a secure attachment relationship with their children. There are numerous ways to develop a secure attachment relationship with our kids. I explore more of this myth here for anyone who is interested:

    May 10, 2012 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Redemption23

    Priscilla............not everyone lives on the "O" network planet. This is a clear exploitation of both the mother and the child. Instead of being tactless, try being tactful. You want to get your point across; do it in an environment that would not draw "perverted' minds who offer no real substance to the idea. You are nothing more than a Fem-bot built on "feminizing" the world with your "Oh its a beautiful thing that nature intended, rhetoric" Really? Nature intended this woman to plop her "teet" out on the cover of magazine and at the same time humiliate her child (who has teeth) by the way and can probably fix himself a bowl of cereal. Here's a BETTER reason to support job growth......we could save $33,000,000 per month on WIC if the recipients had jobs. Go back to eating your "Kashi" cereal and soaking in the "positive" energy of Mother Earth you moron.

    May 10, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Missbeth

      We could save money on WIC if recipients breastfed their kids for longer, Mom milk is free while cow milk cost tax payers money.

      May 10, 2012 at 20:57 | Report abuse |
    • Priscilla

      This is NOT a clear "exploitation" of both the mother and child. This is bringing awareness that this DOES happen. Mothers do nurse their 2,3,4 year olds and there ISN'T anything wrong with that. The more this is out in the public eye, the more accepting breastfeeding will become. We all have our own ways of raising a child and whatever works for us, then thats what we do right?! So why sit there and judge?! Who are you to judge?! No one is perfect! If you actually do some research on the natural age of weaning for humans you will see that it happens well into toddlerhood. The only reason why we seem to not take it there and why women do not continue to breastfeed until child led weaning is because of idiots who would rather sexualize a woman then see her for the nurturing and loving woman that she is especially when raising children. Breast were created for one reason and that is to produce milk to feed our young, to let life continue! Otherwise we would be flat chested like males. Some babies are born with teeth so are you insisting that they shouldn't be breastfed?! From what I read, it looks like you probably don't have any kids and if you do you probably haven't been in its life long enough to understand the different stages of their life and what they can and can't do at certain ages... What is with all the hostility? Do you yourself have mommy and daddy issues and thats why you make a big deal out of something that you probably know nothing about?! Kick rocks you!

      May 10, 2012 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      @Missbeth, you're talking about poor moms here. The ones who have to two one or two jobs, and probably spend a couple hours a day on buses and trains just to get to them. Breastfeeding is a luxury that a lot of poor women don't have.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:57 | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      There is plenty wrong with nursing a 2, 3 and 4 year old...

      May 11, 2012 at 08:25 | Report abuse |
    • Priscilla

      The only reason why its "wrong" in the eyes of some people to breastfeed a 2,3, or 4 year old is because America has sexualized us women so much to the point that we cant even nurse our babies, reguardless of age, in public without being scrutinized!!

      May 11, 2012 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
  6. What Now

    Sorry, this is way too much.

    May 10, 2012 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jen

    I love the 'if you're child has teeth, he/she is too old too breastfeed' argument. I just finished breastfeeding my child on her first birthday and she has over a dozen teeth. If I had stopped breastfeeding when she got teeth she would have only been three months old. Same with the asking for it argument. My one year old had been able to ask for awhile too. This picture is not at all offensive. People need to get over thinking that breastfeeding in public is a big deal. Although I always used a cover, not all children will tolerate it. If you don't want to watch someone breastfeed, don't look. I hate to look at overweight people, but I deal with it.

    May 10, 2012 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MsAledella

      Thank you Jen; well-said!

      May 11, 2012 at 08:39 | Report abuse |
    • Help those sad moms

      Because MY right to shield MY kids eyes (and others) from the very public boobs of breast feeding moms SUPERCEDES the right of you to just plop your offensive boob out whenever you want and have the audacity to demand the public to just "accept" it. If you want to breastfeed, fine. Do it in private of fully covered.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
    • mommanurse

      Absolutely. My twins had their first teeth when they were 4 months old. I breast fed all three of my girls and they are very healthy kids. In fact my youngest (she is now 6 years old) has only been on abx once in her entire life and that was shortly after I stopped breast feeding for an upper respritory infection. I stopped at 12 months, however I don't think breast feeding past a year in any way is detrimental to the child.

      May 11, 2012 at 09:59 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      @Help those sad moms

      It doesn't supersede your rights. But, if I believed that it was wrong and indecent for women to not show their legs, or hair, or arms, and must be covered, and I taught that belief to my kids, does that mean you have to respect my beliefs and cover up when you're around me?

      It's called education. You educate you're child that there are people who think or believe differently than you. You teach your child tolerance. You teach your child to not be judgmental. Or, is it that breasts are so sexual to you that you are too uncomfortable to take those opportunities to teach your child those lessons?

      Who on this board has the experience and knowledge to know how breasts are treated and viewed in other developed countries? How is nursing viewed? Typically when we compare our American cultural views against other developed nations we find our ways to be close minded, and repressive. We find that other nations' cultures are accepting and open about these things, with no catastrophic detriment to their society by holding those views.

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


      "It's called education. You educate you're...."

      "Your" and "you're" are not the same words, nor are they interchangeable. Get yourself and education first, before spouting off about others'.

      May 11, 2012 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
    • Snasafras

      I like the "if your child is old enough to ask your husband to give you a minute, go get the chair, set it up next to you, unhook your nursing bra and hook it back up afterward, he's too old to breast feed" theory. I baby sat a neighbor's 3 year old who asked ME if I had milk she could drink. gross

      May 11, 2012 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
  8. Anna

    I find this comments comical. We're so "American". Breasts are created to feed babies and young children. In developing countries, it might be the only source of protein a child under 5 is able to get. I practiced attachment parenting practices with my son and he self weaned at 13 months. I worked 32 hours a week and my son refused the bottle. If I didn't nurse when I went back to work, he would not have survived. I don't consider breastfeeding "extreme parenting". I do consider Alicia Siilverstone's method of chewing food and then giving it to her baby a little odd, but again, that's what women have to do in under developed countries. Breastfeeding is healthy for the child and the mother. I find it off that we as a society place judgement on this, but we are breast-obsessed in this country, so I shouldn't be surprised that people are freaked out by it.

    May 10, 2012 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Denise

      In addition to my previous post – I nursed my youngest child exclusively, while working outside the home 40+ hours a week. She refused to ever accept a bottle. This meant I nursed her at the daycare when I dropped her off, went on breaks and lunches to nurse her, and nursed her when I picked her up in the afternoon. And no, my company did not have a daycare in the building. It was a lot of hard work and often difficult to manage, but it was the best thing for her. She is now 6, healthy, happy and very smart. While I would not still nurse her, I cannot condemn the mother that does nurse her child past the age of 2. And as for the people that say when the child gets teeth or can talk they need to be weaned – my middle child had 4 teeth when he was 3 1/2 months old, and all my kids were talking before they were 1. And as for breasts being "sexual organs", they are only because our society has made them in to that. Breasts truely serve one purpose – the nourishment of our babies.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
  9. S

    Three is not too old to breastfeed. I breastfed my son until he turned two and wanted to go longer but got a horrible flu that lasted for weeks and dried me up.

    I cringe when I see a mother mixing up formula, but never when I see one breastfeed. I think the only offended people are the mother's who didn't love their kids enough to do the right thing and breastfeed. Honestly, there is enough information out there showing lifelong benefits of breastfeeding that there is really no excuse for a woman, barring a REAL medical condition of course, not to breastfeed. If you're too selfish to do the right thing then you don't deserve to be a parent. Period. Until you're ready to grow up and put your child's well being ahead of yourself then you should not bring a baby into this world.

    May 10, 2012 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jamgirl

      S – I can't even begin to explain how insulted I am to read this. To blatantly state that I don't love my children enough because I fed them formula?! What a judgmental, stereotypical, and IGNORANT statement. Yes, there definitely women who are not mature enough/unselfish enough to do the right things for their children, but not every mother who does not breastfeed should be labeled as those who "didn't love their children enough." I won't go into all of the reasons that I was only able to breastfeed each of my daughters for only a few weeks, but I hope that someday you are able to be a little more open-minded and compassionate about this subject.

      May 10, 2012 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
    • krg

      Wow, I cannot even begin to tell you how offensive that was. I guess I must have loved my first more than my youngest child. And although I believe that the breastfeeding is "best" , however, in the 40's and 50's when babies were rarely breastfed, and they fed them evaporated milk instead, there was not an epidemic of dumb sick chldren.

      May 11, 2012 at 05:01 | Report abuse |
    • cs

      To S,

      I was formula fed and am now 35. My mother is the most wonderful person in the world and we share an incredible bond. She would do anything for me. How dare you insult her by saying that she isn't fit to be a mother. By the way, I have twins and breastfed. Still, I would never judge anyone who chooses to do otherwise. It's about what's right for your family.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:28 | Report abuse |
    • MS

      You are way over the line, S.

      I made a choice not to breastfeed my baby for reasons that are highly personal – as is the choice to breastfeed. Are you saying that I love my child less than you? Are you saying I do not deserve to be a parent? Seriously?? Who died and made you the judge?

      May 11, 2012 at 07:46 | Report abuse |
    • WhatNow

      The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby's life. After that, it is up to the individual. I cringe when I read such opinionated replies. You may be surprised to learn that lots of kids were raised on formula and they are healthy and love their parents. You have no idea why they choose to feed formula. It could be for health reasons. Don't presume you know what's best for everyone, that is just arrogant.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:49 | Report abuse |
    • J

      My mom formula fed me as well, I am 36, I call her every day, I would walk through bullets and glass for her. I am adopted, she's not even BIOLOGICALLY my mother.

      I'm pro-breastfeeding, but I'm also pro-not making stupid comments about someone else you don't know to make yourself feel more secure in your parenting. Just because someone does not breastfeed does not mean they don't love their children enough. I have two children now– one was nurse, one was not. If i had my way, both would be nursed, but the my son has autism and one of the symptoms was poor fine motor skills, he could not suck... I pumped for five months every 3 hours to keep my supply up. Just because my son could not nurse, does not mean I love him any less than my daughter who did nurse. How dare you question how much a mother loves her children.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:50 | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      @ S

      Who are you to judge anyone and whether or not they breastfeed THEIR children! You are so disrespectful with your statement that women who do not breastfeed do not deserve to be parents. You are just ignorant and judgemental and you should keep your offensive comments to yourself.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:13 | Report abuse |
    • NickiD

      get off ur high horse!!! seriously jump down right now. I dont breast feed my child and who the ____ are you to judge and say mothers who dont breast feed dont love there child? get off it! the probably is this wouldnt be so controversial if breastfeeding mothers werent so judgemental and bias to mothers who didnt breast feed. I will continue to mix my baby formula up and guaranteed my child will be NO different than a child who is breast fed!

      May 11, 2012 at 08:13 | Report abuse |
    • magd

      There are many reasons mothers choose not to breastfeed and none of them have to do with not loving their child enough. As stated in an above comment, each situation is different and unique unto itself. Pure and simple, the TIME cover is only meant to be inflammatory and is clearly serving its purpose based on the string of comments posted.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:15 | Report abuse |
    • KD

      You can take your comment and shove it up your a**!!! Who do you THINK you are to put down Mothers who do not breastfeed!? I for one had a son born a month early who had difficulty latching. There I sat pumping and manually expressing my colostrum so he would get the nutrients he needed. After we were discharged from the hospital, my son dropped 15% of his body weight and became Jaundice. For TWO WEEKS, I struggled with pumping enough milk to keep him nurished. I was going on 3 hours of TOTAL SLEEP a day and became miserable, something a new mother should NEVER feel! I decided then and there that after 3 weeks of struggling with pumping that I was going to formula feed my son who I love MORE THAN ANYTHING! So I may not have had a medical condition BUT I could not keep up and there was no other way. So rather than starving my son, I chose to formula feed him because guess what!? I LOVE HIM!!!!! so you better think twice before you go posting such BS that mother's who choose not to breastfeed don't love their children and shouldn't be parents!!!!! you disgust me!

      May 11, 2012 at 08:22 | Report abuse |
    • S t u p


      Extreme ignorance flows from your comment. My wife and I are getting ready to have our first child. We have studied breastfeeding and know the benefits. However, if you're supposed to feed every 2-3 hours and you're a working mom, then how do you expect them to breastfeed all day? Second, I was raised on a farm and guess what. I've never seen a single animal nurse for more than 9 months! You know why? because once these animals reach their age to be weaned, they are able to digest regular food on their own, just like your 3 year old. Quit insulting women who don't have the opportunity or good fortune to breastfeed, you come off as one of the most ignorant people on this thread.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:24 | Report abuse |
    • CC

      When I had my children my body only let me breastfeed for about 2 months each. I tried everything my doctor could come up with to produce milk, and a few other things my doctor didn't suggest, to no avail. I HAD to give my children formula and guess what!!!! BOTH of my children are in the tops of their classes, VERY healthy & are getting taller than I am so much sooner than even I expected. Formula is not a bad thing – it was the ONLY thing I had to feed my children and they are both happy, healthy kids. Don't spout your BS here...it just doesn't fly!! BTW – 3 is WAY too old to be nursing – YUCK!!

      May 11, 2012 at 08:25 | Report abuse |
    • idahoivy

      OMG! you state that a woman who doesn't breastfeed doesn't love their child enough. WTH! I was so sick 3 days after giving birth and put off going to the ER so that i could at least get a little bit of breast milk for my son. I waited 2 weeks so that he would get something which is better than nothing. I had an epidural migraine and the only relief i got was with narcotic pain meds and caffeine, and even then it didn't complete get rid of it, 2 months later i am still fighting the headaches. According to your mentality since my son is formula fed i don't love him enough. I guarantee I love my son alot more than you love yours, just on the fact that he is a miracle baby. I waited 13 years for him, and cherish every second I am with him, whether he is cooing or crying I embrace every sound. So get off your high horse and educate yourself not everyone can breastfeed their child. Breast isn't always best for the child. Would you have rather i did nothing about my headache and suffered just so he could have breastmilk. I don't i would rather he had a mom who could care for him than one who could do nothing but lay in a dark room and hope for death so that i could get some relief.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:37 | Report abuse |
    • therandombakergirl

      Both my brother and I were formula fed and we have amazing relationships with our mother. She bottle fed for her own personal reasons. And just remember S, not all of us had the choice on if we could breastfeed. If you have nothing to feed your child would it be better to starve them than feed them formula? My child who was formula fed is a happy, healthy, intelligent 6 year old. It is every woman's personal choice whether or not to breast feed. Making just flat out ignorant comments like yours takes it over the top.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:13 | Report abuse |
    • Inky

      Uh..what about parents whom adopt children, and don't have the luxury of breast milk? You should have never become a parent..you are living in an unrealistic world in your thinking.

      May 11, 2012 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
    • BreastfeedinGuru

      I agree 100% with this comment. I know MANY women who are too selfish to breastfeed, gosh forbid their "boobs get saggy" or some other nonsense. I think its crazy how many people have criticized you for your comment and called you judgemental, but they can spout their judgemental nasty hateful anti-breastfeeding comments off and all they get are kudos. They are the pot calling the kettle black.

      May 11, 2012 at 21:05 | Report abuse |
  10. S

    Anyone who shows such disrespect for their child and willingly formula feeds, denying their baby of a decreased risk of everything from colds to cancer, doesn't deserve to be called a parent. Almost anyone can reproduce, but to actually be a parent you need to put your child ahead of yourself and do what's best for them.

    May 10, 2012 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jen

      While I'm a big proponent of breastfeeding (see my post above), the 'I'm a better mom than you because I breastfed' argument does nothing to help the breastfeeding cause. While I do get tired of hearing 'my milk never came in', as an excuse for not breastfeeding, and would rather hear a woman be honest about not breastfeeding because it can be difficult (especially at the beginning), women should be supportive of each others' decisions. Women shouldn't judge other women for formula feeding, just as they should not judge each other for extended breastfeeding.

      May 10, 2012 at 20:57 | Report abuse |
    • p

      You are the most offensives woman I have ever heard from; not to mention judgemental. You're probably just fat and ugly.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:39 | Report abuse |
    • mom2two

      S - your over the top, militant mommy style makes me sad.

      It scares me to think you have been given the privilege to raise a child and you are so vocally on the road to failing your child.

      Instead of raising your child in an atmosphere of "my way is the only way - everyone who disagrees with me are failures", give your child the ability to understand that everyone is a product of the choices they have made. Give your children the role model that you are able to reach out with wisdom, not condemnation, to other mother's struggling to make choices–even choices you don't agree with.

      The world is full of people who have different opinions, cultures and traditions the you. Embrace those differences, learn from them and share your experiences with your children in a positive way.

      The divisiveness you are practicing is dangerous and scary. I wish better for your children

      May 11, 2012 at 08:09 | Report abuse |
    • WhatNow

      Boy, I hope I don't ever end up with your kid in my class.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:13 | Report abuse |
    • magd

      You are seriously ignorant. Period.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:19 | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      If you put sunscreen on your kids you are just as guilty as not breastfeeding your kids then Super MOm?... did you know that sunscreen has more chemicals that promote cancer than formula milk?

      May 11, 2012 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
    • babydoc

      Listen up dim bulbs – S is a troll. Please don't feed the trolls.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • KD

      You really need to get a LIFE! So glad so many others feel the way I do about you! I hope you feel like a real winner with your IGNORANT and PATHETIC comments! Like one comment suggested you need to get off your high horse, how bout I knock you off!!! I'd love to do that! God help your children to have a mother like you!

      May 11, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • SuperJen

      @S –

      "almost everyone can reproduce"...it frightens me to the core that you have.

      May 11, 2012 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Seriously, "S" has a point. Those of you that are radically attacking her need to back off. She did say that if there is a medical reason, then that is absolutely a valid reason not to breastfeed. But if not, then before you decide to have a child, get your head into the right place as you are not having a puppie or kitten. You are having a human being that YOU are deciding to bring into the world and that human being is totally dependent on your health and decisions about nutrition for their development and future health and well-being. Quick attacking her for what is exactly what all prospective parents must consider. Feeding your baby by breastfeeding is hugely beneficial to the child. You decide to have the child, you need to sacrifice and care as if you do love the entire package of being a parent. OK? "S" deserves an apology for some of the horrible insults thrown at her from all of you that unloaded maliciously. How about a little civility, ok?

      May 11, 2012 at 16:46 | Report abuse |
  11. Emily

    I breastfed my son until he was four. By that time, he was nursing for maybe five minutes after waking up in the morning, then another fifteen minutes as he was falling asleep in the evening. He'd also nurse through illness, which proved very useful, even life-saving, when he contracted pneumonia. So he nursed for connection and comfort, and he nursed when he was sick (which wasn't often). We were discreet and I certainly wasn't nursing him for only my own benefit — although with a history of breast cancer in my family, it was nice to know that term breastfeeding reduced my risk for that deadly disease by 25%.

    May 10, 2012 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • twang

      Ill bet when he was 16 he was gettin sick alot more

      May 10, 2012 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      I bet you have some tough teets...

      May 11, 2012 at 08:29 | Report abuse |
  12. Missbeth

    Before I was a mom I would have thought this was gross,
    But now I'm slower to judge.If it works for their family who am I to say?
    The World Health Organization says that the average age to stop BF is four. Kids in third world nations who BF for a longer time don't grow up weird or demented.

    May 10, 2012 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. TH

    What's wrong with this picture? If you ask Dr. Sears, the only thing that should concern us is that this child is no longer being worn in a sling!

    May 10, 2012 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RoJo

      I don't have a strong opinion about the photo but Dr. Sears creeps me out big time!

      May 11, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  14. twang

    I think they should pull out both boobs,entertaine the kid with one,and entertaine me with the other one

    May 10, 2012 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MS

      While I am officially offended, your comment has been the only one that made me smile. This board could use a few comments to lighten the mood. 🙂

      May 11, 2012 at 07:49 | Report abuse |
  15. C

    Time magazine must not be doing well financially.

    May 10, 2012 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. David

    I have to admit its a clever way to momentarily boost flagging sales but these 'shock' covers are one shot wonders. Looks like Time is on its last legs.

    May 10, 2012 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. happy


    May 10, 2012 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. martindd

    It is unfortunate that there is so much misinformation and ignorance regarding the practice of attachment parenting. Maybe if people had one iota of experience or knowledge about it, they could begin to understand it. The foundation of attachment parenting is love and respect, something many adults in this country need a lot more of. Looking at the controversy surrounding this article, it is no wonder that our children grow up to be just as cruel, closed minded and judgmental as their parents. Call me crazy for nursing my children for more than 2 years, wearing them in slings, sleeping with them in my bed and never hitting them out of anger or as punishment. My children are secure in their world, intelligent, more empathetic than many adults and will grow up to love those around them. I apologize for teaching my children to love and have compassion. Clearly, I am failing as a parent. Maybe I should pay less attention and let them raise themselves since that seems to work so well.

    May 10, 2012 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rinsewind

      There's nothing wrong with attachment parenting, and it's great that you found a way of parenting which has worked well for you and your children. It's not, however, the only good way to parent.

      May 11, 2012 at 07:58 | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      The problem is the arrogance of attachment parents to think that their method is the ONLY path to achieving loving relationships with their children who are well adjusted to society. That's where the backlash comes from. I'm glad your path worked for you. But parenting is not one size fits all.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:03 | Report abuse |
  19. Rocco

    ...of course this article has nothing to do about breast feeding, it's about money and ratings. Get any women desperate enough and you can have her do just about ANYTHING and every publisher knows this. I do pity her poor soul, dragging her son through this sewer just for money.

    May 11, 2012 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Margie

    Jamgirl- I agree with you. I, too, think S's comments were extreme and offensive.

    S- What defines a "REAL" medical condition? What about adoptive mothers? What about men who are raising a baby alone? What about parents who use a gestational carrier? Your "argument" makes no sense.

    As for me, I breast fed my son for about 2-3 weeks. The pediatrician told me that "some is better than none", so that worked for me. My kiddo wasn't getting enough to eat and was losing weight, I was tired and didn't know what the heck I was doing, so I switched to formula. My baby gained weight, I felt happier, and life goes on.

    I think women shouldn't argue about which feeding is better; we should be working together to make sure that every baby, poor or rich, is getting enough to eat AND that moms are getting proper pre-natal care.

    Also, this cover is shocking in the way that unusual things are. I have honestly never seen a woman with a 3-year-old, standing on a chair, sucking her exposed teet. AND, it IS sexualized! They didn't put a 40 overweight woman with "mom jeans" on the cover.

    May 11, 2012 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Dannielle

    Someone mentioned women on WIC not having jobs and I just wanted to let you know that as a E4 in the US Army, I qualified and used WIC for several months. I have zero debt, I live below my means but the pay scale for soldiers is ridiculously low. Not everyone receiving government assistance is a lowlife deadbeat without a job. I'm a veteran, I needed assistance and when I was back on my feet, I stopped using it.

    Also, breastfeed as long as your child and you are comfortable. It isn't anyone's business. We love our co-sleeping, breastfeeding and baby wearing, but I definitely do go around showing off and breastfeeding in public just to make a point. The cover photo is a mockery of what a mother can do best for her child, aside from providing a safe environment. Attachment parenting is wonderful, breastfeeding past a year is brave, and this cover photo is begging for blogging moms across America to rant and rave about it. Time magazine is reaching, at this point. Weak.

    May 11, 2012 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Shannon E.

    I breastfed my two daughters for 9 months each. Breastfeeding should be more encouraged at hospitals in the US AND hospitals should NOT endorse sub-par "formula" baby food products. There should be more awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the support available in communities. My girls did not experience their first illness until ONE MONTH after they were done breast feeding! IT WORKS!

    May 11, 2012 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Nick M.

    i think this is a bit too much, breatfeeding shouldnt last more than 6-7months, that kid is 3years old and is probably too dependable to his mother, kids should grow up and we should help them do so, not treat them like they're infants.

    May 11, 2012 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. dcn8v

    Hmmm... I was bottle fed and I turned out just fine. There are fads in parenting. Always have been, always will be. Personally, I think that if a child is old enough to say, "Mommy, can I please have some milk?" they're probably too old for breast-feeding. Sometimes it's the mommies that can't let go of breastfeeding...

    May 11, 2012 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Rudyard

    I really think that most of those objecting to the idea of breast feeding in public (The age of the child is another matter) profess themselves Christian. Wait a minute! Before I'm attacked for saying that, remember that most of the objectors will be Americans, and most Americans profess to be Christians. In any event, I don't understand how CHristians could possibly view breast feeding as something shameful and is to be hidden. Your God invented breast feeding, right? Your God invented this great way to nourish a chile, both physically and emotionally. So, what's the problem? I really do want to understand. However, I'm completely baffled.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alyssa

      I am American, but not a Christian. I'm an atheist, and have a pretty open-minded view of the world. But "open-air" breastfeeding wigs me out. I have no rationale reason to support it, it's just emotional. I find it creepy. No matter how old the child is. To me it's not beautiful. I don't mean to suggest that women shouldn't breastfeed, but it would be my preference for them to cover up or go somewhere where they can breastfeed the way they want to without the world watching.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:08 | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      One could also use the argument that urinating and defecating are natural bodily functions too, but we certainly don't do that in the open either.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:15 | Report abuse |
    • WhatNow

      Alyssa...That was going to be my comment. We live in an age where all things natural need not be on public display.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
    • Rumo

      If you just seriously compared breastfeeding to urinating, stop and take a deep breath. Apart from the fact that this comparison is completely uncalled for, there are very good reasons that urinating in public is discouraged. Ever heard of the Black Death and how it was brought on by the lack of hygiene in the middle ages?
      Btw, breathin is also a natural bodily function, it fits right in with your line of reasoning. If I find it awful to see you filling your lungs with air in public, can I expect you to stop breathing? And now think about the function that breastfeeding fulfills for most babys (not 3 year olds), namely supplying food – which is just as important as breathing, you might think...

      May 11, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  26. MotherwhoNursed

    I breastfed my son until the age of 3 as well. He had food allergies as well. I would like to know why society thinks it can set the trends for what WE do as MOTHERS? Who is anyone to tell any mother when or when not to feed her baby?

    May 11, 2012 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Merlin

    It appears some folks will do anything to gain notoriety, even to the point of subjecting their children to public humiliation. Time Magazine should have articles with more significant value than this, particularly one with a better cover page. Disappointing for the child, parent and the magazine. I would have not been surprised to expect a cover like this to appear on Mad Magazine, but it appears they have a higher standard...

    May 11, 2012 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Gitsnak

    While I am a man, I have no problem with the "extended" breastfeeding. I love how people assume that we have out-engineered the human body and can provide all the nessecary nutrients in some horrible tasting and smelling formula. My son is 16 months old and still breastfeeding and the one or two times we have tried to give him formula, he wouldn't drink it. I then tried it and I have to say I agreed with him. I am not really sure why people think a civilized society is one without breastfeeding. I understand it isn't a good option for everyone, but there is most certainly nothing gross or strange about providing good nutrients as well as strenghening your baby's immune system.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Cheryl G.

    I breast fed my children for 6 weeks and then I had to go back to work. 6 weeks was about all I could do because I was uncomfortable with going longer. My children grew up with us all being very close and loving. Don't tell me I'm a bad Mom because I didn't breastfeed more, it takes more than breastfeeding to be a good Mom, it takes loving and nurturing parenting. I do not agree that breastfeeding for that long is good psychologically for either the Mom or child, but I'm no Doctor. However when I was raising children the Pediatricians said to give only milk for the first year – no solid foods – yeah right, my son almost starved until I decided enough was enough and gave him cereal along with his milk. He finally quit crying and slept for several hours at a time. Or like one specialist told me to have some nodules cut out of my sons neck, but when I asked my Pediatrician he gave him an antibiotic and had him lay on a heating pad and the nodules went away. I don't agree with what some Doctors say, you should think for yourself and determine what you are willing to believe. I would have to investigate this more to decide whether I believed or not, but I would definately not breastfeed a child until the age of 3.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Angie

    I breastfed 2 of my 3 girls (1 wouldn't have any thing to do with it..she wanted formula after getting a taste at the hospital) and the benefits are numerous. Yet, a line has to be drawn somewhere. My oldest was weaned onto formula at 8 months the third at 5 months because of medical difficulties, but all my kids benefited from cuddling and personal contact while feeding. We also never had trouble getting them off a bottle either. You don't have to be attached at the hip(or breast) to be a good mother. Each child is different in its development and you can still be close in other ways as they get past the baby years.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rick1948

    As with most things that people try to stick their noses into, it's none of anyone's business except this mother.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Dan Green

    My wife is a big breastfeeding proponent, and she breastfed both our kids until they were about 2 1/2. Like others have stated, for the last year or so it was just a few minutes early in the morning and at night, at home. At that point, it was for nuturing purposes. For the first six months, at least, mother's milk is vital for it's nutrients, although I don't find fault if some women don't do it. I can tell you that much of her family gave us both a hard time about it once a year passed, and I was a little embarrased about it, even though my wife was discreet, but that's just our hang-up as Americans. I got over it and didn't care with our 2nd child. However, I don't think my wife would have posed for a magazine. It was personal and private.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. David

    Only in puritan America do people actually give a f–k to mothers breastfeeding in public. It's a normal, healthy act of child rearing .. get over it. As for how long a mother should breast feed, it's entirely up to them. 1 year is ideal - after that, it's not really needed, but it doesn't hurt (probably even helps) the child ... I say, breastfeed as long as you want. Do try to stay away from the chemical alternatives - all that stuff is bad news.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Thenextstep

    Yes, I can't wait to start seeing all the 3 year olds breast feeding in public, on the park benches, restuarants, and buses................

    May 11, 2012 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Derek

    Typical Time Mag... the editions for the rest of the world are generally hard social issues.. the US edition has some hollywood or lame made up social event. Talk about dumbing down to the audience. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding up to 18 months or in public.. but 3 is too much and the picture is stupid.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. lac33

    The only thing I am sure of, I was breast fed, past the age of 3. I am now 73 and still running pretty strong!

    May 11, 2012 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Q

    I know some think that you should only nurse until 6 months, no more than a year, but breast milk is the healthiest thing you can give to a child, and this not even debatable. Some promote it up to five years for the benefits as such, and they have a right to do so. After all the fuss about nursing in public, how nursing is somehow gross, and how boobs are somehow sexualized is the disgusting part. Ironically many of the women I have heard from are more offended that this TIME cover woman is so in shape to be a mother, they think she is a model, doing something nasty with her son to look so good.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alyssa

      Boobs are sexualized. THAT'S not even debatable. And it seems to be an innate thing for most men. Which would suggest that there's nothing wrong with them being sexualized.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:20 | Report abuse |
  38. cyndi

    What has this nation come to. If someone wants to nurse, that is their business – nonone else's. I don't think that people should parade around announcing it. I also think that it should be done in private – like all other private thing – out of respect of self, and for the comfort of others. Nursing a baby is a private thing – bonding between mother and baby – away from the presence of others. Some people do not feel comfortable seeing a baby nursed, and that should be respected too.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. DR. Whom

    These may grow up to be the children whose mommy told them they are perfect. They'll be arrogant and dismissive and mommy won't get the attention she craves when the kid starts sucking on someone else for fun and pleasure. Gotta run. The school bus just stopped at the corner house next door and my kid has to be picked up by me in the SUV. I'm late.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. SirEdwardKensington

    That kid has it made in the shade with a cool glass of lemonade! I have to pay top dollar for boob like that. If he was any kind of smart he'll be in that same position 3 years from now. She's grade A, top choice meat! He's going to have no problem making friends in school.
    Bravo for him!

    May 11, 2012 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • davidpur

      You got that right brother!

      May 11, 2012 at 07:53 | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      That's his mother. Would you speak so sexually about your own mother?

      May 11, 2012 at 08:21 | Report abuse |
  41. davidpur

    I breastfed till after all my kids were weaned. It helped the wife with the pain and man was I glad to do it!

    May 11, 2012 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • davidpur

      And...if my mother had looked like that I would have have done anything she wanted me to do. As it was mine was too busy finding excuses to beat my ass all the time. But that was the late fifties. My attachment parenting consisted of her hands around my neck.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
  42. ELISE


    May 11, 2012 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jessi

    I have to say, as a single mother at 19 is hard work. but breast-feeding till they're a tiny tot is just too far. I feel as if the child could sit up by themselves or even crawl that's when breast-feeding should stop. I mean you can always breast pump that's fine. but you want your child to respect other women that aren't their mother.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. tc1260

    Help me with this. This is obviously a liberal, progressive push – power to women to breastfeed wherever, whenever, and for how ever long they desire. As a social conservative I am actually OK with this. What I don't get is that the left also tells me that I have to be respectful of the ever growing Muslim population who is uncomfortable with women baring anything, much less their breasts, in public. So, do I respect the desires of our Muslim population and cover up or the desires of our white feminist liberals and let it all hang out? Confused...

    May 11, 2012 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alyssa

      You realize you can support both the breastfeeding mother AND the covered Muslim woman, right? Each has the right to their own choices. They just don't have the right to other people's choices. It's not that complicated.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:23 | Report abuse |
  45. marty rogers

    barring issues like severe food allergies, it is unnecessary and psychologically unhealthy to breastfeed pass age 1. In fact, if they have teeth, it is time to stop. there is zero scientific evidence that breastfeeding pass age 1 (even 6months) is of any real benefit (most studies that show effects are rigged p values) and legitimate potential psychological issues. Got to let kids grow and not become oversized babies.

    May 11, 2012 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julie Cochrane

      Marty, you're full of it. There are no reputable studies from anywhere providing a scintilla of scientific evidence that any child has ever been harmed in any way by breastfeeding, including breastfeeding with child-led weaning that frequently runs up to age five or six. The World Health Organization recommends that a child be breastfed for the first two years or more of its life.

      While someone might wish to conduct a study on the outcomes of children in a child-led weaning group versus a parent-led weaning group, no such study has been done and there's simply no evidence at all, whatsoever, to back up your claim that any child anywhere has been harmed in any way by extended breastfeeding.

      Is it weird? Well, I think so. But it looks like the general *motivation* of the parents is trying to do what *they* think is best for their kid-even if other people think their parenting methods are nuts. Parental intent genuinely seems to be non-exploitative. As hard as that may be to believe, some people are just genuinely *that* different from you in what they sincerely believe.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:13 | Report abuse |
    • Julie Cochrane

      I nursed my daughter until she was three and a half. I did attachment parenting, sort of. I wasn't fanatic about it, and I had to work.

      1) Co-sleeping. We took one side off the crib and strapped it very tightly to the bed, no gap possible, so we sort of did co-sleeping and sort of didn't. Once she fell sound asleep, she could just be scooched over into her own space and boxed in with a rolled up blanket. No rollover risk. 2) The Sling. I carried her around a fair bit when I was home, but not anywhere close to all the time, and of course she was at daycare when I was at work. 3) Exclusive Breastfeeding for First 6 mos. I mostly did that. When she ripped off a corner of the sandwich I was holding and started frantically shoving pieces of it in her mouth and gumming them, we took it as an "affirming indication by our child" of her readiness for solid food. LOL 4) Child-led Weaning. Yeah, I flunked that. At 3 1/2 years, I decided that I was NOT going to be the mom nursing the 5 or 6 year old. Oh well.

      Most of these folks are just culturally very different from you, that's all. Remember the show Dharma and Greg? These are Dharma's crowd. And they're not insane or abusing their kids, they're just a different culture from yours.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
  46. Jt_flyer

    Posing the kid for the picture had to send a message to him that something I'm doing is different or unique. As he grows he'll understand more and form resentment. This can't be good for his future. But Mom is getting a lot of attention.

    May 11, 2012 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julie Cochrane

      Every group has its jerks. This mom, leaving photographic evidence for her kid's peers to tease him with, is one of her social/cultural crowd's jerks. It's a mistake to judge a whole group by its flamboyant jerks.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:00 | Report abuse |
  47. Rachel

    "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be breast-fed exclusively for the first six months of their lives."

    I find it interesting you don't mention that the AAP *also* recommend breastfeeding for at least a year (along with solid foods after 6 months) and then for "as long as the mother and child desire", and the World Health Organization recommends breasting *for at least* two years. In other words, three years isn't that crazy at all. But even the way you posted your blog was meant to stir up controversy. You could have mentioned that the world average for weaning is more around 3 or 4 years old, but that might ruin your chances for a heated debate in the comment section.

    May 11, 2012 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. ode

    I think there's not a thing wrong with breastfeeding. HOWEVER, when the darling is old enough to have a fairly good conversation, walk over, lift up a mother's shirt and pull it out... sorry, that's TOO old. I think by that point two things are going on... the mother has NOT learned to say no to the darling, and the mother doesn't want to darling to grow up... it has absolutely nothing to do with nutrition.

    May 11, 2012 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jill

    I'm a mother of three and the only women who do this are women who have mental insecurities about their abilities to be a mother. They don't do this for the nutritional benefits or developmental benefits. This actually is not even developmentally healthy for a child..These are the kids in therapy later in life for dependency issues...

    May 11, 2012 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cindy

      I wholeheartedly agree. I breast fed for two years, stopping when it got to the point that my baby was actually asking for it. I figured if she could ask for it we could negoitate other means of nurishment and comfort. The woman in the picture on Times cover has her own attachment issues. Three year old don't need to breast fed.

      May 11, 2012 at 08:12 | Report abuse |
    • SEN

      It's a wonderful thing to have an opinion but you should think before you state something that is false. There are many women that have breastfed their baby past an age in which you & the rest of the closed minded western world feel is normal and these women DO NOT have insecurities nor are they making their "issues" their children's. Breastfeeding is normal and I agree it should be up to the child to decide when to stop. Do you ever see mammals (other than humans) refusing to nurse their young?

      May 11, 2012 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
  50. Twan

    Lol! The picture was was taken this way to get a reaction, to make an impact. I don't think mothers are really breastfeeding their children standing up while the child is standing on a a chair. I have to say, it was quite clever and almost genius for Time to go about it this way. I am a 33 year old single woman with no children and see absolutely nothing wrong with a mother doing what nature intended for her to do..It is a personal choice as to how long you decide to do it...I had a cousin that breastfed until she was 5...and now she's a perfectly fine adult with children of her own. America needs to grow up and get with the program. It is what it is and what it was intended to be...The sooner we realize this, a much better place this will be...Just my opinion...

    May 11, 2012 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
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