Pregnant women baring all for the press is nothing new - think 1991 Demi Moore - but the cover of Time's newest issue moves the goalposts by pairing a quasi-nude mom with child long after delivery.
Like, really long after delivery.
Time's Kate Pickert's story on the movement known as "attachment parenting," which is all about bringing mother and child closer via lengthier breastfeeding years on top of other (less controversial) strategies, is turning heads for its rather graphic graphics. A series of photos showing kids as old as 4 firmly attached to their parents are on glorious display, and it's got media mavens, and no doubt more than a few media moms, chiming in.
"Anybody else slightly slack-jawed over this week's Time cover?" asksThe Atlantic's Adam Clark Estes. "People are talking about Time Magazine for the first time in recent mammary" remarks (clever) Twitter user Karen Howell.
But perhaps it's the practitioners of the extended-stay breastfeeding movement themselves who will have the last laugh. Seattle recently passed legislation allowing breastfeeding mothers the right to feed "anywhere, anytime, and in any manner." No word yet on whether it applies to "attachment parents."
Original story posted May 10th - 1:29 PST
Update, May 12th - 2:45 PST: The mom featured on Time's cover, 26-year old Jamie Lynne Grumet, defends her decision to appear on the magazine despite widespread criticism of the move:
I understand some of the breastfeeding advocates are actually upset about this because I feel like [the photos] don't show the nurturing side to attachment parenting. It's more of a cradling, nurturing situation. And I understand what they're saying, but I do understand why Time chose this picture because it...did create such a media craze to get the dialogue talking.
Breastfeeding is a natural process, people make it into more than what it is. Geez. And I was breastfead until I was two, and a lot of people laugh when they hear that. But they say the longer you breastfeed, the smarter the child is, so what would it hurt to try? But I don't know about being 15 or 20, I would say there is certainly sometime to quit...
I'm sorry, but when a child is old enough to attend preschool and kindergarten, it's time to put the boobs back in the bra. You want your child to drink breast milk?? Buy a pump and let them drink out of a cup. Besides breast feeding doesn't make the kid smarter, breast milk might, but kids don't need boobs for that, especially toddlers and kindergartners.
I blame the introduction of formula for Americans' ignorance in the breastfeeding issue. If the child still takes the breast at whatever age for lack of self-weaning, or even if the parent(s) continue to encourage breastfeeding past a typical age 2 cessation period, then let them make that parenting decision without judgement or ridicule, especially from individuals who do not have any experience in the topic. Public breastfeeding situations are another issue as well. Let Mothers breastfeed their children! I recommend discretion in public to avoid disrespectful indecency, but overall believe breastfeeding is a blessing, a chore, and completely natural. Props to a woman who can find a way to go past 2 years as a way to continue bonding with her child, since at that point it's supplement nutrition. I'm currently nursing my son as I post this, and I've nursed 2 other children. The age they weaned is none of your business!
It maybe none of our business, but actually it is! Even the most loving parents can become obsessed with trying to bond with there children in the wrong ways. I nursed both of my children, but they were weaned at 17 months as per what their pediatrition recommendation. A child that is three,four, or five should be drinking out of a cup period! There are a ton of ways to bond with your children then just popping out a breast!