I am a breast feeding mother. I don’t nurse on demand. I don’t nurse him to sleep. I am not a pacifier. I have chosen to feed my baby breast milk. He uses it to satisfy his hunger and to be nutritionally satisfied. I do nurse in public on occasion, but when I do I try to find an out of the way place and I cover up. But I believe every woman should have the right to chose when and where and how she nurses her child. And her choice should be received without judgment.
That being said the time we spend together nursing is important to both of us emotionally. It is how we nurture each other. It is how we connect to each other. I love that he has to be returned to me to eat. He never gets taken too far. The question of when to wean has always been in the back of my mind. It sounds more like “how long can I nurse” than “when do I get to stop.” I don’t want to be weird, which of course is the worst way to make parenting decisions. I know we will nurse until he’s at least twelve months old. After that I don’t have plans to stop.
So now my thoughts on the Time magazine cover. The one that shows a mom nursing her three year old. Jason came home from work and asked me if I had seen it. I hadn’t so I googled it. I wanted so bad to like the picture. I was hoping a sweet, loving moment, the kind of moment I share with Ty, had been captured. I was hoping this mother and her child would somehow be able to show what a good thing it is to nurse your child. I was disappointed. The picture strikes me as oddly sexual. This mama and son look like they have no connection. They seem to be averting their eyes. I know she is still nursing because she feels it is best for her child and I’m sure she wanted to show the world what she believes is a better way. I wonder if she is disappointed, too. The article features several other pictures of mamas nursing older children, but they don’t trigger the same uncomfortable reaction. And they didn’t make the cover. Hmmmm. Was that on purpose?
View Time Cover Here (you can find the other pictures not used on the cover here, too. Click on the big white arrow in the black margin of the photo.)
How long did you breast feed your children?