FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – At mom’s groups across the country and closer to home here in Texas, the topic of conversation has been the controversial TIME Magazine cover, depicting a 26 year old mother standing up breastfeeding her almost 4 year old son, who is standing on a chair to reach his mother’s breast.
Morgan Mayes, president of the Fort Worth Baby Wearers, a non-profit group that educates parents on the art of carrying babies or young children using a cloth carrier, said she has received dozens of messages via facebook and twitter from parents who object the cover photo and others who love it.
Mayes has breastfed both of her children.
“I was tandem nursing. I had a toddler and a newborn and he nursed for 13 months then he self-weaned,” Mayes said. Her daughter, Emma, 3, continues to breastfeed. She asks her mother for “stack” when she wants to nurse. Emma called it “snack” at first, then the word evolved to “stack.”
When Mayes asked her daughter why she liked to nurse she said, ”Because it makes me happy and I love you.”
“For her, it’s very much a comfort thing, it’s not every day,” Mayes said.
For Mayes, the cover of TIME Magazine was a positive thing because it’s brought to forefront the conversation about breastfeeding and how it’s looked up in society.
“Even if people are on either side, they’re talking about it and I love that,” Mayes said.
But for other moms, like Jennifer Kent, who has 2 children under 3, the cover was a disturbing and unrealistic depiction of a very natural act.
Kent advocates for breastfeeding but felt the cover doesn’t show nursing a nurturing, loving act.
“The nursing position is unnatural and the whole ‘Are you mom enough?’ lying next to the photograph is bothersome too because every mom is mom enough,” Kent said.
The article discusses attachment parenting, a concept conceived by Dr. Bill Sears, which promotes baby wearing, co-sleeping and breastfeeding for as long as possible. The concept, according to Sears, is meant to enhance a baby’s bond to his or her mother.
But some say the conversation about attachment parenting could have been started a bit more tastefully.
“Maybe it could have been done a bit better,” Kent said.
Meanwhile, Mayes hopes the controversy will allow more people to learn about attachment parenting and decide for themselves if that’s a road they want to take with their children.