Friday, May 11, 2012

Breastfeeding : TIME magazine cover

I JUST saw a couple comments on facebook about the new TIME magazine cover, that has the whole country talking. The comments, were for the most part negative, and even went as far as to refer to the cover as child porn, and totally gross. I was really shocked, and VERY saddened to see this kind of reaction.  Obviously the picture was taken in a way that would get reactions, OK. I doubt that she seriously nurses her son like this in public, or even at her own home. It was a photo shoot, yes, but much more that that. It was meant to get us talking, SO LETS TALK!!!
The magazine cover that has America talking

I remember a couple years ago I watched a documentary, about an English woman who was still nursing her 9 year old girls. I watched that and thought, OK, yes, maybe that's a bit extreme, and while maybe that would not be something I would do, I didn't at any point think it was porn, or totally gross. The girls obviously weren't bothered by it, and clearly their mom wasn't bothered by it, and so who was I, or anyone else to say that they should be bothered by it.

As a mother who COMPLETELY believes in breastfeeding, as THE VERY BEST thing you can do for your child, between having 3 kids, I was breastfeeding for nearly 7 of those years. That's a whole lot of breastfeeding in my lifetime.

My first child nursed for the shortest of them all, not because either one of us wanted to stop. The only reason I stopped with him was because, while nursing one day he fell asleep with my breast in his mouth as babies do, and while he was dreaming he bit down so hard he drew blood from my nipple. I'm talking he really bit the crap out of it, and after that, I was so scared, and couldn't think of that pain again. Besides that one had to heal, and you know walking around with one breast full of milk, while the other is shrinking just didn't appeal to my young self back then. I was only 20, and maybe if that happened now, I would handle it different, but I did my best even then. He breastfed an entire year before that happened.

My second child nursed for 2 1/2 years, until I was in my second trimester with my 3rd child. I started weaning her ever so slowly for a couple months before that, but she just wouldn't have it.

My third child, bless his heart, he nursed for 3 1/2 years. I thought he would never stop, but the day came when he too, called it quits. For the record, both my youngest continued to ask for it, ON OCCASION even much after they stopped. Yes, there was no more milk, and yes they had practically forgotten how to suckle, but it was a bonding moment, that nothing compares too. It was a comforting thing for them, even if it only lasted 20 seconds. I didn't make a big deal of it, and they felt incredibly happy for it. I was so thankful that I could STILL comfort them in such a wonderful way, and honestly I wish I could still do that to this day, lol.

Life was so simple when popping my boob in my childs mouth would solve ANYTHING. Seriously it was the best medicine, and ultimate cure for anything that came our way.

I was never one to cover myself with big huge blankets, or sheets, or other stuff. I never had an issue nursing anywhere, and IF someone gave me a look, I would just smile. I was very confident, and it showed, so nobody really ever gave me a hard time about it. Although practically everyone I know, including most of my family and friends, DID think I was a bit weird. I never let it bother me though, and would always tell them how wonderful it was, and how HEALTHY it is for a child.

My thoughts have always been like this, and although I strongly believe that breastfeeding is THE ONLY way for me, I must also remember that many might NOT be ABLE to do so, for various reasons, and then of course there are those who choose not to do it at all, or just for a very short while. It's all good people. I don't judge, whatever works for you, but if you know me, and if I know you, no doubt you will hear me ramble ON and ON about the benefits of breastfeeding. I do believe in it very much, and I have no problem telling the world.

So what are your thoughts on this? I can already imagine that most of you will think that extended breastfeeding is a bit extreme, and that's ok, but try to be respectful even if you don't agree with me. I would be happy to discuss the topic with you, but not if you will be mean about it :)

Oh and having a supporting husband, is most helpful. I can't imagine being able to do this, if you don't have a husband who completely agrees, and supports you. So I was blessed with that as well. Nobody else really mattered, this was what we BOTH agreed was the best thing for our children, and often he was the one defending me to others.

I know it's not for everyone, but I would have it no other way. Those years I spent breastfeeding were the most amazing years of my life, I absolutely LOVED it, and the bond I created with my children will never go away. If you are thinking about going down this path, I can tell you, IN ALL CERTAINTY you will not regret it. If you have any questions about it, please let me know, I will be happy to help out in any way!!

I will continue my thoughts on this next time, along with co-sleeping. So get ready!!!


  1. Ok you want to talk... I'm being honest here. I'm breastfeeding my 5 month old and plan to until he's one. Im all for breastfeeding but this cover makes me feel like what I'm doing is dirty. It's ruining it for nursing mothers.

    1. Erika, I appreciate your honesty, and can totally see how the cover might make you feel like what you are doing is dirty. Indeed it is not a really good depiction of what it looks like breastfeeding a toddler. I know mine never stood on a chair so he could nurse while I stood up. I think that it's great you plan on nursing the whole year. One of the main points to AP (attachment parenting) is to breastfeed until the child weans himself. Many moms say their babies weaned themselves before a year, so naturally you will just have to see how it goes for you. I let my kids for the most part wean themselves, and that was what worked for me. Many things made this possible, and it just might not work for everyone. Thanks for taking time to read my thoughts, and YOU GO GIRL, whatever you are doing is what is right for you, and there's nothing wrong with that :)

  2. Way to go, Bella! What a lovely post! I'm glad this cover is getting people talking, but I think it crosses the line just a little bit. Not the picture, but the title - it seems like it's inciting yet more needless competition between moms who have different philosophies. You know what I mean? "Are you mom enough?" I mean, that's a little annoying to me, since there are some moms who can't or don't want to breastfeed for that long. It's just like what you wrote in your post. So on that level, I'm a little annoyed with the cover.

    1. I completely agree about that. Like I said, just because this is what worked for ME, and I really believe it's the best thing for a child, I know many moms who choose to never breastfeed at all, or could not, or did so for only a short period of time. I know for a FACT that these moms are incredible, super moms, and judging a mom based on how long, or if she breastfed at all, is simply not right. I think that was most definitely in poor taste, and hopefully despite that, and despite people's thoughts about the cover picture, it can bring awareness to extended breastfeeding. It truly was an incredible thing for me, and clearly so many others. Sadly in our society now, they have to present things in a way that creates shock value, and then hopefully it will get noticed. I think had the picture been anything less, there might not have been any talk at all about it.

  3. First, I have to say: You read my FB post about how that kid doesn't look three. This appeared on the news last night (we had the TV muted since we were talking) and my hubby looked at it and said, "What the heck? What is that boy doing on that woman's boob?" I laughed, explained, and he said, "That kid is not three. He's bigger than Liam!" Good to know I'm not the only one who thought he was older than claimed to be. LOL!

    Anyway ... on to the matter at hand. I see nothing wrong with breastfeeding or feeding in public. My husband, a MAN, doesn't either. He knows that when a babe needs to eat, HE EATS! It is just meant to cause controversy because we now live in a world where medical professionals are saying that a mother's milk isn't enough, it lacks THIS or THAT vitamin or nutrient, and kids need to be supplemented. That is all this is, pushing new mother's to formula. I say HOOEY! It's political and people ought to be ashamed for making women feel ashamed to nurse. It's why we freakin' have boobs. Children have been surviving on their mother's milk since the dawn of time. You don't see the human race dwindling do you? Obviously it works and it is more than enough to sustain a babies life.
    As far as feeding in public, WHO CARES?! They're not having sex for Pete's sake. It isn't foreplay. Quit making it something it's not!
    How long someone chooses to nurse is their own prerogative. In biblical times, children were nursed until the age of five. Now, obviously things have changed since then, and I think three is acceptable. As I said on FB, I think by the time they enter into school, they ought to be cut off. I know it is a comfort thing, and if the family as a whole is okay with it, let them alone.

    1. Ha ha, I do think that he looks big too, but I don't doubt he's 3. I think that it would be very easy to prove otherwise, and I just don't see what the point of getting called out on something like that is, you know.

      Yes the push to make moms believe breastmilk is not enough is pretty sad, BUT I do think that in some cases it could be quite true, sadly of course. We all know that our babies get all their nutrients from the mom, before they are born, and after should we choose to nurse them. If a mom is doing BAD things (let's just leave it at that) I would hope that she has the sense to feed her baby formula, and not her milk. However that's another topic completely, hehe. For the most part, our milk should be the only thing required for our babies, even with the most sensitive of allergies, a moms breastmilk is one of the few solutions.

      In most parts of the world, even in America a long time ago, women would breastfeed much past the first year, and usually into 2-3 years of age at the least. SO you are right, that it has just recently become somewhat taboo to do so for so long, and that makes me sad, when clearly it is such a normal part of mothering a child.

      I really miss breastfeeding a lot, and sometimes I wonder if I'm really ready to say 3 kids is enough. I know crazy right??? Just being honest. Having kids is one of the greatest gifts ever, and I already miss my little ones, being little :(

  4. I have not become a mother yet... But, as my opinion is with most things, as long as you're not hurting anyone else, do what you feel is right. I'll be completely honest though, if I saw a child that appeared to be as old as this one appears nursing in public... I would be confused at the very least. He doesn't look three to me... But even if he is three... I wouldn't want to watch him nurse. I feel like nursing is a private thing between a mommy and her baby and being as discreet as possible makes it more comfortable for everyone. Anyway, that's my opinion. :)

  5. Oh Em GEE!! I love this discussion, Bella! I totally LOVE what Stephanie's reply! And y'all know my precious Alie, you see what she looks like in pictures. She is THREE! Three years old. I breastfed her until just after her 2nd birthday. I miss it. I really do. When she gets the sniffles my boobs actually tingle. I always double fed her when she got sick and she would be better the next day, so HA and the doctors who feel like it's not enough!! I had one in the hospital that wanted me to supplement with formal because she had jaundice. I'd like to see them take up that "not enough" argument with God!! Now, a lot of people don't understand and really it's only once you've been a mom and been there that they will get it but....I WISH I could still feed Alice. It's such a beautiful amazing thing. There is nothing, NOTHING as touching as giving your child all the nutrients made just for them from your body while their big sparkling eyes look up at you. It honestly is like a moment of Heaven.

  6. I have a one year old baby boy, and I am still breast feeding. Although I do enjoy and found it a wonderful bond I think at a certain age you must stop. When you're baby no longer looks like a baby people tend to make comments and it is also for a Mother very time consuming. I have my entire family trying to get me to stop breast feeding but I think in a few more months I'll stop. It's something no one else can do but me and i love making my son happy. So if the breast is what he wants, the breast he will get :) moms don't be afraid to stand up in what you believe. By the way I'm only 19 years old. A teen mom ! And unlike other teen moms, my son comes first !


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In my spare time I enjoy cooking, and baking. In fact my mother and I have been making cakes for over 30 years. I also love gardening, traveling, and all things crafty. I struggle daily to keep my like organized, along with my never ending battle to keep the house clean. I adore my three kids MOST of the time, and can usually be found doing the mom thing from morning till night. I try to catch a few mommy moments, but those are hard to find in this wonderful life of mine. I am blessed and happy, and am thrilled you stopped by today :)