On the front of Time magazine recently there was a mother who chose to breastfeed her three-year-old son. The picture was quite alarming for some readers. It showed the young boy standing on a stool with his mouth to the breast of his mother. The article is on attachment parenting, but the picture is what truly caused the uproar. First, should mothers breastfeed beyond the first or second year of life. Second, should Time magazine publish a cover with a 3-year-old breastfeeding?
The Nutrition Side of Breastfeeding and Life Outside of Western Culture
Nutritionally, some mothers and families have no other means of providing good nutrition for their children unless they breastfeed later in life. Some cultures even support breastfeeding well past three years, but neither of those considerations applies in this situation, based on western culture and the beliefs of the western society.
Western culture is overwhelmed by this feeling that the breast is a sexual object, not a tool for feeding children. That is not the case in other cultures. Sometimes, society’s beliefs take over and women are left with a choice – often a subconscious one – between breastfeeding later in life or switching baby to food right away because that is what society deems appropriate.
Real Women Talk Breastfeeding
When it comes to real women and how they feel about breastfeeding past the age of three – no one comments. I mean really, not one of my friends would comment on whether or not they supported the theory of attachment parenting and breastfeeding. The subject seems just too sensitive.
So…here’s the debate…should women breastfeed longer and forget about the rules society has made OR should women follow the rules society quietly places before us and just walk down the path of the women before them?
You decide – to breastfeed past age three or not to breastfeed past age three – that is the question.