Dr. Sears Attachment Parenting featured on Time Magazine - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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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
 


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#3 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 01:39 PM
 
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I mean, come ON...."ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH" there already exists this weird "mama-war" type thing between women who don't prefer to breastfeed and think extended breastfeeders are insane hippies and women who believe firmly that it is the best way....and lost all in the middle of that, are women who WANT to breastfeed but don't have proper support or feel shame as their children get bigger and are pressured to wean because it's "weird"...not to mention women who are struggling SO HARD to keep their nursing relationship alive despite illness, discomfort or any other number of issues getting in the way...who have the OPPOSITE problem, they have weird, militant ladies around who are pushing this "Are You Mom Enough" concept and all that does it put more pressure on women who are already struggling.


But all of that is just my reaction to the cover and the fact that they had a WHOLE BUNCH of pictures which would have been SOOO much better and been a more fair and accurate depiction of extended nursing.

 

 

As for the actual story, I'm trying to get my hands on more of it, I can't read the whole thing because I'm not a time member...but again, I don't understand why Dr. Sears is being painted as the founder of the AP "movement"....I don't parent the way I parent because of a book or a guru..I parent this way because I live as unhindered as possible and this is the way I parent when I'm not held back by other peoples ideas.
 


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#4 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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Broodywoodsgal said most all that I wanted to write about the subject!

 

I think that picture gives the opposite message and somehow is more sensationalist than it should have been.

 

AND - to make it worse - why choose one of the biggest 4 year olds I have seen AND make him stand on a stool to make him look even older?

 

He almost looks like a 8 year old...

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#5 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 02:05 PM
 
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I have no interest in reading the article because I pretty much don't care what mainstream media has to say about my parenting. And I don't read or follow Dr. Sears, it just happens that much of what he/ap promotes is what we've been doing and what has worked for us these past 12 years.

 

I am with Broody on the cover, the title is offensive and the picture seems to have been staged to make it as provocative as possible. Everyday nursing sessions with a three year old do not look like that. 

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#6 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 02:07 PM
 
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am wondering too if this is a model with a model child or if it's actually the mom of the child on the photo ... does it say so in the body of the article ?

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#7 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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It is an actual mom. They put out a call for actual moms, dr momma was talking about it. Also, a lady on another board was saying it was her friend. Don't know if te the mom in the article, though.
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#8 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 02:14 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.
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#9 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 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.

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#10 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 02:32 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.


You know, I agree with the image being in front of people as a positive....but it's putting it in front of them in a way which propagates the general misconceptions which currently exist in our culture.

 

I think it would have been just as provocative to use an image that CHALLENGED the current public opinion about extended breastfeeding.


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#11 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 04:42 PM
 
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I am pretty sure I read that she is a 26 year old lactation consultant located in LA. 

 

I am not really sure how I feel about the cover.  I think it is important to remember that the cover photo is probably no more than a caricature of the real thing.  Just look at how air-brushed it is.


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#12 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 07:57 PM
 
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The cover photo looks... wrong... to me.  That's not nursing, that's not about the child, that's about the Mother.  And put up in a way that's begging for controversy.  Perhaps the article has the right intentions at heart, but the picture kills all credibility.


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#13 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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I like the photo. It reminds me of my ds who'd do that sort of thing. 


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#14 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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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.

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#15 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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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.

Besides, who could make a child nurse who didn't want to??? Honestly, trying to get ds to nurse was the surest way to get him to NOT nurse when he was 4!


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#16 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 09:12 PM
 
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My DD is 3 ...very recently had to be forced into weaning (am pregnant) ..I could have nursed her more in other circumstances....

 

AND I find the pic disturbing.

 

It doesn't convey 'extended breastfeeding' to me. Extended BF is so gentle and natural and sacred and personal.

 

This pic is so in-your-face and provocative and stirring-the-pot.

 

I want to ask - how many of extended BFers here actually encourage this - I don't know ...a type of grab and go playful suckling mockery and think of this as EBF versus taking our toddlers with us to bed , cuddle with them, tell them stories, play with their hair - while they nurse?

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#17 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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Saw the pic,  I wasn't able to read the article. Nothing like fueling the flames ofthe mom wars in time for Mother's Day and making attachment parenting look extreme. :(  I wish media didn't believe that their job is to sell via controversy and divisiveness. EVERYTHING is taken to extremes.

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#18 of 58 Old 05-10-2012, 11:07 PM
 
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That picture does a great disservice to all breastfeeding mothers. It boggles my mind that an act as natural as nursing a baby should become such a controversy. 


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#19 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 07:26 AM
 
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My DD is 3 ...very recently had to be forced into weaning (am pregnant) ..I could have nursed her more in other circumstances....

 

AND I find the pic disturbing.

 

It doesn't convey 'extended breastfeeding' to me. Extended BF is so gentle and natural and sacred and personal.

 

This pic is so in-your-face and provocative and stirring-the-pot.

 

I want to ask - how many of extended BFers here actually encourage this - I don't know ...a type of grab and go playful suckling mockery and think of this as EBF versus taking our toddlers with us to bed , cuddle with them, tell them stories, play with their hair - while they nurse?

Are you saying there is no place for silliness or goofiness in the mother child nursing relationship? It all has to be sacred, gentle, and done in bed? Kids have different personalities that they bring to the table in the relationship. I find it strange you think other ways are a mockery of yours.

 

ETA, just think of all the controversy and shouts of incest if this picture were taken in bed. Showing a nursing couple in a private place like bed on the front cover of a national magazine would be more inappropriate, imo.


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#20 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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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.
Well not always... I pretty much hated breastfeeding DS but kept up with it for his sake... But maybe there is something wrong with me!

I think the picture is a little weird, mostly because the mom looks all posed & model-y and defiant. I did read an article about the photo shoot for this cover and it sounds like there were good intentions behind having the kid standing like that, but I don't like the execution of it. DS has nursed standing like that before but it just doesn't have that same look/feel. It's too showy or something I guess. But I do love that there is a 3yo nursing on a national, mainstream magazine cover. I hate the headline. Also, I have never read Dr. Sears book(s) or anything, so yeah it bugs me a bit that it's framed like we are some cult following of him. But I don't have a subscription to Time so I didn't read the whole article...

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#21 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 08:15 AM
 
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Well not always... I pretty much hated breastfeeding DS but kept up with it for his sake... But maybe there is something wrong with me!
I think the picture is a little weird, mostly because the mom looks all posed & model-y and defiant. I did read an article about the photo shoot for this cover and it sounds like there were good intentions behind having the kid standing like that, but I don't like the execution of it. DS has nursed standing like that before but it just doesn't have that same look/feel. It's too showy or something I guess. But I do love that there is a 3yo nursing on a national, mainstream magazine cover. I hate the headline. Also, I have never read Dr. Sears book(s) or anything, so yeah it bugs me a bit that it's framed like we are some cult following of him. But I don't have a subscription to Time so I didn't read the whole article...

Since it's a posed photo and the child is just a child and the mother isn't even a model, it probably would look slightly off or awkward no matter how it was done...

 

Anyway, I was happy to see a photo of an older nursling because there have been so many situations where families have been torn apart because they innocently took a photo to be developed. There are mothers who are afraid to comfort their older nurslings when they desperately need it because they are afraid someone in the hospital will call CPS. There are mothers who can't feel comfortable nursing their kids in public because they are afraid some random stranger is going to spew all sorts of nasty filth at her in front of her child or call the police. Having a photo on the cover of a public magazine offers some small measure of protection. People won't automatically assume they should call CPS because they saw it on the cover of a magazine.


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#22 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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Husband just told me about the article, so I haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet. I'm optimistic that even what seems to be negative publicity will have a positive outcome.

 

I never knew about AP, we just determined to do what felt most right for Baby Girl - I found out later there was a name for it! As Christians, we respond to negativity about AP by reminding ourselves that when Eve was in the garden she must've just done what her mama instincts told her

 

I think it's terribly sad that the Western ideas of parenting seem so rooted in selfishness - that it's somehow gross and wrong for a mother to give, give, give to her children. Sad that they're missing out on that two-way giving street of selflessness, the best parts of my day are those extreme mama moments.

 

Husband said part of the piece/response to the piece is that AP is for rich women who can afford not to work. I think that's a really snide attack on families that sacrifice income in order to be a stay at home mother. 

 

The idea that any rigid framework for parenting is applicable to all children is crazy to me, maybe that's why the core of AP makes so much sense: it's about responding to your child's frame, not constructing a frame to squeeze them into. 

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#23 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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Are you saying there is no place for silliness or goofiness in the mother child nursing relationship? It all has to be sacred, gentle, and done in bed? Kids have different personalities that they bring to the table in the relationship. I find it strange you think other ways are a mockery of yours.

 

ETA, just think of all the controversy and shouts of incest if this picture were taken in bed. Showing a nursing couple in a private place like bed on the front cover of a national magazine would be more inappropriate, imo.

No... I am saying - this 'grab and go' mockery isn't the 'true' representation of EBF for me and I also asked other EBFers what they thought?

 

For me - this pic seem to want to display the 'extreme' rather than the norm....

 

...and going by the other responses it doesn't seem like I am the only one!

 

To illustrate: There was this video of a lady I saw who so completely believed in the benefits of BF that she is still BFing her 9?12? year old daughter, son and EVEN her DH!

 

Now not all of us EBFers nurse our DH even though pretty much all of us believe in the benefits of BFing. If that lady's pic/video were to be shown as advocating the benefits of BFing- wouldn't that be a disservice to all and clearly sensationalist ? Sure you can question me if I thought BFing a 12 year inappropriate and whether my cut-off was the cut-off for all....

....but try and understand that that is not what I am saying!

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#24 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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No... I am saying - this 'grab and go' mockery isn't the 'true' representation of EBF for me and I also asked other EBFers what they thought?

 

For me - this pic seem to want to display the 'extreme' rather than the norm....

 

...and going by the other responses it doesn't seem like I am the only one!

 

To illustrate: There was this video of a lady I saw who so completely believed in the benefits of BF that she is still BFing her 9?12? year old daughter, son and EVEN her DH!

 

Now not all of us EBFers nurse our DH even though pretty much all of us believe in the benefits of BFing. If that lady's pic/video were to be shown as advocating the benefits of BFing- wouldn't that be a disservice to all and clearly sensationalist ? Sure you can question me if I thought BFing a 12 year inappropriate and whether my cut-off was the cut-off for all....

....but try and understand that that is not what I am saying!

I know that I'm dreading the call from my [anti-BF] mother when she sees this cover. It is only going to confirm her negative ideas.

 

Make no mistake, this is a PR war, and we all know that decontextualized snapshots like that cover are meant to rattle, not rally.  

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#25 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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Are you saying there is no place for silliness or goofiness in the mother child nursing relationship? It all has to be sacred, gentle, and done in bed? Kids have different personalities that they bring to the table in the relationship. I find it strange you think other ways are a mockery of yours.

 

ETA, just think of all the controversy and shouts of incest if this picture were taken in bed. Showing a nursing couple in a private place like bed on the front cover of a national magazine would be more inappropriate, imo.

 

But it's NOT inappropriate. That's the point...and there are ALREADY shouts of "incest" at the picture the way it is.

OF COURSE there is room for silliness and playfulness in the nursing relationship...and a picture of a mother and baby laughing and tickling and poking each other while the kid nurses would have been JUST as good, IMO, as a picture of a kid and mom in bed nursing...both of those images would have been more accurate illustrations of what nursing an older toddler ACTUALLY looks like. A boy standing on a stool nursing while his mother stands with her hands on her hips is NOT an accurate illustration.

The way this mother is posed, makes it look like "I'm breastfeeding to prove a point, so screw you".

Who here among you nursed your child so you could prove a point to someone else about how "Crunchy" you are or to prove that you are, in fact, "MOM ENOUGH"?? Not me. Not for a second. My DD was a pleasure to nurse but my very HN son was KILLING me by the time we hit two years in to our nursing relationship. I didn't stand there on a stool letting him nurse so I could stare down passers by like "yeah, see, try and stop me!" - I nursed him curled up with him on the couch, under a tree or in bed...so that I could hold him, touch him, sing to him, CONNECT with him.

Of all the lousy sentiments that I've ever been subjected to when NIP, the looks of "you freak" and "that's sexual and it's incest" don't even phase me as much as the idea people have in their heads that if you are nursing a child past the point when they are walking, you are somehow doing it to try and BE something or PROVE something...that you are some militant booby nazi. That irks me.....and this magazine cover just scooped that already present misconception and went ahead and plastered it all over the place, once again.

 

The cover takes the "I'm queer, I'm here, get over it" tone...and I don't appreciate that. That works in a gay rights parade. But I don't nurse with that attitude when I'm in public because it's not helpful.


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#26 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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I know that I'm dreading the call from my [anti-BF] mother when she sees this cover. It is only going to confirm her negative ideas.

 

Make no mistake, this is a PR war, and we all know that decontextualized snapshots like that cover are meant to rattle, not rally.  

 

 

EXACTLY. It's not about the article, it's not about "Who is Dr. Sears"...it's about what 90% of people will see...the cover. Period. We all know the age we live in, we're not idiots...it's about the opinion formed in the ten seconds that we stare at this in the checkout line...followed by the cementing of those opinions around the water cooler the next day ("yeah, I saw it, can we say FREAKS!" - hahahah "Yeah you know, I here Dan in accounting, you know him? Yeah I heard his wife nursed their FIVE year old at the company picnic last year. It's sick.") - a conversation that is a lot easier to have when the face on the mom on the cover of Time is making a "say something about it, I DARE you" face.

 

I don't want to fight people with my nursing...I want to allow them a peek into how lovely a super bonded relationship with an older toddler can be. I don't stare them down...I stare happily into my childs eyes and coo at them and sing little silly songs. Let them look. They won't see an angry, militant "aggro-mom" trying to prove a point. They will see a healthy, bonded relationship. What they do with that image, how they twist it, or don't, in their mind...that's up to them. But you won't EVER catch THIS mama letting anyone see her nursing with the intent to shove my lifestyle into anyone elses eyes/space. It just is what it is and it's fucking lovely.

And I'm now OFFICIALLY DYING to meet my new nursling so I can be nursing somebody again...this whole thing is only making me love nursing even more. I feel so blessed to come from a long line of proud breastfeeders and have a immediate and extended family who all honor me and have full love and respect for me as a nursing mom.


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#27 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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I have no doubt that TIME's motive was to sell magazines (and revive their mag) by creating controversy.  And I dislike the "mommy wars" and "extreme" slant of the copy.  However, I kind of like the defiance of the cover model.  Some of my memories of nursing are all warm and fuzzy and some are more like the cover image ("Screw you, I'm this kid's mother and I know what I'm doing!"). 

 

I live in a region where maybe fifteen percent of mothers attempt nursing at all.  When my second child was born, I had a nurse tell me I was killing my daughter by not giving her formula until my milk came in.  Seriously.  When my third child was nearly two, he became very, very ill with the worst stomach virus I have ever seen.  He lost ten percent of his body weight in a few days and was hospitalized for over a week.  It was very scary.  I am convinced my breast milk helped my child to recover; however, I was treated horribly by the nursing staff, told that "milk was the worst thing you can give a child with diarrhea," and constantly afraid CPS was going to show up at the hospital.  I could see the shock and disgust on the nurses' faces that I was nursing my sick little boy, even though he was keeping the breastmilk down far better than the pedialyte and other crap they kept trying.  No one should have to go through that. 

 

I guess I'm not convinced that "cozy" depictions of extended breastfeeding would be received any differently.  People are very hateful about this stuff, at least where I live.

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#28 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BroodyWoodsgal View Post

 

 

EXACTLY. It's not about the article, it's not about "Who is Dr. Sears"...it's about what 90% of people will see...the cover. Period. We all know the age we live in, we're not idiots...it's about the opinion formed in the ten seconds that we stare at this in the checkout line...followed by the cementing of those opinions around the water cooler the next day ("yeah, I saw it, can we say FREAKS!" - hahahah "Yeah you know, I here Dan in accounting, you know him? Yeah I heard his wife nursed their FIVE year old at the company picnic last year. It's sick.") - a conversation that is a lot easier to have when the face on the mom on the cover of Time is making a "say something about it, I DARE you" face.

 

I don't want to fight people with my nursing...I want to allow them a peek into how lovely a super bonded relationship with an older toddler can be. I don't stare them down...I stare happily into my childs eyes and coo at them and sing little silly songs. Let them look. They won't see an angry, militant "aggro-mom" trying to prove a point. They will see a healthy, bonded relationship. What they do with that image, how they twist it, or don't, in their mind...that's up to them. But you won't EVER catch THIS mama letting anyone see her nursing with the intent to shove my lifestyle into anyone elses eyes/space. It just is what it is and it's fucking lovely.

And I'm now OFFICIALLY DYING to meet my new nursling so I can be nursing somebody again...this whole thing is only making me love nursing even more. I feel so blessed to come from a long line of proud breastfeeders and have a immediate and extended family who all honor me and have full love and respect for me as a nursing mom.

 

Agree with every word of all your posts but wanted to bold a line.

 

I cannot wait either. Although my immediate family's cut-off seems to be two years old orngtongue.gif Well.. not like they can dictate terms to me.

 

 

To answer Luckiestgirl -  maybe cozy depictions wouldn't have been fruitful either but common sense dictates that if you want to convince an opposing party about something then the way to go would be to present the 'essence' of the movement/feeling/stance rather than the 'extreme' stance.

 

Better to convince than up their ante  - better to cajole than confront.

 

Sure - we can all say 'screw you' to all non-BFers because we needn't care for their approval but at the same time - it would benefit so many newborn babies if we can try and educate the non-BFers rather than shock them. 

 

So for the sake of the babies at least I wish the pic were gentler and less confrontational.

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#29 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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I heard of the cover from a co-worker who was horrified.  She already has a hard time accepting breastfeeding past a year as acceptable and this picture definitely did nothing but spur a lot of anti-breastfeeding talk at work.  I wish they had chosen a different title and different pictures because from what I have seen so far this is only something that preaches to the choir and pushes other people to feel disgust for mother's who choose to practice child led weaning.

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#30 of 58 Old 05-11-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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I looked at the other pics from the article.  My complaint is that they could have chosen some AP mamas of color or represented some sense of diversity in the AP community.


signcirc1.gif*Autonomy - Not Forced Genital Cutting* fly-by-nursing1.gifsewmachine.gif

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