Thursday, May 24, 2012

on Extended Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting, as inspired by the controversial Time Mag cover

taken from website

A lot has been said about the controversial Time Magazine cover featuring a toddler standing on a stool being breastfed by his mom, with a caption saying "Are you mom enough?" talking about Attachment Parenting. I've been reading a lot of comments and blog entries about it. Here are my thoughts.

Being a mom is hard work, and I think all moms are "mom enough" regardless of their parenting style. Also, if you read about Attachment Parenting, it's not just about Breastfeeding, Babywearing and Co-Sleeping. For me, it is a parenting philosophy of being responsive to your child's needs so you establish a stable connection with him/her. In turn, the child becomes self-aware and sensitive to other people's needs as well.  Actually, I think most parents are doing it somehow,  It's just that the word "attachment" can sometimes been perceived negatively by someone who doesn't know what it really is.  If you don't know what attachment parenting is, you'll have the misconception that the parenting style mind end up making the child too attached to the parents.

Anyway, the photo in the magazine cover is itself subject of debate. Some of the comments I've read in the original article about it goes something like "if a child is old enough to ask to be nursed, then it's time to stop" or "the child will be traumatized being photographed breastfeeding at such an age". Whether or not someone approves of the style the photo was taken depends on one's personal taste, but I do hope that more people will be ok with a mom breastfeeding her toddler. Breastfeeding beyond a year has it's benefits and a mom's decision how she feeds her child deserves to be respected. After all, if there are 3-4 year olds who still drink milk from a bottle, why can't there be children of the same age who are breastfeeding? Besides, breastfeeding toddlers has been something mothers have been doing for generations.

For moms who are breastfeeding their toddlers, kudos to you. Be proud and talk openly about it! As more people realize that Breastfeeding is a natural thing, more new moms would be inspired to do it, and we will be making a the world a better place one baby at a time.

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