Each week the Mentor Patch Moms Council answers a question on parenthood posed to them by readers or another member of council.
This week's question: Time Magazine wrote a story about attachment parenting and put a woman breastfeeding her 3-year-old son on the cover. (The story is not available online. All I could find is a behind-the-scenes gallery.)
This has touched off a debate on how long a mother can or should breast feed. So, the obligatory question is, how long did you breast feed (if you breast fed?) And, if you saw the Time cover or read the story, what was your reaction?
I think the cover photo was ridiculous and obviously designed for shock value and to further inflame these trumped up "mommy wars" that don't actually exist out in the real world.
That said, for most of human history and in most countries around the world today, mothers nursed their children into their preschool years. This idea that babies should only nurse for a brief period of time is relatively recent and very first-world.
I nursed my daughter for a year and that was right for us. Other mothers do what is right for them and for their children.
It's really no one else's business.
Mary Jo Stack:
I didn't read the story but saw the cover. I think the cover was in poor taste, as Melanie stated was only for shock value.
I did not breastfeed. What seems normal to me is breast feeding for the first year. But my normal may not be someone else's normal.
Well, this subject is near and dear to my heart. If you want my entire (and lengthy) opinion, .
Breastfeeding did not come easily for me with my first child. But I think that if you can do it, then you should do it. It's great for your baby and it's great for you (health-wise, anyway).
If it's too hard and it makes you crazy and miserable, then DON'T do it. It doesn't mean that you love your baby any less.
I nursed my third daughter until my son was bornl she was 2 and a half. To some people, that may seem kind of old for breastfeeding but it worked for us in this case.
One of the main reasons I didn't try to wean her before was because I didn't want to go through the "starting out" stages of breastfeeding again with the new baby.
It was a seamless transition for us - I went straight from nursing her to nursing him with no trouble and no pain whatsoever. He's 18 months now and still nurses twice a day... and I'm not looking forward to the day that he decides he's finished!
To breastfeed or not is a highly personal decision and it seems silly to me to favor one woman's choice over anothers.
I've known women who have nursed their children far longer than what I would've been comfortable with (teeth = time for a bottle to me) but it worked for their lifestyle. Some moms don't, or in fairness, can't breastfeed; and, again, it is their own very personal decision.
I thought the Time cover was purely sensational in style, though if their goal was to get people talking, they certainly achieved it; and probably sold a few magazines in the process.
I nursed both of my kids for six months until I went back to work.
Once I returned to work I breast fed them at morning and night for a few more months. This worked well for us and in both instances it was pretty clear when the right time to transition was.
I think this is a totally personal decision and each family should make the decision that works for them. We need to stop judging others and let everyone make their choices without concern for others' opinions.