I hadn't, so she described it to me. A woman, standing up, with her almost four year old child at her breast while he stood on a stool in front of her.
|Associated Press / May 11, 2012|
Back to the photo. It's a rather provocative cover. I expect it rubs a few people the wrong way because in our rather sheltered culture it's not common to see women breastfeeding their older children. I wonder how much of that is because the child doesn't take much milk any more and it's less likely to happen outside the home, and how much of it is because those who do feed their older child feel the stares of passersby and hide away for fear of comments?
The photo doesn't bother me. But I'm slightly crunchy and have been around full term feeders at the ABA, so I understand I'm biased.
Some of the very vocal backlash to the photo (including it being taken of stands in some supermarkets) has been because the woman is wearing tight, sexy clothes (yes, jeans, a singlet and ballet flats are totes sexy)... because obviously anyone breastfeeding should automatically become asexual. Surely she should be wearing frumpy maternity clothing with bows on it? Newsflash: breastfeeding doesn't stop you being a sexual person - see those people with two children breastfeeding? Or pregnant and breastfeeding? OMG THEY HAD SEX!
Other comments have been centred around the look to camera... because shouldn't they be looking adoringly in to each others eyes if it's genuine bonding and not some debauched sexual act? Newsflash: I've not seen a child stare in to it's mother's eyes while feeding much past the six month mark where the world suddenly gets really interesting. Tricky looks anywhere but at me unless he's really tired.
In Australia (according to the ABS), by age two, only 1% of children are receiving breastmilk. In less than a month, all things remaining equal, Tricky will fall in to that 1%.
I think I deserve to get some sort of prize for breastfeeding this long. Like a boob shaped trophy or something. Or at least a nice, new bra.
When the majority of people find out I'm still feeding the Trickster they looked surprised. Then, inevitably, the very first question is "when are you going to wean him?". I don't see how it's anyone else's business, really, but depending on my mood I'll either answer "when he's ready" or "when he's 17, because feeding an 18 year old would be TOTALLY GROSS!".
When I was pregnant, my goal was to feed for twelve months. That was quickly reassessed to "please let me feed til three months" when nipple thrush and a staph infection (yes, in MY NIPPLE!) had me in tears every hourly feed (yes, HOURLY!).
But through perseverance, education and a lot of
So here I am feeding a (not quite) two year old. It is very different to feeding a newborn, and it's very different to feeding a twelve month old.
He feeds every morning when he wakes up which guarantees me an extra half hour to an hour of sleep as he lays there, dozing on and off at my breast. An hour is a long time at 4:00am when you're sleep deprived.
Sometimes he'll feed after a nap, and he gets free reign if he's sick, both for the comfort and to keep his fluids up. Recently when he was unwell and he was refusing food and water, he would breastfeed and I knew he was at least getting something.
He will pull away from one side and ask for "More milk?" before latching on to the other side. I wonder if it tastes different?
I understand that some people think it's weird, and that if a child can ask for milk then they're too old to have it... Tricky, thanks to baby sign language, has been able to ask for milk since he was six months old. Should I have weaned him then?
I don't know when we'll wean. There's been a few times when I thought it was the end of our journey, like when I was going away to conferences, and savoured the closeness of our "last feed", only to have him eagerly return to the breast as if nothing had happened.
For now, I'll relish the fleeting moments we have together... and quietly revel in my ability to provoke awkward looks from others.
Did the Time cover make you squirm? Why? Why not?
All opinions are welcome here, but please be respectful.