“I breastfeed my four-year-old 4 times a day!” shouts the headline of this week’s Woman’s Day magazine. And accompanying the headline is a photograph of 50-year-old Maha Al Musa wearing a low cut firefighter red dress and holding her almost-school-age daughter Aminah – who is latched onto her breast.
Is this even shocking anymore? You’re probably remembering the controversial Time magazine cover story, featuring US woman Jamie Grumet breastfeeding her three-year-old son. The story explored the whole issue of attachment parenting, a style of child rearing that’s attracted a whole wave of fresh attention in recent years thanks to confronting magazine images like these.
And just as Jamie Grumet’s breastfeeding choices prompted an outpouring of ‘Is this appropriate?’, ‘But what about her husband?’ and ‘Won’t the child be damaged’ and ‘Mummy wars!’ claims, there has been a similar response to the Australian Woman’s Day story.
This from iVillage.com.au:
My opinion is pretty sophisticated and consists of three words: Seriously, who cares?
Who cares if the child is four years old? Who cares if the woman’s 50? A 70-year old being breastfed by another elderly resident in the nursing home – now there’s a story (Do they take their dentures out? Is the time for a feed before or after the time for a sherry?) Similarly noteworthy is this story about a woman who breastfeeds her dog (and yes, you’re welcome.) But a mother breastfeeding her child? I repeat: who gives a shit?
It never ceases to amaze me how worked up people get about women using their breasts for their intended purpose. How easily advertising, music clips, movies, and Dolly Parton have made some of us forget that a lady’s fun-bags are, in fact, functional. That’s right: THEY’RE THERE TO FEED THEIR KIDS. To read the rest of this post click here
Have we moved past caring how long (or short) people breastfeed their kids? Or will there always be stigma? If you have kids and you breastfed, how long did you go?