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. Sunny

    I also worked in OB for 17 years, as a nurse. Breatfeeding is just plain nasty. I had 3 children, and none were breastfed. Children that are adopted, among many others, thrive on formula. There is no difference. Women that breastfeed need to get over themselves-the majority feel they are now ranked as supermoms. Formula is nourishing, and complete. You can bond with your baby just as well by holding her to feed.

    May 12, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stephany

      It is crappy nurses like you that don't teach moms proper latching techniques. Women need to leave the hospital with the skills needed to breastfeed. It is not always easy. Having a nurse that thinks breastfeeding is "nasty" is one of the reasons that so few women successfully breastfeed. You should NEVER have been an OB nurse! You do not want the best thing for babies, or their mothers.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
    • drinker75

      You are either a troll or an idiot.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Your jealousy is pretty glaring. Just because your children rejected your nasty breasts doesn't mean they all are.

      May 12, 2012 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • c smythe

      actually there is a big difference and being a nurse you should know what it is. babies get their first start on immunity to viruses from their mothers milk. how is this fact not important.

      May 12, 2012 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
    • Deborah

      I cannot believe for one minute that you are a nurse. Everyone knows that the first milk (colostrum) is so important for a childs immune system. Breast feeding is not only about health but mental well being for mother and child. Had 4 children and all breastfeed what a wonderful time of sitting quietly with each child; them getting to know me and me them. It is not at all possible for formula to be complete, it is cow based milk not human milk. Shame on you for not knowing this. This is where for many of our children obesity begins.

      May 12, 2012 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Formula is corn sugar and artificial nutrient based, not even cow or any other animal. I'm 18 weeks pregnant and I'm telling you, that stuff is coming no where near my child.

      May 12, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • h

      Shame on you as a professional to branding breastfeeding as 'nasty'. Before there was formula, there was breastfeeding. We are mammals. We produce milk to nourish our young. Formula was introduced to feed a young baby who could not feed. I view formula as an alternative when breastfeeding is not at all possible. My first child could not latch on properly and as a result I was forced to use formula. Turns out my son was allergic to the milk proteins found in formula. After that fiasco I swore to stick with breastfeeding and had 2 wonderful experiences with my other 2 children.

      May 12, 2012 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      Breasfeeding is nasty to you? I am shocked. You need to educate yourself more about it and fast. Are your promoting infant formula instead of a mother's milk? There are many advanges of mother's milk and I will leave it up to you to find out.

      May 12, 2012 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
    • Vincent

      Youre actually a nurse? and a nurse in an Obs ward?
      I think youre a fake.

      May 12, 2012 at 19:39 | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      You are a liar, you were never a nurse

      May 12, 2012 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • Priscilla

      Sunny, you are a fool!! Before formula what do you think babies drank to survive?! I am so glad I didn't have a nurse like you when I gave birth!! I sure hope you aren't still a nurse!! THAT comment is just plain PATHETIC!

      May 12, 2012 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
    • corrie

      I'm a mom and have raised 3 children without breastfeeding in public. What happens is this is what you call "short term celebrity fame". Looking at this pix makes me want to puke. that's why we have the breast pump so when you go out with the baby you are prepared, or have a bottle of formula. This woman wants nothing but to show her breast.

      May 12, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • Pitbull

      I agree with you Sunny What makes me ill is to see woman parading around with tight tshirts showing they are pregnant and tthose woman who feel they can pull out their breasts anywhere whenever they want to to feed their baby. They think they are hip, They have taken something beautiful and turned it into disgust.

      May 12, 2012 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
  2. Pete

    I'm more concerned with the reputation of this little boy... For the rest of his life he will be known as the boy who sucked his mommy's boob on the cover of Time Magazine. How embarrassing... High school is going to be awful for this kid.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WhatNow

      Sure, but it did get mommy on the cover of a magazine and the Today Show. I guess we know what is really important. I grew up with three brothers and I can tell you this will come back to haunt him. Those who think not live in fantasy land.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
    • tj

      You are joking right? Take a good look at mom. most men would gladly latch on if given a chance!

      May 12, 2012 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • Pitbull

      I agree and this sick mother just did it for herself and money.

      May 12, 2012 at 23:36 | Report abuse |
  3. Enough

    Breastfeeding is fine for those who wish to do it, but I don't want to see it. By the way, I'm 65 and a women!

    May 12, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WhatNow

      The truth is, people are perfectly free to raise their children as they wish. However, if you ask others to respect your choices, you must give respect. For example, many, many people are uncomfortable with people openly breastfeeding in highly public places (like the dinner table in a restaurant). Just because you find that natural, doesn't mean everyone must tolerate your choices. We live in a community and mommies with babies are only a part of the entire community. All people deserve respect.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:45 | Report abuse |
    • Maggie McDuh

      But obviously not concerned with spelling. Woman is singular, women is plural. They are not interchangeable and yes it matters when you're leaving a snipey comment like that.

      May 12, 2012 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
    • Scott from NH

      I agree with you. In England, the Philippines, and Taiwan breast feeding is considered natural, normal and it is accepted that babies need to eat. But in socially conservative nations like Iran and the United States it may be considered indecent.

      May 12, 2012 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
  4. Enough

    If those that wish to breastfeed insist on doing that in public, then as a 65 yr old women, I can take my top off too and walk around! How would that go over????? Breastfeed in private.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      Go for it!

      May 12, 2012 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
    • Darrell

      I agree

      May 12, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • c smythe

      nudity is freedom and beauty

      May 12, 2012 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
    • Priscilla

      IGNORANCE!! A breastfeeding mother DOESN'T show very much at all!! You see more boobs on a cover of sports magazine then you do of a mother nursing...STFU and get over yourself!

      May 12, 2012 at 20:53 | Report abuse |
  5. Sunny

    Hell with you, Stephany. I made a comment-you replied with an attack. And yes, "Enough"...I certainly agree..nobody wants to see you breastfeed in public. Find a bathroom for your perversion.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • palintwit

      You are one nasty b!tch. I pity your patients.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
    • AZMommaE

      Seriously? Perversion? I am astounded you, as a nurse, would hold such an outdated viewpoint. I am also saddened, because you are the first person a new mother will come in contact with to receive immediate and crucial information in regards to continuing child care.
      You obviously have some significant issues regarding a woman's breasts and their intended purpose, their sole purpose is, and has always been, to provide nourishment to our young. look to nature if you doubt that. it is only recently that we (mankind) have made them an object of sexual gratification.
      also you need to seek professional help, and change to a different type of nursing–immediately.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:50 | Report abuse |
    • hannah1

      I agree! My husband likes to suck on my boobs. I guess it's OK, then; the next time we go to the mall, we'll sit down and do it right there. What's the difference???

      May 12, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
    • Coramae

      Breastfeeding in a bathroom is what is nasty. Do you eat in there?

      May 12, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
    • philliyboy

      I like your idea, I'm gonna grab my wife's DD and have some. Sunny is upset because she is an A.

      May 12, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • c smythe

      there is no evidence sunny is a nurse or even a woman . . . I suspect this troll is a middle aged male christian fanatic

      May 12, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      How about you go eat in the bathroom....

      May 12, 2012 at 16:31 | Report abuse |
    • maria

      Amen ! if you want to feed you kid go to some place else I am not interested in seeing you ugly boobs! is disgusting ! this kid looks like 6 yares old ,and for sure he don't looks like he is hungry! he is posing with his wacky mom! the bond and all that silly stuff is all baloney we have kids and we didn't breastfeed them and they are happy ,intelligent humans beings just because you don't breastfeed them that means they are not bonded with their moms! is a ridiculous talk!

      May 12, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
    • h

      Do you eat in the bathroom? Eat in the bathroom while people are defecating, urinating and flushing the toilet at the same time....then come back and tell me to breastfeed my baby in the bathroom...GROSS!!

      May 12, 2012 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
  6. palintwit

    I really do wish that Sarah Palin would weigh in on this one. Who better to comment on breastfeeding than one of the most successful parents in the country. We need her guidance now more than ever !! Or perhaps Bristol Palin would care to comment. She's a bright young woman and a parent.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hannah1

      SERIOUSLY?? Palin? She's a nut job. And if Bristol is so "intelligent", how'd she wind up knocked up?

      May 12, 2012 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Haha, nice, you obviously got one over on Hannah.

      May 12, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  7. Darrell

    i honestly think that this type of public disp;ay is embarrising. if you want to breast-feed your child at that age its okay for you but for MOST people we usually start them on solid foods. You can have pride in it if you want to but keep it to yourself instead of posting it nationaly and internationaly. you may have a freedom of speech but don't abuse it.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Coramae

      Yes, there comes a time when it stops being about feeding and only about comfort. Basically, she's his giant binky. That is not appropriate in public. A little baby held discreetly so that he/she can get nourishment..well, that's different.

      May 12, 2012 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
  8. Darrell

    my apologies on the spelling error... DISPLAY

    May 12, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Heather

    Don't understand this debate... I enjoyed breastfeeding for 5 months when my milk dried up. We supplemented with formula from birth because I had low milk production. I didn't feel like less of a mom because we supplemented or more of a mom because we did some breast-feeding and there was nothing more emotional and rewarding for me than watching my husband feed his infant son w/ the bottle when I was pumping or not breast-feeding. This is personal choice; there's no right or wrong or super mom or not super mom. Hate to tell ya'll this, but we're all human making good and bad choices every day. I will tell you I think you're heart is totally in the wrong place if you're breastfeeding just to put yourself on some sort of pedestal above moms that don't; then you're not doing what's best for your child because see... this is about them, not you. Oh and breast-feeding a three year old is ridiculous, but hey – go you. Therapists need jobs too.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maggie McDuh


      May 12, 2012 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      I believe from your remarks that you will probably make pretty good choices for most of your life.

      May 12, 2012 at 19:59 | Report abuse |
    • KD

      Thank you Heather! I do agree with you as I did try my hardest to breastfeed my baby boy. I agree with you saying that a lot of these moms who are breastfeeding and bashing the formula feeding moms are doing it for the wrong reason, more so they can be called " supermoms" and "I'm way better than you because I'm breastfeeding..." blah blah blah! Yes it is the best but some of us do not have such wonderful luck with it! So KUDDOS to those who can and are nursing but don't go putting the mothers down who formula feed. I still struggle to this day that I couldn't breastfeed longer than 3 weeks, I cried and cried for days, thinking I was a bad mother for not being able to breastfeed. I pray my son will grow up healthy, happy, with a strong immune system and hope that he is getting the nutrients he needs. I am not a fan of formula feeding when we can offer the best, most natural and healthy food for our babies but unfortunately, it didn't work out for me.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
  10. AZMommaE

    As I posted in an earlier reply, "the(ir) sole purpose is, and has always been, to provide nourishment to our young. look to nature if you doubt that. it is only recently that we (mankind) have made them an object of sexual gratification."
    If a mother wants to breastfeed, it is her choice. I recently purchased a teeshirt for my daughter-in-law (who breastfeeds my grandson) stating, "I make milk, what's your superpower?" She put it on immediately when she received it. I wish I had received one when I had my children and breastfed them. I would have worn it proudly.
    Where is all this animosity over such a natural thing coming from? Are we really that narrow-minded as a society that we would believe breasts should only be used for display purposes? Putting breasts in the "sexual gratification only" category keeps us locked into a perpetual teenage mentality.
    Grow up and mind your own business.

    May 12, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hannah1


      May 12, 2012 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
    • drinker75

      You honestly believe that men haven't found breasts alluring since humans were human? give me a break. Yes, breastfeeding is not sexual, I breastfed, but I'm also not naive enough to believe that men just suddenly started liking boobs.

      May 12, 2012 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • c smythe

      there is a second purpose almost as important as nourishment. the baby gets it's start on immunity to viruses from mothers milk.

      May 12, 2012 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      Good for you, thanks for your comment

      May 12, 2012 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      As a man familiar with the breasts of a number of women, I would like to point out that in addition to being a nutrition source for babies, most women also find it erotic when the right man touches their breasts. It's not all about feeding junior.

      May 12, 2012 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
    • Sullivan333

      It is very natural to nurse until age 3 or 4 – humankind did this for tens of thousands of years, and kids loved it. I cut off both my kids from breast feeding when they were a little over two, because that is what the current society says is acceptable and conformist. They would have liked to continue, but one of the few bad things about living in this time is that something so sweet, healthy and innocent is attacked.

      May 12, 2012 at 22:04 | Report abuse |
    • teresa

      @hannah1 : uh, breastfeeding was going on LONG before the existence of SCHOOL.... think of another timeline.

      May 12, 2012 at 22:35 | Report abuse |
  11. hannah1

    She's disgusting! I raise German shepherd dogs. Even a dog knows that by the time her pups have TEETH, its time to kick them off the teats! She's just looking for a cheap thrill, and the kid will keep doing it until he's 50 if she allows it!! GROSS!

    May 12, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • booblover

      I wish she'd invite me over for a taste.

      May 12, 2012 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • teresa

      @hannah: what in your ESTEEMED opinion is the purpose of a breast?

      May 12, 2012 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
  12. joe

    Wow! All you have to do is read some of these comments and you quickly realize how many incredibly stupid people there are in the world! good for a laugh though!

    May 12, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Felix El Gato

    That's why God made breasts. He made teeth so women would know when it's time to stop.

    May 12, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cheeks023

      They're called milk teeth for a reason, all mammals know this. Once milk teeth start falling out and permanent teeth start coming in is when most mammals start the weaning process.
      Oh? What's that? Children don't start losing their milk teeth until the age of 5? I guess that explains why the world average for term breastfeeding is 4 years old. Yes, that's what I said. The world breastfeeding average is 4. Only us here in North America find term breastfeeding to be disturbing.

      May 12, 2012 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
  14. pozin

    I think natural breast feeding is the best but probably not convenient for some mothers. The idea of breast feeding to the toddler stage just looks a bit odd to me. I picture the kid coming in to borrow the keys to the car in his late teens and this mom whips out a quick snack for him for the road. Quit trying to justify it as it is not normal and there is a reason it is not.

    May 12, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jamie

    Children are designed to receive comfort at their mother's breast and to drink their mother's milk. Humans are the only species that wean their young and then give them the breast milk of another species (cow). Children who are allowed to wean from the breast on their own will wean in a few YEARS, as nature intended. The dangerous thing about nursing a toddler or pre-schooler in public is that you have to protect your child from the ignorant and unkind remarks that so many people are expressing here. Good for the mothers that breastfeed until their child is ready to wean and good for the fathers that support them in doing so!

    May 12, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SocialHistory

      Amen, Jamie. It is astonishing how total strangers will say nasty things to a mother that nurses in public. (And by the way, to the haters out there, this is not what nursing in public looks like.)

      May 12, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  16. GJM

    Breast feeding is a private matter not meant to sell magazines. That poor little boy's face should have been blurred. I'm sure later on in his life he will resent his mom for not insisting on blurring his face. He is scarred for life.

    May 12, 2012 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KeithTexas

      Don't worry, there will be girls in HighSchool that want to give him a little.

      May 12, 2012 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
  17. kathydc529

    I am a big believer in breast-feeding. I have 5 kids and nursed my last child until he was 18 months old. I loved to nurse, but I came to a point where I knew I had done the best for my kids and I wanted my body back! This boy on the cover of TIME and others like him may have a tough time later in life because this photo is out there for all eternity. Nursing on demand is appropriate for newborns, not three year-olds.

    May 12, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
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    I used to be recommended this web site by my cousin. I'm no longer sure whether this post is written through him as no one else realize such distinct about my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks!

    May 12, 2012 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. cweinblatt

    The psychological implications of breast-feeding a three year-old (or older) child are profound. While these mothers insist, "I know best," do they really? Or, are they doing what their own mother did, right or wrong? Or are they doing it to meet their own need for emotional satisfaction, perhaps unmet elsewhere? Have they considered how their child might be bullied in school once classmates understand? Have they considered why they continue to breast feed years after physicians recommend stopping? Are they perhaps doing it more to satisfy their own ego? Being a good parent is not about sleeping with the child at age 10 or breast-feeding at age six. One of the most important aspects of being a good parent is knowing when to let go. And yes, my undergraduate degree was in Psychology.

    May 12, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • psych

      If you are going to make this kind of claim, first at least know what doctors recommend, which is one year or as long thereafter as desired by the mother and child (check the American Academy of Pediatrics position paper on breastfeeding) or 24 months and as long therafter as desired my mother and child (see the World Health Organization's recommendations on breastfeeding). Second, research suggests that the natural age of weaning for people is 2 to 7 years of age. So . . . . what are the psychological implications of nursing a chld YEARS less than would be normative just because you live in a puritanical culture where people make all sorts of baseless claims????????? Knowing when to let go doesn't mean letting go BEFORE the appropriate time either. A bachelor's degree in psychology does not teach you about the psychological impact of breastfeeding. Ridiculous.

      May 12, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
    • proudfeeder

      Perfectly said, psych! Thank you!

      May 12, 2012 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
    • Cheeks023

      Maybe you should try talking to adults/children who do remember nursing and ask them what they feel about it, before making blanket statements like that.

      I actually know of several who remember. Do you know that not one is "traumatized" or scarred for life" or seeing a therapist due to the abject horror. Quite the opposite actually. They are all secure, happy, productive people. The memories they have of breastfeeding are those of fondness, of love, warmth, and security. How that is bad, I'd like to know.

      May 12, 2012 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • didley0415

      The 'psychology' of breast-feeding a child until later years is social, not scientific or personal preference, and the psychologist knows that. Sure, go ahead and feed junior until he is in JHS and see what he's like (taking things to the inth degree.)

      Similarly, especially with male children in our culture, extended breast feeding, when mother's breasts are not nutritionally necessary, can be harmful to the young psyche especially when the child finds out that it is not 'normal' to be breast fed until they are 7. Their first reaction will Not be to be militantly pro-breast-feeding. It will be to shrink away and pretend that they are not 'abnormal.' This is where self-valuation in a child can get off track.

      May 12, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      That doesn't mean you know anything, your degree is worthless deciding how to conduct your life. My Mother was a Clinical Psychologist and my Wife is a practicing psychologist with 25 years of experience. We are a 60 plus year old couple that have been together 38 years.

      All of us worked through life just like everyone else, the education didn't provide the answers.

      May 12, 2012 at 19:57 | Report abuse |
  20. Barbee

    Whether you approve or disapprove does not matter.
    doctors at Cornell university did a study and found children who breast longer than a year are putting plaque in their arteries. They also did autopsies on young soldiers say 18 to about 25 and found serious plaque formations from dairy products and meats. We are the only species who drink another specious milk. So whether you approve or disapprove does not matter.

    May 12, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • didley0415

      So your point is, 'a better diet,' yes? A non-dairy vegetarian diet? What about fish? Fish oil is supposed to assist in resisting the build-up of plaque, but that's meat, isn't it? Too bad.

      Who OKayed the autopsies on these young soldiers? Not the families, I'm sure. How did they determine the earlier diet of the soldiers? What assumptions were made during the study? (You have to make assumptions or you don't know what you're looking for.) In which years was this done – diets changed greatly in America in various periods of our history. When was this published? What measurement tools were used? How were their findings validated, and against what other standards?

      May 12, 2012 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
  21. Shawn L

    It's amazing when people get all uptight when breasts are used for what they were designed for. Hey, it's ok to use them to sell clothes, movies, magazines, whatever, but feeding a kid? Oh that crosses a line!

    Women SHOULD breast feed until the child is two, unless there are medical reasons why they cant.

    May 12, 2012 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • maria

      And is amazing that you contradict yourself,you see? breast are a sexaul organ you just say it! breast feed is for babies not for a toodler he looks like 6 years and he is not hungry they use this bimbo to make ratings ,not to enforce or teach about brestfeeding .....is not the act of feed the BABY not toddler but is least a little but of common sense "cover your breasts"we are not interested to see your ugly boobs! all the women here complaining why we dislike the method is because they belong to "lLa Leche" a radical group about brestfeeding,I know because I know people who belongs to that goroup and is histerical really!

      May 12, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
  22. maria

    The manager of Time magazine was on TV with the wacky women and he said we make ratings ,this was all about RATINGS not about breastfeed it makes worse he said we know it was going to make controversy and that is what we need! how sad the bimbo making money ,smeering this kid for ever...if it was about breastfeeding why not show a mother with a BABY?not a toddler .I bet when the kid is 15 he will be very proud showing the pictured to his new date lol lol lol

    May 12, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. maria

    DISGUSTING DISGUSTING! this was not about breastfeeding this was about RATINGS this bimbo is not a breasfeed mother she is making money you see the kid hungry? he was POSING! outrageous! only in America! the pedophiles are having a FIELD DAY!

    May 12, 2012 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Shaneeda Quit

    Everytime I see a woman breastfeed, I think of breast cancer.

    May 12, 2012 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. psych

    I don't really understand what the big deal is. Nursing 3 year olds don't nurse very often–a couple times/day–this provides antibodies that keep them healthy and comfort from their mothers. Most don't nurse in public and why are people worried about their peers? I highly doubt they are running around talking about nursing at pre-school-I know lots of nursing 3 and 4 year olds through friends and I've never heard them talk about it to other kids. This cover shot was clearly a bad idea for this child and was meant to spark debate, but are we seriously all stupid enough to take the bait? This really is, or should be, a non-issue.

    May 12, 2012 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. TEET Fest

    If they started selling human breast milk in the stores I have a feeling that some of the ppl replying on this forum would actually buy it. How sick is that....

    May 12, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. proudfeeder

    First, the cover photo goes too far–you don't need to showcase your child's feeding in public. That said, how ignorant so many Americans are today! It is perfectly natural to breastfeed children until they are school-aged; our fore-mothers did it and mothers in other countries still do. What's not natural is to feed our children the milk of other animals. COW's milk is for BABY COWS! And what's really unnatural is to feed our children chips, soda and McNuggets, but if that was happening in the picture, there would be no public outrage. Haters–stop sexualizing a natural act in your perverted minds. Thank you to breastfeeding mamas who are giving their children the best possible start in life!

    May 12, 2012 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • didley0415

      School aged? Freud would love your family. We have plenty of nutritious things readily available for a child to eat and drink these days so he/she is not relegated to mommy's breast until they're learning cursive.

      Weaning – 'getting off the teat' is a necessary thing for children.

      May 12, 2012 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • proudfeeder

      School-aged in American society means 4 or 5 years old, not 10 years old and in 4th grade, when they can write in cursive.

      May 12, 2012 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
    • didley0415

      It's just as well – they're not even taught cursive anymore...

      It's just not necessary to breast-feed so long. The benefits of mother's milk are not so great after a few months, much less 4 or 5 years. The rest of it is just in-your-face mommyism.

      Just my opinion, of course – and the total percentage of mothers who breastfeed their children past a year to 1.5 is likely a fraction of 1% in America.

      Happy Mother's Day.

      May 12, 2012 at 19:10 | Report abuse |
  28. jo23m

    Breastfeed an older kid is sexual because the kid will be teased
    at school, he'll definitely have mental isssues later on , possibly sexual harrasement of girls.
    Women are known to get organisms when breastfeeding their kids.
    Wonder how many times get got the big O

    May 12, 2012 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cheeks023

      what exactly are you spouting about? Have you ever spoken to an adult/teen who remembers breast feeding? I have. They all have great memories of it. No scarring, no trauma, in fact, quite the opposite. Secure and independent.
      Sexual issues? Orgasms? Where do you get this information from? I would LOVE to see the study that shows that all women get orgasms (orgasms...not organisms...) from breastfeeding. I have never spoken to, or heard of a single woman who has ever orgasm'd while breastfeeding. I have been breastfeeding for the last 10 years (I have 5 children.) and never once experience "the big O" as you so delicately put it.
      Please check your facts/sources, before spouting such ridiculous drivel.

      May 12, 2012 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
  29. didley0415

    I wonder if it's more for Mom than it is for son?

    That photo's going to come back to haunt him.....................

    May 12, 2012 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • proudfeeder

      I think for some women extended breastfeeding is done to meet their psychological needs, and those kids were doomed whether their mothers could breastfeed or not. But it's not the case for the majority of women who do so. Most who choose to do it say it's because they strongly believe it is natural and healthy, and I agree.

      However, I also agree with you that this photo will not benefit this boy in the long run. The photo sheds the wrong light on a parenting philosophy that promotes warmth and bonding, not "in-your-face mommyism" as the woman's stance brings to mind.

      Thanks for posting critical viewpoints that are intelligent and non-offensive.

      May 12, 2012 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
  30. moe

    many cultures look at this issue in diffrent ways. who are we to say if it's right or worng. most countries who do feed for longer time seem to have smarter and more healthy kids. but again its all up to that person

    May 12, 2012 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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  32. Robin

    What is the big deal. My mother breasfead my brother until he was five years old. He is fine. As long as my mother had milk on her breast, why not keep feeding my brother? In other world cultures, breasfeeding is the norm and women do in public places without people being shocked. It is normal and shameless.

    May 12, 2012 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ItsTheRitz

    It's NOT the breastfeeding that is offensive because breastfeeding in and of itself IS extremely beneficial to both mother and child. It is NOT the length of time that the mother chooses- ultimately it is HER choice. What IS troubling is the provocative pose that a mother would strike while nursing an (almost) 4-year old son– if this is NOT how she nurses her son (and she admitted it is NOT), then why the suggestive pose? As a breastfeeding mom, I am saddened that the mother elected to pose in such fashion. Seriously? I'm guessing a book and/or movie deal is coming soon 🙁

    May 12, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. KeithTexas

    Breast feeding is good for the babies and better for the Daddies.

    May 12, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Sabrina

    BS!!! This photo is nothing but crap....if she wants to promote breastfeeding, she can do so without posing with her son standing on a stool, suckling!! Yes, other countries find it perfectly normal to nurse publicly but bottom line is we are a country that doesn't do this without some people becoming offended. I am a mother of two and find this picture very disturbing. I don't care that she can flaunt her breasts...that's HER choice, but her son had no say and you can bet your bottom dollar he is going to pay dearly for his mother's choice. Children are teased daily for something much less than this....and why she would want even chance humiliating him is beyond me. That is not for the good of the child....no matter what any of us think. Is she going to be by his side every day when he starts school? No....and he will be left to his own defenses once the kids start in....you just wait and see. She only looked at this from her adult point of view......I say shame on her. Frankly, I could give a squat if she wants to breastfeed a four year old. Why that pose on Time? Shock value? Sorry, it didn't make the article itself any more poignant for me. All it did was stir up controversy....there are other ways to make a point.

    May 12, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Sunny

    Thank you, Maria and Hannah for understanding my point of view. Yes, I have been a nurse for 38 years, and yes, I'm a woman who is 56 years old. I still stick with my feelings. Breastfeeding is nasty, and it's also a pain in the ass. Give a child formula and they sleep well. Breastfeed them, and they're awake every two hours. So who is going to suffer? MOM. And after 8-10 weeks of virtually no sleep, Mom is going to get awfully cranky, Then the abuse starts. Handling that baby a little roughly? No wonder......

    May 12, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      Please change professions. I can just imagine the type of nurse that you are.

      May 12, 2012 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      There is NO WAY you are an OB nurse. A real OB nurse would tell a mother that a newborn needs to be fed every few hours; not telling them to feed formula to get them to sleep longer. A newborn is not supposed to sleep through the night. Don't know too many moms that would abuse a six pound baby because they are tired.

      Plus if you think breastfeeding is gross, you would have major problems being any kind of nurse, let alone an OB nurse. Helping deliver a blood and fluid covered baby, changing diapers full of meconium, helping moms change their giant maternity maxi pads. Anyone who thinks breastfeeding is disgusting could not do any of those things. Troll.

      May 12, 2012 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
    • teresa

      Sunny, I have a maternity nurse story for you. I was 8 months pregnant and in labor. Head Maternity Nurse NEVER missed a guess at when a woman would deliver. The other nurses told me how lucky I was that she was on shift so she could tell me when I would deliver. I informed them I was in labor and having contractions every five minutes and was delivering THAT day. Oh, how the head nurse laughed at me! She felt my belly when I told her I was having contractions. This was at 7:30 pm. "Oh, honey, you arent going for at least another week." I told her I was "going" that night. She told the Delivery Doctor to go home to bed.

      At 10:30 when she had to call the doctor back in she got herself a reaming to remember from the doctor... he had been asleep because SHE told him I wasnt in labor. Oh, how I laughed at that know it all Head Nurse. You nurses, sometimes, ya aint so smart. Just think you are. GOD MADE BOOBS. Is it a coincidence that milk comes out of the boob?

      How did civilization progress without the invention of FORMULA? you are a fool. When did your husband leave you alone with your kids?

      May 12, 2012 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
    • KD

      You really do need to change professions! As a nurse you should know that babies who sleep through the night at such a young age are a greater risk for SIDS! Babies need to feed and nurse every 2-3 hours. When you decide to become a mother, you're in for sleepless nights for the first couple months; that baby needs you, well not you obviously. You'd rather a newborn sleep for 8hours right off the bat rather than getting up to bond and feed the child! I find it VERY HARD to believe you're a nurse because working in the medical profession myself, I have yet to come across a nurse as harsh as you when it comes to breastfeeding. When my son was born, I had so many wonderful OB nurses there to educate me on the benefits of breastfeeding, some even offered to come in and hold my breast while my pre-term baby tried to latch. They brought me a brand new Madela pump to use and were checking on me every 2 hours to make sure I was doing ok. Not one of them discouraged breastfeeding!

      May 14, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
  37. ALP

    I have to say it's not the breastfeeding that bothers me, it's the caption and picture that do. Breastfeeding is up to the mother and child, period. When to stop is also up to them. Please note I DID NOT breastfeed my 2 year old and he is perfect. However, I did not need to see this picture nor do I want to see it in public. I know it's natural...so it going to the bathroom. But I don't do it in the middle of a restaurant!! Is it really too much to ask to cover yourself and your child up if you're out and about??

    May 12, 2012 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dudley0415

      I'm not even sure it's up to the child at all. It is something they have done all of their lives. It is perfectly normal, like any other behavior that is daily and has Mom's stamp of approval.

      As a parent Mom's need to step up and make the decisions for children that they cannot make for themselves. Lots and Lots of psychological studies show that children do what their parents want for them to do (duh) even if it is not what they wish to do – in most cases a good thing. In this case a decision said to be the responsibility of the child is prejudiced by the mother – what mom breast-feeds with a growl and a scornful look?

      If the child finally said, "no," it was long. long after they actually felt that they should say, "no." Takes time to build up the courage to go against a parent, especially when the kid thinks it might hurt mommy's feelings – whether mom says it will or not..

      May 12, 2012 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
  38. pamela

    Breastfeeding was the most beautiful thing I ever did. It was so bonding and I was told that especially in the first few weeks that there was something in the milk that would boost my son's immune system. (He has been a very healthy person, now young man).I think the person who posted that she/he was a nurse is a liar and was just trying to bait people. No maternity nurse could say that...how awful.

    May 12, 2012 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      Let's hope she's a liar.

      May 12, 2012 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
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  41. BasicJustice

    We are mammals. We breast feed. So what?

    May 12, 2012 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Sam

    While I find the cover unnecessarily provocative and contrived to stir controversy-I find the topic worthy of mainstream discussion! (Yes, I read the articles too!) In my experience, long term or extended breastfeeding is not forced, coerced, sexual or even typically done in public (not that there's anything wrong with that). For many, self included it is an essential component of an overall parenting strategy that may include numerous other contentious practices. I think any breastfeeding mother will tell you, it may prove to be the greatest tool of motherhood to ease the tears and pain of infancy and toddler-hood, teething, illness, build immunity, and provide comfort and security like nothing else can. It may also prove to be the greatest challenge. The choice and commitment to breastfeed, just like so many other parenting decisions is not a "one size fits all" that deserves specific regimented schedules that adhere to societal comforts or norms. In fact, it is a blessing to even be able to nurse, as so many cannot. If it works for mother and child to do it for a few weeks, a few months, a few years or even beyond-that is their business and theirs alone. Despite my strong personal feelings with regard to long term breastfeeding, I do not gauge my self worth in that matter, nor should any other woman. And while it's hard to believe this beautiful, well kept mom's toddler is standing on a chair, grabbing a little milk....it's actually not all that far fetched for a toddler-nursing mom. The gymnastics and shenanigans that come with nursing a small individual who can run, climb, and contort is only part of the fun and yes, sometimes part of the frustration. As she said, it's not for everyone! Advocates of breastfeeding, attachment parenting, natural parenting and the likes make it their business to expose others to their methodologies because they are keenly aware of the lack of knowledge, support, and understanding that so many encounter along the way. I'd rather see a toddler nursing than sucking on an artificially flavored, colored, sugar coated piece of candy any day. To each her own!

    May 12, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Thor Tangvald

    Im a physician, and would love to latch on, although my wife disagrees.

    May 12, 2012 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Thor Tangvald

    Im a physician, and would love to latch on, although my wife disagrees with my assessment.

    May 12, 2012 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply

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  46. InMyOpinion

    If a mother wants to breastfeed, fine. If she wants to use formula, fine. Those are personal choices. I agree that breast milk is natural and has antibodies, but I highly disagree that if you feed your baby formula then you are a bad mother or you are cheating your child. To those who say formula is substandard, I fed my two children formula, yet they are rarely sick and are in the top of their classes. I know several women who breastfed all their children and those children seem to catch every germ that comes along. Doctors recommend switching babies to cow milk when they are a year old so why do they need breast milk when they are 3? You show me the hard evidence that all these breastfed "kids" don't get sick. I think if a child is old enough to verbally ask for the breast, then they are too old. Just because the child still asks for it doesn't mean they need it. Why not let your 6 year old suck a pacifier? I admire anyone who can breastfeed their child for a year (breastfeeding isn't easy) and I say, "Go for it!" But please don't become a breastfeeding Nazi who demands that EVERYONE breastfeed or they are lousy mothers Please don't force me to watch little Johnny come down the playground slide and then run to mommy for a snack. When they get to kindergarten, you cannot tell who was breastfed and who was fed formula. I don't think it makes as much difference as promotors of breastfeeding want you to believe. I personally think Dr. Sears may be a doctor, but when it comes to child-rearing philosophy, he is a fruit-loop. It is much healthier for children to sleep in their own beds, and they do not need breast milk when they are in preschool.

    May 12, 2012 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Mulva

    A: If you believe that breastfeeding is sexual, than that is on you, not on the mother
    B: Most women who are breastfeeding try to do it discretely. If they do it publicly, they are doing it because you have made it a public issue.
    C: Tbe minimum age for breastfeeding as endorsed by the WHO is 6 months, with 1 year as the ideal. For most of the world, the average age of breast feeding is 4 years. Obviously the bare minimum age for weaning the child is not necessarily the ideal age.
    D: Children that are breast feeding at that age are eating solid food. Breastfeeding is a supplemental activity; eventually the child will lose interest in the comfort and security of breast milk; this is a natural activity.
    E: How are the other children in the other photos even going to know that they should make fun of the child in the photo, unless the parents tell them that they should. It should bet he parent's job to endorse incluisveness, not divisitty.
    F: Just because the breast is a sexual organ at some points in time, does not mean that it is at others. Many women find the neck to be an erogenous zone; does that mean that it should always be covered, because certain women find it pleasurable to have their necks caressed?
    G: Nourishing your child in public is the basest of human interactions. It is not on the same level as private sexual activity.
    H: If the child had a security blanket that he maintained at four years old, you may think that he should give it up before going to kindergarten, but you would never question the parenting. To the child, breast feeding is a similar activity. The only difference is that the breast feeding will bring nourishment and comfort, and will eventually come to an end.

    May 12, 2012 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. OxyMoron

    As a NICU nurse I know that breastmilk is best but an infant can survive on formula too. There is a time and place for everything and sometimes, breastfeeding with the proper instruction, is not always successful or may not be the right decision for this MOM, infant, and situation. OR, a MOM may choose not to breastfeed for whatever reason.

    Not every couplet is meant to breastfeed and some babies are born extremely premature or critically ill and may never be able to breastfeed through no fault of their own. Some MOMs cannot afford to be away from work for more than a couple of weeks. Some MOMs do not produce any breastmilk. There are so many variables.

    I see every day how Lactation Consultants and Counselors have turned into breastfeeding NAZIs making MOMs feel like crap if they choose not to breastfeed or are unsuccessful at it. It is their body, their infant, their decision. Educated, support, and then back off!

    May 12, 2012 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Vincent

    Jamie Lynne Grumet is kind of hot. That is all.

    May 12, 2012 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Karen

    I am a pediatrician and am surprised at the strong negative opinions regarding breastfeeding. I believe strongly in the parents' right to choose how to feed their newborn, but they should be educated on the health and nurturing benefits of breastmilk, which is superior to formula. Infants should be allowed to nurse in public because they need nourishment frequently and accomodations should be available in the 21st century (hello!). 33 years ago when I breastfed my severely handicapped son in public (completely covered) I got evil stares, mostly from other women. I did nurse him for 2 years, but did not plan to do so. He just had such difficulty eating solids. Older children do NOT need to eat frequently, and therefore do not need to nurse in public. Frankly, I found the Time cover a little shocking myself. I have observed this age child nursing in exam rooms, but I agree with previous opinions that this young man could have some "splaining to do" in high school!

    May 12, 2012 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
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