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posted by Satyam Kaswala in Health

Time cover ignites debate

May 11, 2012

This week's Time magazine cover of a woman breastfeeding her child has sparked some national controversy. The woman, Jamie Lynne Grumet, strikes a model-like pose while her 3-year-old child stands on a chair with her breast in his mouth. The story partly commemorates the 20-year anniversary of Dr. Bill Sears' influential work "The Baby Book," which championed attachment parenting.

Attachment parenting focuses on nurturing strong physical and emotional connections with children. Grumet was breasfed until she was six, which she says made her feel confident, secure and loved later in life.

Stephanie Hanes writes in the Christian Science Monitor that among Dr. Sears' parenting suggestions are "baby-wearing (keeping the baby close to you on a sling) and co-sleeping (sharing a bed with the baby)" as well as extended breastfeeding.

Hanes worries that the sexually provacative nature of the pose overshadows the fact that the United States ranks last out of 36 industrialized countries in its support for breast feeding, despite countless studies revealing nursing to be the healthiest way to nourish babies.

She notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until the baby is six months old. About 5.7 percent of mothers still breastfeed at 18 months. Yet the World Health Organization says that breastfeeding is beneficial for toddlers beyond two years old.

Only three states- Idaho, Nebraska and West Virginia- outlaw public breastfeeding.

Do you think the cover goes too far?

How old is too old to be breastfed?

Is there a stigma on breastfeeding that shouldn't exist?

Do you think attachment parenting is beneficial and healthy, or do you worry that it could create a society of over-dependence?

 

 

 

 

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