Dr. Sears Attachment Parenting featured on Time Magazine - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-11-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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We were EBF'ers here, and I don't remember a single person giving me a weird look or any kind of grief over it. I guess I am lucky.

 

The thing that freaks me out the most about this article is the reactions. I know I shouldn't have bothered, but I read a string of reactions via twitter, and the comments were appalling.  More "disturbing" than the cover photo is how incredibly violently people reacted to it... What I mean is, I can understand that it's not for everybody, but why on earth do people care how long my son and I chose to keep our nursing relationship going? What on earth could we be doing that it affects complete strangers. I am pretty sure that most older toddlers and preschoolers aren't constantly at the breast in public, so it's not like it is even prominently on display.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that it never ceases to amaze me how involved people seem to want to be in how we choose to raise our confident, healthy children.


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Old 05-11-2012, 01:13 PM
 
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And I course the picture was staged to make it provocative. They're trying to sell magazines! Still a positive thing to have that image in front of people, IMO.
 
I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think it's positive.  I think it will be very polarizing  --  making moms who aren't nursing (or aren't nursing "long enough") feel guilty and causing a backlash against moms who do nurse for a long time, with people saying its disgusting and worse.  The cover and article were the topic today on World Have Your Say and I found the whole discussion really depressing.  
 
I also really wish that the cover pic was of a more representative mom.  I know the mom in the pic is a real person and that there are plenty of young beautiful extended nursing moms out there.  But probably most of us don't look like models and we don't get all dressed up and look perfect when we're nursing out little ones.  There are very few moms who are going to measure up  --  either you're not nursing long enough or you're not looking good enough while you do it.  
And, omg, that child is about twice the size of my three year old.  dizzy.gif
 
eta:  there are some beautiful pics of nursing moms and babes/toddlers in the video at the bottom of this article:  http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/10/q-a-with-jamie-lynne-grumet/ , which I would have felt great about having on the cover of Time, also, at the link that Crunchy Mommy posted on page one of this thread, you can see the other pics from this photo shoot and I think I like them all better than the cover.  I am curious, though about the choice to have all of the moms pulling their shirts down instead of up.  Ime (totally unscientific) it seems like the vast majority of nursing moms pull their shirts up to nurse rather than down and pulling the shirt down seems much more revealing to me (which, btw, I think is completely fine).  There is one pic there where a toddler might be nursing with shirt pulled up, but its hard to even tell that he's nursing, which is probably more often the case than the pulling the shirt down obvious from a mile away nursing.  

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Old 05-11-2012, 01:36 PM
 
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http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/jamie-lynne-grumet-defends-her-time-magazine-breastfeeding-180300346.html

 

 Here are some of the pictured mom's own comments!

 

She comments " "This isn't how we breastfeed at home. It's more of a cradling, nurturing situation." 

 

Really? Then why the provocation? Why worsen an already marred perception in most of the populace minds?

 

Just - why?

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Old 05-11-2012, 01:51 PM
 
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I like the picture.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:18 PM
 
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I like the picture.

 

In a way, I think it's a nice picture, too.  I just wish it were not THE picture on the cover.


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Old 05-11-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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There is a response to this article posted on my local news site.  the comments are pretty discouraging.  man, people can really get rabid about this stuff! 

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Old 05-11-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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We were EBF'ers here, and I don't remember a single person giving me a weird look or any kind of grief over it. I guess I am lucky.

 

 

Yes, you are.  One of my favorite things about visiting big cities was how many other moms were publicly breastfeeding toddlers and young children.   It's quite accepted in some places, and met with outrage in others.

 

As far as the cover photo attracting the "wrong" kind of attention, I sympathize, but now that it's done we can use the discussions to challenge public ignorance.  Challenge your friends' Facebook posts on the issue.  Speak up at the water cooler.  Sometimes, just knowing that one reasonable person endorses a controversial practices can open people's minds.

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Old 05-11-2012, 04:25 PM
 
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Yes, you are.  One of my favorite things about visiting big cities was how many other moms were publicly breastfeeding toddlers and young children.   It's quite accepted in some places, and met with outrage in others.

I got enough nasty comments about pushing a 3 yo in a stroller. I can only imagine if I'd been nursing him in public. And I know I nursed ds while standing with my hand on my hip. I don't understand why people think it's such a provocative position.


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Old 05-11-2012, 06:19 PM
 
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Lisa Belkin is not mom enough. A good response to the Time article.
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I am not Mom enough to take the bait. To accept TIME's deliberate provocation and either get mad at this woman for what I think I know about her from this photo, or to feel inferior, or superior, or defensive, or guilty -- or anything at all, if it means I am comparing myself to other mothers.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:25 PM
 
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Holistic Moms had a good response too - http://holisticmomsnational.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/motherhood-under-attack.html


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Old 05-12-2012, 05:27 AM
 
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The article is written with a slant against the "extremes" of attachment parenting, in my opinion.  It seems like it is written from a smug point of view.  Yes, she gives info from the attachment parenting side, but then adds information that, in my opinion, is only part of the story, about co-sleeping and cry-it-out.  To be fair, she should have interviewed several attachment parenting families to ask why we chose our particular path and what influenced our decisions.  I don't need to see what the average pediatrician thinks as an argument.  My sister-in-law's pediatrician is still telling patients to nurse for 10 minutes on one side and then switch to the other for 10 minutes.  Not incredibly knowledgeable, if you ask me.

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Old 05-12-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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I'm not a die-hard follower of Dr. Sears, but I really dislike the tone of the articles and photos. Pretty much what BroodyWoodsgal said. 

 

Quote:

They make it sound like attachment parenting is new, as if mothers haven't been caring for their babies in a compassionate and sensitive way for thousands of years. I also don't have the whole article to read, but I'm interested in knowing what the rest of it says.

 

I agree here. I was out with some coworkers last night (most of who have grown children) and one of the women commented that this AP-thing was a "fad". I explained that this philosophy of parenting had been around for a long time. However, I do agree that the article might blow up the interest in AP in a negative way. I'm also curious to see what the article says. We're not 100% AP in our house, but do follow a lot of the philosophies. I've read a lot of Dr. Sears, and know that he has a lot of "wiggle room" in this ideas to help meet the needs of different families. I think I kinda shocked my coworkers, who didn't really know that I felt this way. They were surprised when I explained that I had bf'd ds longer than the norm (although short in the AP world), that I still rock him to sleep, that we didn't practice the CIO method, and that I haven't spent a night away from him since he was born. That's just how we do things. I don't judge others in their parenting choices (within reason), and I hope these women won't judge me.


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Old 05-12-2012, 12:18 PM
 
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I was really upset about this.  I couldn't read the article itself, but everything else I read didn't give an accurate representation of AP.  The comments about the article were awful.  Everyone was defensive.  The APers are upset that they're been misrepresented; the non-APers are upset because they've just been told they're not "mom enough". 

 

I thought the cover photo was in bad taste.  That's not what extended nursing looks like.  People already think it's creepy, all the cover did was solidify that opinion for them.  I know TIME doesn't actually care about AP or breastfeeding, but *I* think that wasn't what the mother on the cover or Dr. Sears or the AP community really wanted to get across. 

 

I believe so much in breasfeeding, responding to your baby, respecting your baby.....  I wish I knew how to help others believe in it too.  TIMES definately didn't do that. 

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Old 05-13-2012, 06:46 PM
 
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the comments from my area are things like, "it's child abuse to breastfeed a child with teeth" and that moms who breastfeed do it for themselves. oddly, the few supporters for extended breastfeeding were male(and they weren't being naughty); one even said something sarcastic about how babies should drink from big hairy dirty cows, instead. breastfeeding is so rare here. of all the moms i have met since becoming a mother, the only ones who breastfed longer than the first few days have been moms in my crunchy homeschool group. i do feel the magazine used this picture to stir things up. i do not think it helps the cause at all.


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Old 05-13-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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Thats what I'm seeing here too- lots of comments from people that legitimately believe it's child abuse and/or porn and many suggesting that CPS should be involved. :( And it doesn't seem to be spawning any good conversations, but how could it given that reaction? Local media is not even mentioning Dr. Sears or AP.


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Old 05-13-2012, 11:10 PM
 
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Just read this article at my mom's today and it really depressed me. The title and cover pic bothered me at first but then i thought it might not be so bad if it got people to read an article about the amazing benefits of ap and helped things like ebf, co-sleeping, and baby wearing become more mainstream. Unfortunately the article portrays ap as a cult of extremists. It subtley undercuts the philosophies of ap in negative tones and was just plain awful to read. My sister refused to read past the first column. I never for a second thought meeting the needs of my child through ap meant i had to quit my job, never leave my son with someone else or hold him 24/7. I've never felt our parenting style extreme, just natural although not mainstream. I already feel isolated in ebf my 2yr 2mo ds, co-sleeping, and baby wearing because none of my friends do. Now i feel even more isolated. Thank goodness for my supportive dh and message boards like this so i know i'm not alone!

like women aren't pitted against each other enough in incessant competition through plays on our insecurities! This one really hits below the belt!
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:59 PM
 
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I really don't like the "are you mom enough?" headline because because of the whole "mommy wars" thing and pitting women against each other and having some people feel inadequate because they aren't "enough" something.  But I think it gets under my skin because I think (pretty whole-heartedly but, of course, I haven't done things *the other way* so I don't know for sure that this is true, just seems this way to me) that the way I parent  --  especially thinking about nursing till several years old and co-sleeping even longer  --  makes my life so much easier.  

 

I don't think I'd be a good mom if I had to deal with bottles and formula.  That would stress me out to no end and there likely would have been a sink full of nasty rotting bottles with an inch of formula in the bottom of them filling up my sink for the first year.  If baby woke up in the middle of the night in another room, I'd probably doze back off dreaming of a snooze button for him.  I would just suck at that!  Seriously, to get up, find a clean bottle, make formula, all the while a baby is crying, sit up and feed it to him.  Gah!  What a nightmare!  I feel like I really took the easy way out.  And once they were good at nursing (really once my first one was about three months old, and from the moment my second was born) nursing was no skin off my back at all.  Even now, with my nursling being 3 years and 3 mos old, it seems to me like the harder road to take would be to tell him he couldn't nurse.  Nursing is easy!  It's even pretty nice just about all of the time (there are moments when I'd rather be doing something else, but really not that often).  I don't get how one would have to be "mommy enough" to take this road.  When I think about bottles and cio and having to get up at all hours of the night, that makes me feel insecure, like maybe I'm not mommy enough for that.  If one of my children was unable to nurse for some reason, I am not sure I would have measured up.  But I can always find the strength to roll over and offer a breast.  I don't get how this is so hard?

 

But I know that people who haven't done think it's some huge sacrifice and like those of use who nurse till 3 or 4 are like some kind of martyrs.  Where did that idea come from?  It makes no sense to me at all.  But I know that there are people who decide not to nurse because they believe its too hard and demanding and they want to take the easier road and formula feed.  


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Old 05-14-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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I really don't like the "are you mom enough?" headline because because of the whole "mommy wars" thing and pitting women against each other and having some people feel inadequate because they aren't "enough" something.  But I think it gets under my skin because I think (pretty whole-heartedly but, of course, I haven't done things *the other way* so I don't know for sure that this is true, just seems this way to me) that the way I parent  --  especially thinking about nursing till several years old and co-sleeping even longer  --  makes my life so much easier.  

 

I don't think I'd be a good mom if I had to deal with bottles and formula.  That would stress me out to no end and there likely would have been a sink full of nasty rotting bottles with an inch of formula in the bottom of them filling up my sink for the first year.  If baby woke up in the middle of the night in another room, I'd probably doze back off dreaming of a snooze button for him.  I would just suck at that!  Seriously, to get up, find a clean bottle, make formula, all the while a baby is crying, sit up and feed it to him.  Gah!  What a nightmare!  I feel like I really took the easy way out.  And once they were good at nursing (really once my first one was about three months old, and from the moment my second was born) nursing was no skin off my back at all.  Even now, with my nursling being 3 years and 3 mos old, it seems to me like the harder road to take would be to tell him he couldn't nurse.  Nursing is easy!  It's even pretty nice just about all of the time (there are moments when I'd rather be doing something else, but really not that often).  I don't get how one would have to be "mommy enough" to take this road.  When I think about bottles and cio and having to get up at all hours of the night, that makes me feel insecure, like maybe I'm not mommy enough for that.  If one of my children was unable to nurse for some reason, I am not sure I would have measured up.  But I can always find the strength to roll over and offer a breast.  I don't get how this is so hard?

 

But I know that people who haven't done think it's some huge sacrifice and like those of use who nurse till 3 or 4 are like some kind of martyrs.  Where did that idea come from?  It makes no sense to me at all.  But I know that there are people who decide not to nurse because they believe its too hard and demanding and they want to take the easier road and formula feed.  

I think it feels easier [to me] b/c it feels natural/comes naturally. Like I'm following my mama instincts and baby's cues, so there's way less stress. (so yeah, I too feel like I'm getting off easy going this route :) )

 

People that talk about it being a huge sacrifice, or like we're martyrs, I think it's very subversive. There's an angle there that sows discontent and can have you apologizing to them for how you parent, and that's wrong. It's like...say you're having a lot of house guests and you're going merrily along but then someone says, "All those guests, so much work, you make me feel guilty - I don't know how you do it!" Next thing you know you're looking around thinking, "This IS a lot of work!" and discontent creeps in. 

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:51 AM
 
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I think it feels easier [to me] b/c it feels natural/comes naturally. Like I'm following my mama instincts and baby's cues, so there's way less stress. (so yeah, I too feel like I'm getting off easy going this route :) )

 

People that talk about it being a huge sacrifice, or like we're martyrs, I think it's very subversive. There's an angle there that sows discontent and can have you apologizing to them for how you parent, and that's wrong. It's like...say you're having a lot of house guests and you're going merrily along but then someone says, "All those guests, so much work, you make me feel guilty - I don't know how you do it!" Next thing you know you're looking around thinking, "This IS a lot of work!" and discontent creeps in. 

 

I don't know. I think parenting is always hard - no matter which route you take. I thought it was "easier" when my ds was a tiny baby (before he turned 6mo), and then it got SUPER hard, and never let up. He's 3yo now, and I feel like I'm drowning some days because its just.so.hard.all.the.time.

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Old 05-14-2012, 01:01 PM
 
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I don't know. I think parenting is always hard - no matter which route you take. I thought it was "easier" when my ds was a tiny baby (before he turned 6mo), and then it got SUPER hard, and never let up. He's 3yo now, and I feel like I'm drowning some days because its just.so.hard.all.the.time.
Yeah, I guess what I'm trying to say - b/c it is hard! - is that when I feel like I'm doing my best, when things feel right, it lifts a burden - even if it's still difficult. Without that burden of stress, worry, the feeling of going against the grain, it's just...better?
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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I don't know.  In my old age (almost 49) I've seen these things come and go.  People get all hot about a subject and then the hotness subsides and the cultural preferences start to set in.  I read a really good article in the New Yorker today about the gay marriage issue.  At one point in our history, people got  their pant/panties in a bundle about interracial marriage.  It was the hot topic of the time and there was even literature and film about it (think:  "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner").  Most of the country found the subject of interracial marriage abhorrent.  People that married other races were psychologically deficient...weirdos...on the edge...outside the bounds of society and good common sense.  

 

What we're seeing here with AP is the same type of outrage...the same type of condemnation (although I'm not comparing race biases to parenting practices - just comparing the reluctance to adjust thinking).  I think it is an exciting time.  We need articles like the one in Time to thrust the issue in peoples' faces, even if the Times' article was slant toward the negative (even in the NY Times in the 60's - that publication was biased toward certain established ways of thinking).  It is warm and cozy here at MDC but without the public viewing, how are things really going to change?  Revolution is hard.  It hurts and people go down in flames.  But without it, nothing changes.  The best things come out of hard times, IMO.  History has taught us that good thing come with a lot of adversity and condemnation.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is despite our own feelings of outrage about peoples' response and the Time's response to this issue, it has come to the forefront and the public dialog has began.  We can feel warm and cozy in our isolated pockets of AP, but that doesn't change things.  It may influence people on the local level, but on a societal level, there needs to be huge discussions. In my experience, people don't come around to an issue until it's been worked out, discussed, dissected.  I wouldn't take this as a negative.  I would take this as a step in the right direction.  This has been the course of all things good...from recycling to gay rights issues.  There's going to be backlash on all "new" issues.  I smile that this is the issue of today and in TIME.  

 

Edited to say that I know that extended breastfeeding is not "new" in a world culture context, or even in an historical context, but it is relatively new in the modern western mind.  A lot of things have to change in peoples' minds to accept that this specific issue is not weird or out of the ordinary.  

 


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Old 05-15-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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I wish the child's face hadn't been shown (his head could have been turned the other way). 

 

The child had no say as to his image being placed on the cover of a widely-read magazine and, of course, plastered all over the internet.  HIS privacy has been invaded.

 

I don't care about the mother.  Her posture was posed and she accepted those poses during a photoshoot.  She got paid for it, her right to choose so.  She certainly doesn't look too loving in her physical stance!  For those of us that have nursed past what our society figures as the norm (I nursed until ds was 4 1/2 years old), we wouldn't stand like that, with a child on a step stool too low and our nipple at risk for bites if the child loses their balance!!!  It's all about shock and attention-getting value.  Madison Avenue strikes, again.

 

But, the child?  He'll pay for this shot forever...................

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Old 05-15-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:50 AM
 
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I don't think this kid will pay for this forever. 

Me neither. He'll just say "Dude, I was three, get a life," if anyone brings it up. That's what my ds would do. IF anyone remembers this long enough to attempt to tease him. For kids in extended breastfeeding circles, this is so normal they would just think anyone that commented on it was completely bizarre. 


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Old 05-15-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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I like what another poster said. It does not convey extended nursing, but I don't even like to call it that. I have no guru, and if I did, it wouldn't be Dr. Sears. I like a lot of what he stands for and promotes, but that doesn't mean he is the be all end all of AP. I prefer that I am just parenting. It's not special. It's normal parenting. I'm not nursing my toddler because I can't let him go, or "cut the cord" so to speak. We nurse because it is what we have been doing for the past 27 months and 14 days, not that I'm counting. winky.gif I don't like that my style of parenting has been depicted as an all-or-nothing, I'm better than you style. It's insulting. I read the article, and I appreciated what the mom had to say, but if I were her, I would not have agreed to such a pose.


None of the ideas expressed above are actually mine. They are told to me by Luthor and Ferdinand, the five inch tall space aliens who live under my desk. In return for these ideas, I have given them permission to eat any dust bunnies they may find under there.shine.gif

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Old 05-16-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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I just looked through the nursing an older child pics on the thread in the breastfeeding forum and I swear it made me teary-eyed, and I would not have thought I'd be so struck by it seeing as I'm in the thick of nursing myself.  I didn't think that the Time cover pic was off the map in terms of how toddlers and older children nurse.  I don't think it's true at all that every time we nurse it's all sweetness and light.  There are certainly times that my almost 3 1/2 year old is doing gymnastics or kicking me in the face or trying to play Angry Birds on daddy's phone.  But certainly if your goal was to present it in a good light or to show what is beautiful about it, you would not choose that cover pic.  


Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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Old 05-20-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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I agree, the whole article was slightly biased against extended breastfeeding (what's with quoting that random pediatrician saying that it's "not known to cause any harm"?!  The WHO recommends it, for pete's sake!).  And it made Dr. Sears sound like a complete extremist whacko, which is not the picture I got from his books at all.  Yes, he said you should respond to your baby's cries--somehow the author paraphrased that into something like "every little whimper must be attended to RIGHT AWAY or your child will have brain damage".  I distinctly remember reading in The Baby Book that while a newborn should be responded to right away, you can delay responding to a 9-month-old, for example. And similarly about staying home with your kid..from Dr. Sears' books I got the impression that he thought it was best to spend as much time as possible with your kid, but you do the best you can---much like the book described the "ideal" of attachment parenting, and then you do what you can, and take breaks when you need to.  Really, I thought his books were very sane.  The article seemed much more based on some of the AP fanatics I've come across, and it kind of made me mad.
 


Mom to the wacky and wonderful Kalyani (August 2011) femalesling.GIF

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroodyWoodsgal View Post

I absolutely cannot stand the picture they used, I don't like Dr. Sears being painted as a "guru" for AP parents and just didn't like the piece.

 

I mean, I'm glad to see a picture in front of everyones faces of an older toddler nursing...but why did it have to be in a way that is all "YEah, I'm nursing, so what get over it!" - with a kid dressed to look as "old" as possible??

Why couldn't it have been a lovely picture of a sleepy little boy nursing on a smiling mamas breast in a cozy bed? Or a Dad reading a book with Mama next to him and a little girl almost asleep at the breast.

 

Or even a laughing mama, tickling the belly of a silly toddler who is nursing for fun or whatever.


I just don't feel like that was a very accurate depiction of what extended nursing really looks like. There is this whole idea out there that somehow nursing mamas are these militant, "femme-booby-nazis" which flies in the face of what *I* know to be the truth....which is that extended breastfeeding is a natural, gentle and easy choice for very many women that does not look anything like the Time picture portrayed it. /rant
 

 

I was all set to respond and saw that someone else shared most of my opinion already. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckiestgirl View Post

I'm tired of people (in general) saying, "It's about the mother, not the child."  Breastfeeding is always about the child and the mother.  If it were miserable for the mother, the human race would be in trouble.

 

I find breastfeeding miserable and yet, I still do it.  smile.gif

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