My Thoughts on the Time Magazine Breastfeeding Cover

          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? 


  1. says

    Hi Abbie, I found you through the wed follow link up. Happy to be your newest member. This picture and Jamie the mom were on morning television and my 7 year old son and I couldn’t stop giggling from nervous embarrassment as they kept flashing the photo. I nursed all 4 of my children and I am grateful I was able to do so, but I feel personally once children have teeth they have them for a reason. So when my kids had top and bottom I started weaning. It was usually around a year and I am thankful for the time. I think that yes, the photo is what is so offensive not her choice to nurse beyond the norm.

  2. says

    Thank you for your comment. I’m glad we are all talking about breast feeding. This post has started a conversation on my facebook page, too. I know they were trying to sell magazines, but I can’t help but wish the picture had been sweeter. As far as teeth are concerned, Ty just got his first bottom tooth, so I’m kind of in a wait and see position. Way to go nursing four children. Awesome!

  3. says

    I’ve felt the same, always wondering how long should I feed for. I’ve breastfed all six of my biological bubs and they chose when to wean. Mostly around the 12 month mark however two were a little earlier. I looked at some of my bubs not long after they weaned wishing they still wanted to feed but they were ready and I was ok with that. My youngest is 14 months and around 12 months showed signs of beginning to wean however has started to increase his feeds again now and we are continuing. This is the longest I’ve fed for and figure we’ll just keep going until he is ready and for how long I also feel comfortable with.
    There is always that conflict however about what and how long is needed and what is socially acceptable. I think we just have to do what feels right for us as individuals and stop judging each other as Mothers.
    I also saw the cover and really wanted to love it but found it cold and unaffectionate, which left me feeling disappointed. I agree with what you said and perhaps this was intentional and I also wonder whether she was happy in how she and her little one were portrayed.
    Great post :)

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