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. apmom

    kdf, you need to do your research before you make a post. Do you even have children? Were you too lazy to breastfeed past 3 months?

    May 11, 2012 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • inachu

      I would love to breast feed right now. Dam you CNN I am at work and now you got me hook on that very pretty mommy!
      I hope maybe she is single. If so if she is reading this just want to say to the model- I LOVE YOU and I AM THIRSTY!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • setnommarih

      This is a no brainer, more milk please!!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
  2. SCT

    @Julia who replied to my post: FYI: I had a career in journalism, both before I had kids and then after I returned to the newsroom. Worked weekends, nights, long hours, and eventually was a single working mom. Please don't jump to conclusions. I said I stayed home till my kids were in middle school, I didn't say forever. And oh yeah, when I was not working we made financial sacrifices so I could do that, as most did during that time.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Carol

    Ok, I have no problem with women and breastfeeding. My question is this: At 3 years old isn't this child eating solid foods? If so, why is he still breastfeeding? He can't be getting all his nurishment from breastmilk also at 3 years old. I guess I just don't understand this attachement parenting idea. I know a couple of years ago I saw a 20/20 special and this 10 year old was still breastfeeding also. My grandson is 4 and I just see how independent he is and don't understand. I also don't get having your kids sleep with you and your spouse. That is always my private time with my husband, where we relax and talk about out day. Also when do you have time for sex if the kids are in the bed with you? And yes, I know there are other places and time for that.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • setnommarih

      You have to wash those hotdogs down with something!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
    • sarahh

      10? How is he going to feel about this at 20 and everyone knows about it? Humiliated? How can parents be so selfish? Ugh.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • Carla

      Of course the child is eating solids. Most likely the child nurses in the evenings before bed or before naps, or when he needs comfort. It is rare that any child beyond 12 months old is relying solely on breast milk. That doesn't mean that breast milk isn't a great supplement to a toddler/preschooler's diet, though – breast milk has shown to be a fantastic addition to any young child's diet.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
  4. ST

    Breastmilk is HIGH in fat and I know SEVERAL woman who continue to breastfeed and pump well passed the recomended "6 month" purely for weighloss purposes. Sad but true fact, I even contimplated doing it. I was at my lowest weight in over 10 years after having my girl and breastfeeding. then when I stopped all the weight came back.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jen

      Your comment shows how ignorant you really are. It's rather sad, actually. AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least ONE YEAR, the WHO recommends for 2 years and both recommend you nurse as long as both mom/child are happy with it. The 6 month is just for exclusive breastfeeding until you introduce solids. To even imply that they do it beyond 6 months just for weight loss (which is JUST one of the benefits). The beneficial fats IN the milk are exactly what your child needs for brain development – why else do you think that formula companies are creating TODDLER milk... because they should still be nursing.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      @ Jen: What's sad is your rude arrogance, however misguided it is. What a horrible waste of energy, I truly hope your day has improved Jen.

      May 11, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
  5. momnmo

    oh! I forgot to add "excuse me now while I water my government approved garden and stuff my kids full of carb laden fat free garbage

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

      Better a government "suggested" garden than a large tray of Sarah Palin's s'mores.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
  6. Techsupport

    It's not about the kids, it's about the need to be needed, and keeping your offspring as dependent as possible for as long as possible. Argue all you want, it's meaningless. People will continue doing it, and that's their thing, but that doesn't mean that everyone is suddenly going to start celebrating these types of mothers. After 2, it's not about the baby. It's either about insecurity of the mother, or the laziness to ween a baby who still wants it, and they don't want to deal with the crying. Detestable either way. Again, the arguments mean nothing, more people trying to convince themselves some more, because they aren't convincing anyone else who isnt already of the same mindset.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. stopthehating

    What is the big deal? I don't understand why Americans are so uptight about breastfeeding in public. We are always looking to shame people. Let her do what she wants to do. I have no problem with it. Also, everyone is talking about the health benefits of breastfeeding, but it's also MUCH CHEAPER. Maybe she is on a budget, maybe she is being wise with her money on top of being a devoted Mom. We have so many parents in this country who don't give a crap about their kids, why not celebrate a mother who obviously wants to do the best for her child, not the best for what you think she should do!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kay

      It has nothing to do with breast feeding in public. It has to do with the fact that a child who is feeding himself, toilet trained, etc... is still breast feeding. The issue is how old is too old.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
    • setnommarih

      First dibs on the leftovers!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Why? Why is a certain age too old? The milk is JUST as valuable to their brain development – it doesn't suddenly become less good for them because they turn a certain age. (Really, people?). Again, why do you think formula companies created Toddler milk... because it's a well known fact that even past 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, they still need the stuff that is in the milk. Consider the monumental brain development up until the age of 3.

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

      Jen, Jen, Jen. Companies are producing "Toddler" milk because helicoptor parents will pay $$$ for it. And I'm well aware of the benifits of breastmilk, what I think is a extrem is breastFEEDING past 1 yr, let alone 3!! At a year of age your child should be weaned off the breast. I had a strangers child 2/3 yrs of age come up to me at a childrens party and pull my blouse down because he wanted to feed! I'm sorry but that parent is not doing her child any favors.

      May 11, 2012 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
  8. Jason

    Just doesn't look like she's packing enough for a 3-year-old . . .

    May 11, 2012 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ionymous

      What are you talking about? Packing enough?

      May 11, 2012 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
    • SCT

      LOL Jason.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • blumpkin

      HAHA i totally agree, had the same thought!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • amystery

      to those who said she wasn't "packing enough" for a 3-year old, I have to say that being small of breast myself, I was told I wouldn't have enough milk. Ah contraire. One smart nurse told me to thing of the breast as a faucet, not a container. So, if said mom drinks enough water or liquid, it becomes milk.

      that said; a 3 year old? There is a certain ick factor. Also, I wonder if the young men will become to obsessed with breasts as adults. Thank you moms for experimenting for the rest of society.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
    • amystery

      one more thing; I knew a woman who breastfed her 5 children until the ages of 4 to 5 and as teens they were buying baby formula to drink instead of cow's milk. Not so bad, I guess, but what about when they grow up and have kids of their own?

      May 11, 2012 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
  9. Tara

    I know of a person who was still doing it when her child was five. He was on regular food and breast milk.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sarah Boss, LMHC

    The issue of attachment is about safety. Does a child grow knowing he/she is connected (attached) to the world. By connected, do people care and love them? Does what they say and do make a difference? Can they effectively interact with the world? Am I a parent because I want to get love or am I a parent because I want to give love? Successful parenting depends more on the answers to these questions and less on the length of breastfeeding, where a child sleeps, and where a parent works

    May 11, 2012 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. gee

    In many cultures around the world, this is a none- issue. It is only in the USA where people sexualize everything and then feel guilty about it. Thanks also to the milk lobby and the likes of Nestle and you have a brainwashed population. People are brainwashed by their churches and taken advantaged by the food corporations.

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

      I sexualize everything.but I don't feel in the least guilty about it. 🙂

      May 11, 2012 at 11:39 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda


      May 11, 2012 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • AH

      In your all knowing "they" or "the rest of world" I would assume you would know if it is normal for "the rest of world" to breast feed their children past 18 months. I'm pretty sure you will find it is not normal or average at all for "them" either.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
  12. monomial

    CHILD ABUSE!!!! Where is CPS?

    May 11, 2012 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ionymous

      How original. Needing attention?

      May 11, 2012 at 11:24 | Report abuse |
  13. sparkley-mama

    I applaud this woman and the other parents for being brave enough to share their parenting choices with the world! Extended nursing is much more commonplace than the general public believes, and it is natural. There is truly nothing selfish to it, especially on the Mother's part. (To all that say it is for Mom's benefit - you try keeping a toddler in one place for more than 30 seconds...let alone try to "force him/her" to breastfeed. ) Many children at the ages of 1-5 have a "comfort object", perhaps a blanket, stuffed animal or toy. Some children, however, get the same comfort from nursing – which does also provide noted health benefits (i.e., immunity, milk that adjusts to their growing dietary needs, no added hormones, etc.). Each family/parent/child relationship is unique, and assuming that all are happy, healthy and well adjusted – I see no problem with attachment parenting/extended breastfeeding. However, just as one would wean a 5 year old child from a pacifier, I do personally feel that nursing past age 5 should also be phased out slowly.

    In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
    29% of energy requirements
    43% of protein requirements
    36% of calcium requirements
    75% of vitamin A requirements
    76% of folate requirements
    94% of vitamin B12 requirements
    60% of vitamin C requirements
    — Dewey 2001

    May 11, 2012 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Master

      You and her both need to be smacked!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • setnommarih

      Were those stats for one breast or two?

      May 11, 2012 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
    • AH

      Comfort object??? My breast is now a comfort object to my four year old son. How insulting to him and myself. Additionally you may want to check your pacifier facts with the local orthodontist. Take your pick, pay for a Psychiatrist for taking your breast away from your five year old or the orthodontist for not taking away his pacifier. It amazes me how everyone has an opinion but hasn't bothered to check their facts or even look at long term effects. We talk about physical effects but what about long term emotional damage?

      May 11, 2012 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
  14. father of 1

    Give it a rest people. My child just turned 1 and she is still breastfeeding. My wife still does have to do it in public sometimes and she feel ashamed that people are going to give her funny looks. This is a choice that people make and feel very strongly for. Yes, they could have chosen a better picture, but the reality is people associate boobs for sex and boobs are actually for feeding you children. If people weren't so lazy as to just use formula which is horrible for kids and do this it wouldn't be a big deal. I don't see an issue with this at all, personal choice...GROW UP!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mother of 2-- Currently Breastfeeding

      To Father of 1- good for you for standing up for this. I agree, these people on here need to GROW UP!!! Im currently BF'ng my 11 month old, and its ridiculopus how uptight everyone is about this, from both sides of the coin. Dont judge me, Im not judging you. I made a choice to do this, you made a choice to do that....and thats all there is to it. You also right how breasts are made out to be this "sexual" thing, but what all these people dont think about is, they wouldnt exist if their ancestors chose not to use their breats for what they are really meant for, feeding, survival, nutrition.....etc.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • JWR

      Sorry just one thing I want to say is please don't tell people they are lazy for not breast feeding their child. My son is 4 months old now but when he was a week he was losing weight fast because I couldn't produce anything. Just a few drops. I cried for days about it. So it's a bit insenstive to insuate that people who give formula are lazy.

      And I guess one other thing, I'm not sure I agree with the idea of breast feeding kids past 12 months unless a doctor says it is needed. While I can understand the desire to create comfort objects and provide good nutrition, I think there are better ways to do it. Children learn their dietary habits from a very early age. So perhapes giving them a wide rage of fruits and veggies would be better nutrionally speaking. A comfort object could instead be something the child could have should Mom have to go on a trip for several days. Plus I do think there is the factor of how will the kids feel later in life when that story is shared.

      I don't mind if you disagree with me. I just thought I'd give my two cents.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
  15. Guest

    Why isn't anyone looking at the real issue and why most mothers don't breastfeed after 3 to 6 months...and that being our law in the US has zero support for new mothers and maternity leave being only 3 months and completely unpaid is outragous. Most mothers are having to return to work at 3 months if not sooner and i personally know i couldn't take 3 to 4 breaks at work for 40 minutes at a time to pump...because thats how long it took me to pump a decent amount of milk. We don't need to focus on mothers and why and how long they breasfeed, we need to allow them to be able to do it if we want them to do it for longer period of times!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ES

      Exactly !!!
      Pumping is hard for those who don't have much milk produced by their body. I actually couldn't do it at all. The milk would just not go. So, I am really offended by anyone everyone who says "just pump" while not realizing that it is much harder than natural breastfeeding, which is not easier either.
      And the corporate management is competely oblivious to the whole thing. In my current workplace we don't have a mother's room and everyone sits in the cubicles. One girl wanted to pump. They found her an office on the exec floor, except it had glass walls. So, they had to glue paper over the glass. And people would give her funny looks when she went there,

      May 11, 2012 at 11:38 | Report abuse |
    • Working mom

      Yes, pumping is HARD!! I have a 10 month old and I sitill pump three times day. Before that, I pumped 2 times at work and 3 times at home then cut down to total 4 then 3 times. I work full time but luckily to have a company who offers monther's room for me to pump while at work. Breastmilk is something money can't buy and it is one of the best things you can give to your child.

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

      So you would rather maternity leave be longer and paid? Why then would I ever hire a woman under the age of 60 – 3 months pay for no work? 6 months? 12 months? I would go bankrupt on any (I only employ three people – so hiring a temp to cover while paying mom would be a 25-33% increase in wages – my greatest expense).

      I don't see why, as an employer, I should be paying for your child. If you want three months pay, then save up three months pay and pay yourself back during that time.

      Just because it is free to concieve a child does not mean it is free to have and raise it. Think of your fertility like a credit card – if you save up money and use it, then it is great and comes with lots of benefits. If you use it without money in the bank, then you deserve the tight years that come with overextending yourself.

      Extending breastfeeding (and breastfeeding in general) does make sense for mom's health (weightloss is good for mom, not just vanity), the baby's health, cost control, and – possibly most importantly – reduced fertility.

      The greatest damage I see being done to the child in the Times' picture is the absence of a father. Discussing parenthood without the father is like discussing which half of the family dog you are getting in the divore – DOA.

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

      I am a woman and I disagree. I understand you want and maybe even need to have a longer maternity leave, but perhaps that should be your expense and not the expense of the company who has to not only pay your salary, but the an additional salary to make up for your absence. It should not be the companies responsibility to pay for you to have children. Maybe, you should delay having children until you can afford to stay with them as long as you like. Having children isn't a right, it is your personal choice.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
  16. Victor

    I'm thinking that once your adult teeth start coming in it's probably time to stop.

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

      So what's the problem then. Adult teeth don't fully come in until you are 13 years old.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      And they don't start coming in until you are around 6. This kids got another 3 years till then.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
  17. chris

    im glad that the subject is being discussed. im sad that many people seem to find something wrong with breastfeeding past 3 or 6 months. i knew a little girl named sage who was breastfed for 2+ years and at first i thought it was weird. then i noticed she was the most well adjusted child i had ever seen. she didnt cry like the other kids would, in fact she would try and comfort the other children. eye opening experience for me. i wish i had gotten that amount of love and support when i was an infant/toddler.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. The Master

    She a freaking id10t and should the child should be taken from her NOW!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Charli61

    Personally I think it should be up to the Mothers. Do I like seeing it done with toddlers? Not particularly, but it's not my business is it??

    May 11, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Christy

    I don't understand why any of this is up for "debate" at all. Do what is best for you and your family and who cares what anyone else thinks. I tried breastfeeding...hated every minute of it. Resented my newborn, cried all the time...then switched to formula and finally began to bond with my child. For me, breastfeeding was NOT the right choice. And no one can make me feel guilty about that. I made the right decision for me and I am proud of it. I don't sleep with my kids, prefer to have that 'alone' time, but if someone else is happy breastfeeding until co-sleeping until the child goes to college, more power to them. You won't hear any criticism out of me. Just do what is best for you and your family and quit worrying about what everyone else is doing!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Diane

      I totally agree with this post. I am very different in the above poster, as I breastfed my children through 13 months. At the time, I was told 1 year was the recommendation. I also slept with all my babies. But, I respect the above poster's decision to raise her children how she sees fit. With families, there is no one size fits all. Unless there is abuse, and there certainly is none here, than it is up to every family. All these "opinions" on what is right, is just that "opinions." Support parents in their choices! They have a right to raise their children as it makes sense to their family. Different choices are right for different parents. As long as there is no abuse, parents should support each other...

      May 11, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
  21. JohnHruban

    Animals being more intelligent in some ways, know when to wean their offspring. But since humans can experience orgasms from breast feeding ( Ref Goggle), perhaps this is why so many continue to do it way too long. Probably feels great. I've been told by my mate that she experiences orgasms when I kiss and fondle her breasts. However extended breast feeding borders on self gratification and almost incest. Especially when done in public places. Would you agree this is sort iof masturbation in public places or wherever?

    May 11, 2012 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • father of 1

      I wouldn't agree with you at all...

      May 11, 2012 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • unbelieveable!

      "I've been told by my mate that she experiences orgasms when I kiss and fondle her breasts."

      If she had to TELL you she was "experienc(ing) orgasms" she was probably just giving you some positive reinforcement for your efforts. Smell the coffee, big fella.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:42 | Report abuse |
    • ES

      Did your "mate" breastfeed and had the same feelings? It sounds like both of you have no clue about breastfeeding and just jump to conclusions. Trust me, the brain knows when it is breastfeeding and when it is sex, it doesn't confuse the two.
      I t also doesn't help that to men everything seems to be about sex so they simply dont' understand how it could be otherwise.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      i think you are totally incorrect. women arent breastfeeding their children for their own sexual pleasure. that is insulting and moronic.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      I find this very appalling and offensive as a mother who breastfed her child past 2 years.... Seeing as I am a pretty well adjusted and in no way a sick individual, it never occurred to me to think of breastfeeding my child as a sexual experience in any way!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      Ding, Ding, Ding... You're the winner! This has got to be the stupidest post I've read all year! There is no sexual gratification in breastfeeding a child. This post is just insulting. Either you are a troll or incredibly ignorant. I really see no other options...

      May 11, 2012 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • Sonia

      Being the skeptic that I am, I did google it . . . and as much as I don't even like to think about it, there were a bunch of webpages to support JohnHruban's post. There were also lots of message boards dedicated to moms who asked if orgasming during breastfeeding was normal, as they were experiencing it. I breastfed my kids and never had that sensation at all. But just because it didn't happen to me doesn't mean it can't happen.

      May 11, 2012 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • mom of 1

      It can happen. It happened to me, and it was in NO WAY SEXUAL! Orgasms are a involuntery muscle spasm so it is not something that a person can control. It happend the first few times I began to breastfeed and it caught me by surprise. I did not feel ashamed or worried because I know how orgasms work. to suggest it has any sexual gratification is just sick.

      May 11, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
  22. Homeschool Mom in AZ

    Leave it to the media to decide to take a controversial angle (at this point in history and in this part of the world anyway) to a story about mothering close to Mother's Day. Pro or anti-attachment Parenting, this is tacky CNN and Time and Fox and the rest of them. They could have done something much more constructive like a story about mothers who adopt foster kids who are hard to place or something like that.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Amy

    So in order to truly love and nurture a child they need to be attached to your T*T until they're 5?? Here...let me tell that to my unconditionally loved, non-breastfed, non-smothered yet wholly intelligent, loving, caring wonderful 17 year old daughter. Just be a PARENT and LOVE your children.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Amanda

    It seems like people fail to recognize that breasts are not sexual. They serve literally no other function beyond nursing. Maybe if we called them by their proper name of 'Mammaries' instead of 'Breasts' we would all be reminded of their function.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • carl

      If breasts are not sexual, why do you want to wear a shirt. Why not walk without one on the streets? Or remove your other undergarment as that too is not sexual but an organ to reproduce? Get a life

      May 11, 2012 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
    • Grondahl

      Welcome to 'Merica, where explosions and death won't go above PG-13, but exposed breasts are instant R's. We need to change something, here.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
    • setnommarih

      You were not serious about that were you?

      May 11, 2012 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • Mama-to-be

      Breasts are not sexual? My hubby and I plan to start trying for our first baby this summer and I absolutely plan on breastfeeding. Breasts are not sexual while breastfeeding – breasts are absolutely sexual in other contexts. Mine are an important part of my sex life. Just like your butt might not be sexual while walking, but while lounging on the beach, you might be showing it off.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
  25. sam

    It is hard to give up breastfeeding a child because it is the last physical attachment a mom has with her child. However, one needs to think more about the best interests of the child than the mother's. It is in the child's best interest to be weaned at an age when the child can drink and eat on its own, and to that extent it is real mothering by putting your child on the road to independence from the"attachment". The attachment mothering can only benefit the mother, not the child. Moms, grow up.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Herb Robertson

    My wife and I have three kids, and they all breast fed until about one in a half. Occasionally when she felt engorged, especially when they were getting older, I helped by taking some of the milk myself. Wasn't half bad, I'll admit.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. docame

    Hey, if the kid is old enough to drink at the bar, then he is old enough to go get a job! 🙂

    May 11, 2012 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. jaketinback

    Yeah Im old. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt by Time to get readers. Yeah breastfeeding is normal and necessary but flaunting it all over the cover of a dying magazine is not. Next stop...Pedophelia...Beastiality...Incest?? No Im not comparing these to breastfeeding but in this day and age, anything goes as long as it sells or feels good.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. docame

    Hey, if the kid is old enough to drink at the bar, then he is old enough to go get a job! 🙂 I know I wouldn't mind with THAT mom!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Su

    I'm surprised that a magazine cover is worth all this conversation, but 23 New York hospitals refusing to allow mothers to bottle feed and refusing to allow formula is not news worthy! These people are like third world trash, who have no other healthy sanitary way to feed their children. Oh Ya! Welcome to America, which has now been taken over by illegal third world trash!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jim Bean

    Is that breast feeding or Child abuse or incest? I think this lady and the reporter both must be put in jail for child abuse and glorifying child abuse and incest.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. father of 3

    @ "The Master"; you obviously don't have kids...if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it. Judging a book by the cover seems to be the case here....Take a child from his Mom for breast feeding?! We're all laughing at you!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim Bean

      I have a kid. I would label it as incest and child molester. Breastfeeding after 1 is absurd, after 2 is freaky and after 2years 2 months both mother and child must be meeting a shrink. after 3rd year, its incest and she must be behind bars. I am sure kids breast fed till 5 end up as freaks and probably end up as child molesters. This cannot happen in America.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
    • Grondahl

      @Jim Bean, where did you get this information? School of hard knocks? What your daddy told you? Find me some concrete evidence not based on "This one girl who knew a girl", and I'll agree that you're not a troll.

      "Breastfeeding after 1 is absurd". Wow.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
  33. Brian

    Because of this article I followed the link to the Dr. Sear's page on attachment which I have attached. All of it seems a very normal parenting model (some would argue against the safety of sleeping with your child) and I can not find anything on the site that says it is normal to be breastfeeding through 3 years of age. I did find many instances where it states that by 18 months you should be helping to educate your child to being independent at the child's own pace. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/attachment-parenting/helping-toddler-ease-independence

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

    Geez, breastfeeding at 3 years old? How pitiful. Mothers who carrying on like this are absurd and, not only this, but are opening the door of an extremely detrimental situation when a child is growing into independence.

    All I can foresee is a kid who must endure this years beyond their time, turning out with 'issues' one day. This is just so sad!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. KE


    May 11, 2012 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim Bean

      not just abuse but child molestation

      May 11, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
  36. James Cann

    If I had a mommy like that I'd be sucking her teets too!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. lady barbara

    Think momma is doing this more for her benefit than her son's.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Stacy

    The thought of being able to remember sucking on my moms boobs is so flipping disturbing to me. I remember going to Disneyland when I was four and getting to eat a chocolate covered banana so I'm sure I'd remember sitting on a park bench sucking on my mom while I watched mickey and minnie walk by. Ewww. Talk about ruined childhood memories.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Grondahl

    The only way this boy will grow up and be embarrassed about this picture is if the "BREASTFEEDING IS YUCKY" crowd on this blog has kids and trains them to think that all things breast-related are gross.

    World Health Organization says 2 years of breastfeeding is optimal. Yes, solids can be introduced when the baby is ready (my daughter, still breastfed at 19 months, was eating baby carrots and apples at 6 months like a pro), but ultimately, breast is best. No two ways about it. I think American pediatricians prescribe six months, partially because Americans 1) are lazy and 2) have draconian laws concerning maternity leave.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stacy

      I breastfed both of my kids, don't think it's yucky, don't teach them to think it's yucky and yet still find this yucky. Weird.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • Grondahl

      @Stacy, it probably doesn't help that the photographer said in an interview that he wanted to deliberately highlight the weirdness of the situation. There's another picture of this same mother with her son in her lap, feeding him while he's zonked out for a nap. That one looks perfectly normal, albeit with a bigger kid than most people are used to seeing.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
  40. Shirley

    The poor countries have no choice to breastfeed, what is the difference here in the US?

    May 11, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. whitney

    The issue is not about the content. It is about that horrible picture that time and now the rest of the media is forcing on us. It is disgusting.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. KYMomma

    Why is Bixler asking the question if extended breastfeeding is o.k? This is just stoking the flames we need to tamp down. We need to stop judging other parents for their decisions when it's obvious that they have their child's best interest in mind. If breastfeeding until age 3 is a little too long it's really not that big of a trauma. Kids are pretty resilient after all.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Tulula Tenant

    Each mother is different, and mother's need to make their own decision about this subject. That said, I breastfed my son for two years and think it was probably not good for my son and if I could do it over, I would have cut him off after one year. Breastfeeding made sleep training more difficult, and I think in some way it made him spoiled by creating certain expectations in him. Perhaps it would have been his personality anyway, but I suspect the extended breastfeeding contributed to this.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Karen

    I breastfed my first daughter until she was just over 3 years and my second until she was 3.5. After age 2 years, it was always done privately at home before sleeping or "as needed" to help deal with tantrums or pain. My children never stood to nurse–they were always cradled.

    With my first child, breast-feeding literally was a life-saver: She had multiple food allergies (went into anaphylaxis at 12 mos when I first tried egg) and turned out to have problems with milk, tomatoes, potatoes, peanuts/nuts, wheat, and soy as well. It was natural to continue giving her one of the few foods that she could eat until she outgrew many of these problems. In addition, she had special needs (language delays due to vision problems), so had extreme frustration and tantrums from not being able to communicate. Breast-feeding was sometimes our only way to communicate. Finally, we learned that she had a serious birth defect–congenital diaphragmatic hernia (intestines were up in her left chest). The surgeon told me the fact that I breastfed for a long time likely helped save her life since breastmilk prevents constipation, which is disastrous when the digestive tract is outside the abdominal cavity.

    With my second daughter, there were none of the health issues, but it just seemed natural to continue as I had with my first, and she seemed to wean easily around age 3.5.

    The hardest thing about extended breast-feeding is dealing with friends and family who are critical.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. MattD

    I'll bet that kid has an erection. I would.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Judy

    More importantly, this cover brought attention to a more important issue. That women should have a choice about breastfeeding and parenting style that is not influenced by those who benefit financially or are inconvenienced by one method over another. While this cover succeeded in drawing attention to this important issue, unfortunately it works against those of use who support attachment parenting. They sexualized the mother in this photo. and that is the point. Breastfeeding is NOT sexual. It is biological, instinctual, a means for survival and bonding. This article is timely and necessary. Recently there was a commentary against co-sleeping, and pediatricians and AAP do not support it. and I HAVE to ask, what are you qualifications for making these guidelines? Evidence based literature is important but the data is limited. Not all factors were accounted for. Outcomes were categorized in ways that may have biased the data. Also, for those of you on these guideline committees... have you breastfed exclusively? Do you know how difficult it is to exclusively breastfeed and not co-sleep? Evidence based studies should justify guidelines that support healthy behavior. They should not be a reaction to horrible events to the point that natural, instinctual behavior is no longer acceptable because there have been no studies done to prove it is okay.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Su

      Gee "Judy", how many dead kids would you like them to study? 1, 10, 1,000? Co-sleeping causes dead kids!

      May 11, 2012 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
  47. ryan

    If you are old enough to remember being breast fed, then the line has seriously been crossed.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Stacy

    So I was watching CNN this morning with breakfast, and the anchor Carol Costello was interviewing this Dr. Sears about “attachment parenting”. She was incredibly antagonistic toward him, and I couldn’t figure out why? But it became clear when he was outlining the basic concepts of attachment parenting – the benefits of breastfeeding and how studies show that breastfed kids generally do better – and her response was to claim that his comments were basically hurtful to “us older women” who put their kids on formula and never breastfed. I’m thinking she was probably the wrong person to objectively interview this Dr.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. sarahh

    Should probably draw the line at photographing it and putting it on the front of a magazine so his future boss can google it and decline to interview him. Does she not know that one day he will be an adult?

    May 11, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. jeff

    it is nice a mom and her 3 year old are breast friends

    May 11, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.