Time magazine has sparked a breast-feeding debate. The cover of the magazine's May issue shows a woman breastfeeding her 3-year-old child.
The magazine hasn't even hit shelves but wow is it causing controversy. The debate not about the benefits of breastfeeding but more about how much is too much and when should breastfeeding stop.
So is time magazines May cover distasteful? Some say yes. It's become the poster child of a big debate. “It looks like someone's trying to sell magazines by sensationalizing something that shouldn't be sensationalized,” says Fresno Pediatrician Jim Kratzer.
Its sparking wonder about breastfeeding—is there a limit? “Um, no but most kids will stop on their own in 1st grade or so,” says Dr. Kratzer. “They turn out 12 years later to be the valedictorian and honor students.”
But for many 7seven is too old; the average mother pulling away after six months. “They would either roll their eyes if they felt the baby was too old to be breastfeeding,” says Sarah Ellis a Fresno mother who believes in “attached parenting”.
Sarah isn’t a statistic. The mother of four stopped breastfeeding her children when they were 2½-years old—for her little girl that was six months ago. “I don't blame people for being uncomfortable with it but I tried to be respectful of what my family needed,” says Ellis.
Her method is being referred to as “attached parenting”. It's a growing trend among mothers and it's the focus of Time's article. “There’s always a debate; there always will be probably,” says Ellis.
The parenting style is common at Dr. Kratzer's office in Fresno. “A number of our patients do breast feed longer than some people would be comfortable,” says the doctor. “I know there are a lot of allegations made—by people that frankly don't know what they are talking about—that its somehow abusive or wrong.”
“The way our culture sensationalizes the breasts is really the part that is psychologically abnormal,” says Dr. Kratzer.
Time's magazine article featuring the mother and her 3-year-old child will hit stores next week.