Time magazine cover shows mother breastfeeding 3-year-old
Controversial picture goes viral as mum insists practice is 'biologically normal' and 'like a hug'
TIME MAGAZINE has courted controversy with the front cover of its latest edition – a picture of a mother breastfeeding her three-year-old son.
The snap shows Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old blogger, standing and looking into the camera as her son Aram stands on a wooden chair to suckle on her breast. The headline reads: "Are you mom enough?" The front page has gone viral, being picked up by newspapers and broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic and causing Grumet's personal blog - iamnotthebabysitter.com - to crash.
Grumet defends breastfeeding beyond early childhood in the magazine, saying that she was six before being weaned off her mother's milk. "It's really warm," Grumet recalls in the magazine. "It's like embracing your mother, like a hug. You feel comforted, nurtured and really, really loved. I had so much self-confidence as a child, and I know it's from that." She called the practice "biologically normal".
Along with breastfeeding Aram, the child on the cover, Grumet says she does the same once a month with her five-year-old son Samuel, adopted from Ethiopia in November 2010. "Being able to give him that [comfort] with the trauma that he faced was really, really important to me. I didn't realise how much it would help my attachment to him." She added: "When his English improved, because the connection was there, he didn't do it as much."
In the piece, reported the Daily Mail, Grumet admitted some people might think she's weird. "There are people who tell me they're going to call social services on me or that it's child molestation," she said. "I really don't think I can reason with those people."
Early reaction was certainly divided. One mother-of-six told Fox News that "even a cow knows when to wean their child" and said the photo was "on the verge of voyeurism". However there were those, like Bettina Forbes from the organisation Best for Babes, who hoped that the cover would "make mainstream America less squeamish" and said it was "high time we talk about these things".