extended breastfeeding or bust

i know a lot of people aren’t going to like this post. and it’s fine by me. but as usual i can’t keep my big, fat mouth shut—and this time it’s about the titillating (yes, pun intended) and controversial “time magazine” breastfeeding mom cover…

got milk?

so here’s how i personally feel about extended breastfeeding: i’m all for it. if you wanna nurse your kid until s/he’s got a date to the prom, by all means, go for it. okay, that’s a lil extreme, but you know what i mean. and i really don’t think it’s anyone else’s f*cking business.

i’ve always done things as a mom (and in general) that people say are nuts. i ate my placenta (well, i had it made into capsules, which i ate), i pumped and hoarded 2 entire freezers full of milk, i still co-sleep with lu and she’s almost 2, i made all her baby food, i’ve never let her cry it out, and i didn’t want to feed her cow’s milk, so i bought unpasteurized goat milk on the black market. not so crazy, right?

but i only nursed stinks ‘til she was almost a year old. i wanted to do it longer, but my doc made me stop so i could try to get knocked up again. so the dairy closed up shop at 11 months. (the next day i ran out and got botox, but that’s another story.)

but this new bambino will probably (fine, definitely) be my last, so i won’t have a reason to pull the plug on the boob. lord knows when i’ll stop—it might be when he’s 1, but maybe 2 or 3…and why is that anyone’s business but mine? even puddn said, “uh, no you’re not, janz…cuz that’s just weird.” good thing it’s not up to him.

i really don’t understand the big whoop. i’ve actually been reading a bunch of science-y articles that say it’s actually best for your kid to nurse until 3. and the world health organization officially recommends that moms breastfeed ‘til 3. but the american academy of pediatrics says that age is 1. wtf, america?!?

why are we so uptight when it comes to nursing…and especially nursing in public? i wrote a blog post a while ago about breastfeeding lulu in public, and i got a bunch of hate mail. i just don’t get it. is it because it’s so unusual to see a mom breastfeeding her kid that it’s not socially “normal?” maybe if we saw it more often, it wouldn’t seem so weird.

or wait, is it cuz people think of it as a sexual thing? if so, you need to get over it. that’s your hang-up, not mine. nourishing my baby (or preschooler) doesn’t have anything to do with sex, even if my boob’s out. in the rest of the world, no one bats an eye…here, people stare. again, wtf, america?!?

so back to the “time” cover. i absolutely love love love the message, and i totally support attachment parenting and all that biznass. but i do think that pic was planned for mere shock value—and let’s face it, to sell copies (did i mention i worked in magazine publishing for 10 years?). and judging from the redonkulous buzz, time warner’s really milking it, so to speak.

and i hate to say it, but that photo might’ve backfired on the true message here. i wonder how many kids stand on a chair (which btw, makes that lil boy look even taller and older…i’m sure that was planned for effect) to nurse. as much as it sucked me in (ba dum bum), it might actually do extended breastfeeding a disservice—portraying it as more of a spectacle rather than a bonding and natural experience. if “time” wanted to make people take one look and say, “eeew, gross,” then well done. great job. but if they wanted to gain support for the message…epic fail. then again, i bet it sells a sh*tload of copies.

i have to wonder if public reaction would’ve been any different if the photographer had captured a real breastfeeding moment, as opposed to staging such an artificial, defiant one. i guess we’ll never know. (sigh)

and one more thing: i completely disagree with the title. “are you mom enough?” come on. i mean, that implies if you don’t nurse your kids ‘til they’re in kindergarten, then you’re a bad mom. and that’s total horsesh*t. does that mean because i only nursed lu ‘til she was 11 months old that i’m not mom enough? f*ck you.

bottom line, here’s my take on being a mom: i do the best i possibly can. i try to keep an open mind. and i don’t (or try really hard not to) judge other moms on how they do it.

okay, i’m done.

btw, what do you think of the cover?

ma, i'm suffocating in here...just let it hang out!
daddy's not the only one chugging at the bar.
mama, why the hell is everybody staring at that lady?
big f*cking whoop if her boob's out...there's a baby's mouth on it.
i have an idea! can i go back on the boob when you have the new baby?
no? you don't like that idea? screw you then.
hold up, my butt itches.
jeez, jamie lynne grumet's kid is one lucky dog!
i still think you're a good mom...well, when you're not an a-hole.
yaaaay for extended breastfeeding!


Follow tulipandthelma on Twitter

Follow Me on Pinterest

if you like t&t, please “like” me on facebook. thanks!

and don’t read puddn’s new blog, www.mywifelies.com.


This entry was posted in breast milk, breastfeeding, breastmilk, curse words, f bombs, first-time mom, frozen breastmilk, husband, neurotic mom, new father, nipples, nursing, placenta: eating, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to extended breastfeeding or bust

  1. I have to preface by saying I haven’t read the Time article. But then again, most people in the US won’t read it, they will just see the cover and read the title. As such, I’m VERY disappointed in Time for purposefully giving extended breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting a bad name. I nursed my son until he was 15 months old and had to give it up because of my health needs. I’m not sure how much longer I would have nursed otherwise. Nursing your children is a very personal decision and there are some people who point out biological health reasons to nurse until a child is seven. I’m not sure I agree with those, but that is a personal choice, not a societal choice.

    In an age where science shows indisputably that breastfeeding is very healthy and good for babies and new mothers, yet many people choose not to breastfeed, I think that it is irresponsible and a detriment to the public health to publish an expose cover like this. I wonder if anyone has started a petition to tell Time how irresponsible and disappointing they are.

    • Janet says:

      hi alicia! thanks so much for your comment. you’re totally right…most people are just going to see that cover and say, “ew, gross!” and that sucks. if “time” wanted to get people talking about the issue, they got that, but most of it is now in a negative way. it’s really unfair, as i feel like it will strengthen the divide instead of getting people to open their minds. you should definitely start the petition–that is a great idea!!! do it! i’ll be the first to sign it. :)

  2. Di Collins says:

    I will put in my two cents worth because you asked me to. Personally, I am very offended by this cover not because I am offended by breastfeeding (nurse til the kid’s in college, what do I care) but only because of how staged it is. This was not a natural moment caught by a photographer. This was a staged photo shoot where a child was expolited for shock value. Imagine how this child will feel when he is old enough to understand that he is on magazine cover of a very personal and privare nature. Sure this kid might think, “so f*cking what? My mom was a caringMom and she was just breastfeeding me”, but probably not. He will probably be very embarrassed. Why? Because that child was not breastfeeding at that moment. You and I have both been photgraphed in shoots and commercials, etc. and we know how artificial shoots are. In a studio, this little boy was placed on a chair for the distinct purpose of appearing bigger and older than what he is (because that would be more shocking to the public) and told to place his mouth on her breast while looking at the camera. He was not being nursed. Mom was clearly directed to glare into the camera with a “f*ck all of , I will do what I want ” expression. So, if the point was to make the public HATE breastfeeders and attached parents, then, well done, Time Magazine. Game well played. If their point was to draw attention to it and gain supporters, they failed miserably. I don’t like seeing small children exploited. And as an actor, I have worked with many stage kids and stage parents, and 99% of the time, I feel sorry for the children.

    • Janet says:

      thanks di! i toooootally agree with you! i didn’t even touch on the whole issue about the little boy…i really hope this whole thing just goes away quickly for his sake. you nailed it though—staged and artificial are the perfect way to describe this image. i wonder how different the public reaction would be if the photographer would’ve actually captured a real breastfeeding moment instead of just take the cheap route and going for shock value. i guess we’ll never know. thank you for your awesome comment! :)

  3. Susan says:

    So that cover? Awful. And I wholeheartedly agree with you…it sends the wrong message and although provocative not sure it will do justice to the actual case for breastfeeding past 1 year.
    As someone with a european background…I think it’s a f*cking joke (!) how uptight folks are about nursing in public. I had a friend who was asked to “cover up” in a mall and she was using one of those damn tent things. (I never did and i nursed three babies wherever I pleased)
    That said, I didn’t nurse much past a year but missed it like crazy. (see…I’m you in croatian format)
    My dad’s cousin’s mom nursed him until he was 5. Truth. He would pull up a stool. Also true.
    Not sure why it’s really anyone’s business.
    Great post friend.

    • Janet says:

      thank you so much, susan! it’s crazy how much breasts have been sexualized in this country, so when someone sees a baby nursing, it’s immediately a sexy thing…that you shouldn’t see in public. so dumb. i swear if anyone ever told me to “cover up,” oh man, i’d have a field day. i did try to use one of those cover thingies as much as possible with lulu, but we’ll see what happens this time around. THANK YOU! xoxo :)

  4. Snowies says:

    My opionion on this, its up to the person and really no one else’s business. I have 2 kids, my oldest was brestfed, my youngest bottle fed. I never breastfed in public but that was my choice, I wasnt comfortable with it lol. But if I was, im sure I would of had no issue doing so! Unfortunatly, that’s why we have them ;)
    New follower from blog hop :)

  5. LOL! Esp love the comments on the pics at the end. You’re right, Time did this all to be divisive and get publicity, and it worked. They suck. I hate them.

    • Janet says:

      lol…thanks! they’re in the business of selling magazines, so to them, this is a home run. and it really is! damn them! :)

  6. Betsy says:

    I agree with you! Who cares if she’s breastfeeding her three year old? This young woman showed poor judgment in allowing this pose. It’s a disservice to the pro-breastfeeding movement.

    But I don’t really care about that. I think it was a dumb move that is counter-productive. The part that actually is offensive to me is the “Are You Mom Enough?” Seriously? Enough of this pitting moms against each other! We’re all doing our best. There is no one right way to be a mother. This is as damaging as the ridiculous air-brushing magazines use to make their models look perfect. The effect is that we, the reader, feel inadequate.

    BTW, I don’t blame Time for this. It’s their job to sell magazines. Which I’m sure they’re doing a lot of right now. But it still sucks.

    • Janet says:

      yes! “counter-productive” was the word i was trying to think of…damn it! :) and don’t even get me started (again) on that title. it’s just offensive. but then again, it was smart because it’s gotten so many people thinking and talking about it. you’re right…they’re in the business of selling magazines, and they clearly did an amazing job with this issue. but it’s still too bad. thanks for the comment! :)

  7. safetygirlz says:

    Thank you for your article! I am all for breatfeeding and co sleeping and making my own baby food and loving and snuggling and what do they call it ? “attachement parenting” who knew there was a name? bottem line… Americans are too uptight.. I live in Montreal, for 2 years, when my middle child was in infant and EVERYMOTHER I met breatfed… and it was the NORM, as it should be because its natural. I think the message most Americans recieve is that Breasdtfeeding is “gross” or “unnatural” so thank TIME for making an beautiful Mothering healthy loving relaxing experience seem weird.
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Janet says:

      thank you for reading it and commenting! i think it’s so interesting how america is so different than the rest of the world. my mom grew up in sicily, and there things are more like they are in montreal. i think it’s because breasts have just become sex objects, so people think it’s weird to see a baby’s mouth on them…when that’s what they were MADE for! uptight is right! and yes, you’re right…at least people are talking about thinking about it more now. happy mother’s day to you, too! :) xo

  8. Eileen says:

    I just found your blog after seeing you on Mom’s View. I’m a long time Shaytards viewer. I love your blog and having been through IVF myself, I can definitely relate on that level, except none of our attempts have been successful… yet. On the one hand, I feel I can’t weigh in on this subject because I don’t have any children. What I would like to weigh in on is that this cover and, in particular, the headline are part of the continued b*llshit that goes on in American society that pits women against one another. I really wish women would stop judging one another for their varying parenting and lifestyle choices. Breast feeding vs bottle feeding, cloth diapers vs disposable, SAHM vs working mothers. We’re on the same damn team ladies! If we could just join forces and support one another, I believe we could make huge improvements on American society. Just my humble opinion.

    • Janet says:

      hi eileen! i’m so glad you found me! and thank you for the great comment. we ARE on the same team…it’s crazy how divided the experience can seem sometimes. as a SAHM, i feel like people think i’m lazy, but my friends who work feel guilty for going back to work. we can’t win no matter what we do. you’ll see when you have your own baby! btw, are you doing acupuncture? i feel like that helped me immensely…so it’s just a thought. my fingers and toes are crossed for you!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!! xoxo

      • Eileen says:

        Yep, we’ve been doing acupuncture and just got the word today… after 9 years of trying we are pregnant! My 10dp5dT beta is 196. So, God willing, I will soon be joining you on the SAHM train. I was thinking of starting a blog about our experience- any advice where/how I should start?

        • Janet says:

          OOOOOMMMGGGGG!!!!!!! EILEEN!!!! congratulations! i’m so thrilled for you…i just got chills reading your comment! you should definitely start a blog…i know other women would love to read about your experience. i suggest going with wordpress (NOT blogger; just pick a theme and start writing! i know i’ll read it. :) congrats again and good luck! please keep me posted! xoxo

          • Eileen says:

            Thank you so much! That was actually my big question: wordpress or blogspot since most of the ones I read are blogspot. But I’ve read mixed reviews. Once I get it up and going, I’ll shoot you a note with the address. I’ve got one other unrelated question- I’ve also got celiac (so I love your GF comments)- what did you do for morning sickness. God willing I won’t have any, but since I can’t do saltines I need to figure something else out. What did you do? Did you ever have m/s?

          • Janet says:

            well i kept having issues with blogger…first with posting images and then no one could comment for some dumb reason. so far i like wordpress, but i’m clearly not an advanced blogger. :) you have celiac, too? wow, we have a lot in common! i’m lucky that i didn’t get too nauseous. as long as i ate something when i woke up (usually just a rice cake with some cream cheese or a slice of udi’s cinnamon raisin toast), i’d be fine. are you feeling sick already?

  9. Joanna Belson says:

    Well said! I wish they would have used a picture of what the average women looks like….and who don’t need their kid to stand on a stool bc our boob hang low enough. You get the picture. HA.

    • Janet says:

      lol…joanna! oh man, my boobs are a wreck. after this kid i think i’m having them “lifted” or something. ick ick ick! :) but yah, i wonder if any of the inside images show “real” women. we’ll see i guess. hope you’re doing great! xox

  10. Anna says:

    I think the cover is obviously a ploy to get shock value. Which is disappointing bc it steered the conversation in the wrong direction. I have no problem with people breast feeding in public (I do believe in using a tent out of respect — if you want people to respect your choice to breastfeed in public then you should do the same for the people around you) But attached parenting? I work with young children (11 years and younger) and their parents on a daily basis. Do I believe that sometimes attached parenting works amazing? Maybe. Do I believe at times it stunts children’s gross and fine motor skills? Yes. Does it sometimes leave kids without important coping mechanisms? Yes. Does it stunt a child’s ability to overcome sensory issues at times? Yes. I see it firsthand at work all the time. But at the end of the day it should be the parent’s decision if attached parenting is the right way to go about raising their child. I know a lot of parents were attached parents with their first child and regretted it later because they created “needy” children. I know a lot of parent who wouldn’t have done it any other way.

    My personal belief is if a kid can walk up to your boob then they shouldn’t be breastfeeding. Just like if a kid can tell you they are peeing/pooping they should be getting potty trained. I believe that you can create a bond at different stages of a child life. That is MY personal opinion but it shouldn’t and isn’t everyone’s. This article downplays the other side of the argument just by the picture and blurb. I would expect better from Time but they sure got people chatting.

    • Janet says:

      hi anna! that’s interesting because i’m not so sure attachment parenting (the co-sleeping part) has been the best idea for lulu. she is VEEEERRY needy and still needs me next to her to fall asleep. she clearly doesn’t have the ability to soothe herself to sleep, which is worrisome (and annoying). in fact, right now it’s 2:43 am, and i’m awake because i fell asleep at 8:30 trying to help her go to sleep, so now i’m wide awake. anyway, we’ll see how this plays out in the future…and when the new baby comes. so yes, i think every child has different needs, but moms have to do whatever works for them and their families.
      and i wonder if the actual article will have any discussion about the other side of argument. i doubt it. maybe there will be a follow-up–that would be a good idea for them to continue the discussion (and sell even more copies!). maybe you should pitch the story! and thank you for the comment! :)

  11. Lynn says:

    How do you feel about moms that choose not to breastfeed? Just curious because you make such a clear statement about attachment parenting and how you feel, but what about mom’s who do not make that choice and do choose to formula feed and let their kids cry it out? Do you think their children are not as smart as your child or won’t be as well developed as yours? If we are not judging you, are you judging us? Just curious, because clearly you feel judged for your parenting style but at the same time it sounds as though you are putting down parents who don’t do it your way.

    • Janet says:

      hi lynn-
      thank you for your comment. very good questions. and i’m really not an attachment parent; i’m just doing what works for my family and my kid. and BEFORE i had kids, i used to judge what moms did (which is so stupid), but now, no way. i’m sorry if i came across that way. i was just comparing my own methods to those in the magazine. my sister didn’t breastfeed her 2 kids, and most (actually all) of the kids i know have been allowed to cry it out. omg, very often i WISH i would’ve sleep-trained lulu. i’m actually not sure co-sleeping has been the best solution for her…i may have created a very needy kid. we’ll see what happens, but now she needs ME to fall asleep because she’s not able to soothe herself to sleep. (that’s why i’m responding to you at 3 am…i fell asleep with her at 8:30 and now i’m wide awake. ugh.) anyway, i feel like being a mom is really hard–and i only have 1 kid! so i think that whatever choices moms make to survive and are best for their families are the right choices for them. if you don’t want to breastfeed, fine by me. i wasn’t breastfed and i think i’m okay. :) and my husband is already saying we’re letting the new baby cry it out, so we’ll see what happens. i’m not so closed-minded that i can’t be open to new ideas…i’m just trying to make things work the best way i can, which might be different that how you’d do it. again, i’m sorry if i sounded like i’m judging. and thank you again for your comment.

  12. Lena says:

    Hi Janet. First of all I don’t even care about the cover. They can put whatever they want to put on it. Stupid people will do and think stupid things no matter what. I am European and it is absolutely normal to just pop your boob out and feed your baby, anywhere you want. And if the kid is 1 or 4, so what? Who cares? Like there are not much bigger problems in the world? To be honest, I only hope that US will learn to accept that breastfeeding with your BREAST is not pornographic (and if you think so, go check yourself in some clinic or whatever..) and women will eventually feel comfortable to breastfeed with even no cover on them, just like the rest of the world does. Because you know what? More you cover and more you hide (when it comes to boobs or anything, well, obviously nobody wants to see guys walking around with their wieners out:) more f****d up you become. There is nothing sexual about it, you are just feeding your child. Don’t make a big deal out of it.
    And yes, I totally agree with you, judging other moms is stupid.. and I did it before having kids as well. High five to no judging but supporting all the mamas everywhere!

    • Janet says:

      hi lena! thank you for your comment. isn’t it sad how ridiculous american culture is? people see a breast and it’s automatically something sexual–even if there is a baby attached to it. it’s so stupid. i guess i should move to europe! :)
      thank you again for your comment and your refreshing outlook! xo

  13. Christine says:

    I think it is ridiculous how upset people are getting. Then again, people LOVE to stick their nose in other people’s business. I mean, look at the whole North Carolina gay marriage thing going on. You may not approve of how someone chooses to live their live or raise their children but it really isn’t any of your business. I also think that the mom on the cover may be a bit on the short side, which makes her son look more like a kindergardener than a three year old. I’m not a mom but when I do have kids, I will definitely breastfeed for as long as possible! All those extra calories you burn making milk is enough to convince me!

    • Janet says:

      it’s riDONKulous! why do people care what anyone else does? drives me crazy. and to make laws…don’t even get me started! :) and omg, the amount of calories you burn breastfeeding is crazy. i was never skinnier in my life while eating like a big and being lazy! thanks for the comment, christine! :)

  14. Jackie says:

    My son was only breastfed for two weeks. I had toxcimia and he was born 3 weeks early and was only 5# 3oz and came home at 4 # 14oz. He had jaundice and had to have one of those bilirubin lights on him for a while even at home. He looked like a gloworm. Anyway, I had to stop becasue of the toxins in my body wasn’t allowing him to get better. I kept pumping and was getting 6oz at a time so I know he was getting plenty of milk. I could have gone back after he was well and I was well but once I felt the freedom and having to work full time it just wasn’t right for me. I was 20 and turned 21 two months later. (yes I was married for almost 2 years when he was born.) I don’t know what I would have done had I not had to stop. Because you do develope a bond with your baby and it’s far healthier for them. I have to admit it throws me off when I’ve seen an older child like 3 or older breastfeed but I think it’s not hurting me so or anyone else for that matter. Long story longer I agree with you. It’s not anyone elses business. Each family is different and what works for one family may not in the next.

    My other hang up is I prefer a woman to at least cover up like what your picture showed. That I had no issues with at all. My husband and I were very particular with what we allowed our son to watch and nudity is just one of the things we chose to avoid. Not inside our home but, just not movies and such. We wanted him to be a kid as long as possible. Had we come across a mother nursing her child I would have just explained that is how God give babies food and some mothers are able to do so and choose to feed their baby that way and some mothers are not able to feed their babies that way or just chose not to feed that way. We tried to just take things as they came along and he’s now 20 and he has always hung out with us as well as his friends or gf. Again that is just what worked in our home. Sorry this is so wordy.

    • Janet says:

      hi jackie-
      thanks so much for your comment and i’m sorry i’m just responding! i’m sorry you had to go through that when your son was first born–it must’ve been so scary, especially with all the other fears you have with a newborn. but i totally agree, whatever decision you make is nobody else’s business. you have to do whatever works for you, right? and yes, i always (usually) cover up when i’m in public. i figure it’s easy and respectful to anyone else who might not be comfortable seeing a naked boob. :)
      thank you again for your comment! xo

  15. site says:

    This is really a fantastic web site, would you be interested in doing an interview about just how you made it? If so e-mail me personally!

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>