Saturday, June 2, 2012
Unfortunately, the Time Magazine article picture did not help to promote breastfeeding. This photo was shot to sell magazines, not to help make breastfeeding the norm. While I personally nursed my children for up to 18 months, there is no doubt that breastmilk is beneficial for much longer. The controversy comes in with the child standing and the captioning challening moms to nurse their older child. As a retired lactation consultant, I always tried to help moms meet their personal goals and encourage them to nurse at each stage of breastfeeding. Whether it was the first month, three months or hopefully at least a year. I gave advice on partial weaning when a mom did not want to pump when returning to work and advice on gradual and baby led weaning when asked about weaning. The caption depicts all who promote breastfeeding as breastfeeding Nazis and not the supporters of mothers and babies who we are. It makes nursing mothers look radical instead of impassioned. While I support the mother on the cover and her personal decision to nurse her toddler, I reject the notion that we are all out there screaming that if you don't nurse for over a year, or at all, that you aren't mom enough! Breastfeeding can take tenacity. Tenacity which you need when you are parenting teenagers later on, but moms should be encouraged, not called out in a confrontational manner for not breastfeeding. Having said that, I personally have been atacked for statements such as "breast milk has never been recalled". Proponets of breastfeeding should be allowed to speak the truth without it being perceived that we are attacking the other side. Truth is truth whether you believe it or not and whether you choose it or not.