Should a mom continue nursing her child even after he’s too big to be held in her arms? For mothers who practice what’s known as “attachment parenting,” the answer is an emphatic “yes” — and some are more than happy to demonstrate.
This week’s cover of Time Magazine shows Los Angeles mother Jamie Lynne Grumet nursing her 3-year-old son, who reaches her breast with the help of a chair.
“When you think of breast-feeding, you think of mothers holding their children, which was impossible with some of these older kids,” photographer Martin Schoeller said in a Time Magazine online story explaining the cover photo. “I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation.”
The cover story illustrated by the photo takes a look at the philosophy of attachment parenting today — which, in addition to extended breastfeeding, also promotes co-sleeping and using slings to “wear” infants — and its roots in the 1992 parenting guide, “The Baby Book” by Dr. Bill and Martha Sears.
Time also posted photos of other nursing mothers featured in its story, including Missouri mom Dionna Ford of Kansas City, Mo., shown here at right with her four-year-old and five-month-old children.
The magazine will be on newsstands Friday. Time tweeted out the cover this morning and the buzz has been building on Twitter ever since. One apparent supporter of attachment parenting called it “inflammatory” and “an insult to AP (attachment parents) moms everywhere” while another Tweeter criticized it as “sexualized.” It has also already been the subject of parody, with the blog SooperMexican.com posting a doctored version of the photo, with President Obama’s head atop the body of the nursing mother and Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law school student infamously called a “slut” by conservative talk radio Rush Limbaugh, as the nursing child.
“Nightline” correspondent Juju Chang recently interviewed sitcom star Mayim Bialik about her practice of attachment parenting. Watch and read about the interview here. For more on breastfeeding past infancy, check out this “20/20″ piece.