Looking for something?

Loading...

Saturday, 12 May 2012

What breastfeeding older children REALLY looks like.

Most people will have seen the cover of the latest issue of TIME Magazine by now.  
The image below is challenging on many levels and - of course - TIME chose it because it was likely to provoke extreme reactions.




But let's face it, this image has really very little to do with breastfeeding older children, and a lot to do with selling magazines.  It is not a realistic representation of how nursing older children really looks.  The picture on TIME magazine is all about sensationalism and shows nothing of the nurturing nature of sustained breastfeeding.  

Children continue to breastfeed into childhood for many reasons - it's biologically normal for them after all.  Their mothers aren't somehow 'making' them do it.  There are many myths surrounding sustained breastfeeding, I have tried to address some of them with this post.  

If you find yourself freaked out/ challenged/ appalled by the notion of older children feeding, then please take some time to read more about it.  We can all acknowledge that it's unusual to see older children breastfeeding in our culture, but that doesn't make it wrong.

So I thought it might be helpful to provide a bit of a reality-check.  I am grateful to the members of DBM who have sent in their photos to help us do this.


PLEASE NOTE:  THESE PICTURES MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED ELSEWHERE WITHOUT THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE IN THEM.  

Jen and her 2.5 year old

Aged 3.5


Aged 3 


On the Beach - aged 2.5 


Aged 22 months 


Aged 4 

Almost 3. 
Aged 3

This breastfeeding Triceratops is 2yrs 9m old. 


Tandem toddler wrestling nursing from Indigo Whispers.

If you have breastfed an older child and would like to include your picture in this blogpost, please email it to me at:
dispellingbreastfeedingmyths@hotmail.co.uk

x anne

28 comments:

  1. I appreciate you realizing and making a blog post showing that this cover was just a racy attention grabber. It's not a true portrayal and it is meant to sell magazines and get attention. The breastfeeding and attachment parenting communities need to run with the publicity and use it to raise awareness not whine about how it's not the image that they wanted portrayed. In my opinion, unless you pay for the publicity yourself, you have to take what is out there and use it to your advantage. These communities need to see that this cover is going to get people to pick up the magazine. Now we need to make sure that information that is out there is backed by evidence based research. We as members of this community need to stick together to promote what we believe is the best way to raise our children. I am a registered nurse and a breastfeeding advocate, and I say Thank you Time magazine for getting people all twisted up about the cover so we can start our work. We need to really get good information out there! I am ready, are you?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi there, thanks for your comment - I think we're running with it ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do you mind if I re-post this on my blog?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please do not reproduce this blog elsewhere - you can link to it with pleasure, but the people in the photos have not given their permission to have their images reproduced anywhere else. Thanks x anne

    ReplyDelete
  5. Adorable pics. Sadly images such as these won't make it mainstream as they lack the shock factor.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Personally, I think they should apologize about the article and then have someone who knows more about the subject write another one, perhaps entitled with the name of this blog post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely images. I particularly enjoyed the breastfeeding triceratops. Hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the dinosaur piccy! I get really cross at the way western society views this; its proven to be the biological norm for optimal infant health, so why can't people just back off.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Replies
    1. disgusting that breastfeeding is portrayed is disgusting? I quite agree! :)

      Delete
  10. I agree anon, disgusting. Disgusting that we don't more of these beautiful images, disgusting that so many families feel the need to hide away and disgusting that society views the biological norm for our children as disgusting. Thank you for highlighting this.
    Mandy (no google account)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes, it is disgusting how the media misrepresents natural term breastfeeding ;)

    Fantastic blog piece, thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the happiness on the little ones' faces. Perfect. They will grow up like my boys, with a very healthy body image hopefully and great respect for women :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love how the ignorant troll comments are always anonymous...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great pics of a natural, normal nursing relationship. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If only big time mags would publish articles like this, portraying "extended" breastfeeding as normal. I love this. All these pics are so heartwarming. I am currently breastfeeding my 11 month old, and I don't plan to stop anytime soon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Breastfeeding on demand is a natural positive thing to do, and if the children are older that should not be an issue. And it is a celebration of motherhood. Let's hope though it is not used an instrument of control- there are a tiny minority of mothers who have personal and emotional issues, and who have used breastfeeding as a way of forcing their dominance and control over a child. When you see children of 6 and 8 breastfeeding, one wonders who this is truly benefiting. Again, the child on the Time magazine was dressed to look much older, and was standing on a chair. The two issues need separating: these photos are great and the children look happy and settled.

    ReplyDelete
  17. These pics are so beautiful. I nursed my son until he self weaned at 10 months. I was willing to nurse HE was ready to stop. Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gross. These people have attachment issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello 'anonymous' (didn't you want to put your name with your comment?) - what's really gross here is your attitude. Have you considered any kind of therapy for your DEtachment issues? After all, these photos merely depict the biological norm for our species - something you seem sadly out of touch with.

      Delete
  19. Incidentally 'Anon' - I can't help but wonder what brought you to look at this page since you find it so offensive?

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was breastfed until about 5. I feel sick when I think about it, slightly violated ??. My mum never sexually abused me, though I feel Urky.I try not to think about it . I still think she is a great mum but that was not good for me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Awww! Totally not as creepy as I thought it would be! As long as it keeps their little traps shut, I would totally prefer this to having them run around screaming. I don't see why people complain so much.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Beautiful! I am breastfeeding 14 month old twins. They are not ready to wean and neither am I. Its so sweet to see them hold hands and look into each others eyes while nursing. Great bonding time besides the obvious health benefits. My former 2.5 month premature twins weighing in at 3 lbs are now big, strong, and healthy. I credit my boobs. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. If everyone is so big on the breast milk being so good for children why not use a breast pump? like someone said now that they're older it irks them. think about how it might make your child feel when they're older to come across these photo's and be weirded out by them.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I also think It's disgusting there are other ways to go about giving your child breast milk boys at 4years old your child shouldn't be seeing you topless at all!

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE to hear from you, so please leave any comments or feedback below. Just a polite reminder though - if you're rude or abusive your comment will be deleted.