How old is too old for children to breastfeed?
In the spirit of Mother’s Day, TIME magazine sparked some controversy this week after they featured this photo of real life mom Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her 4-year-old son Aram on the cover. The photo was supposed to compliment the article which talked about mothers who believe in attachment parenting while exploring different scenarios like co-sleeping (where babies or young children sleep with or in the same room as the parents), extended breastfeeding (where mothers breastfeed their children through toddler age), and carrying the baby in a baby sling.
Jamie, who says her mom breastfed her until she was 6-years-old, visited the ‘Today’ show and said she doesn’t want people to just look at the picture as much as she wants to promote the message of nurturing your child. She says she knew that the issue would cause a stir and she understands why TIME chose that photo but that’s not how she breastfeeds at home.
On the Cover Causing So Much of a Stir
No, I don’t think any of us were expecting it. Yes, we knew exactly what we were going to get into. I felt like our family was basically one of the better ones to handle this because of my mom’s own personal breastfeeding [experience.] I mean, I don’t feel like that takes away from my own personal life . My relationship with my husband is very, very important to me and I think that it gives my children a strong bond , too. So I think a lot of people say, you can’t really be intimate with your husband if you’re co-sleeping and that’s just — I mean those are kind of myths, too.
On the Backlash
I understand some of the breast -feeding advocates are actually upset about this because I feel like they don’t show the nurturing side to attachment parenting . Which is, you know, more — this isn’t how we breastfeed at home. 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.
On How Long She Plans on Breastfeeding Aram
Well, we’re going to do weaning but I’m personally hoping [that the] fourth year, just for me, is probably going to be our final. He’s self-weaning right now and it’s a big commitment and it’s not right for everybody. I think that that’s the big thing — is you need to do what’s best for your baby and for your own family. So, you can take some of Dr. Sears attachment parenting philosophies and others, it’s okay, you’re not a bad parent. Your child will still be okay.