Saturday, May 12, 2012


For the sake of this post, I'm going to assume that you've seen the New York Times cover with the woman breastfeeding her three-year-old.

Let me first say that I admire this woman greatly for daring to stand up and challenge the haters. An article I read this afternoon quoted her as saying that she herself was breastfed until age six. She is a healthy and independent woman, two of the arguments against extended nursing. My siblings and I were nursed until after our second birthdays, when we weaned ourselves. Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, and the extra bond between mother and child lasts all their lives. I'm only fifteen, but I certainly plan to breastfeed any children I have in the future, and I will not be ashamed to do so.

I'm certain many people would tell women that any child over a certain age needs to unlatch. No matter what age, the mother certainly needs to cover up, they say. I will admit that the photograph is pretty immodest, but it's the news. Sex sells, and so does shock value. No woman I know would feed her child like this around the house, and certainly not in public. Not all children will breastfeed when covered up, either, and you can't force them to. If the sight of this offends you, I suggest you put on your blinders. You already own a pair.

My family has some personal history with breastfeeding prejudice. My own mom, a La Leche League leader and apprentice midwife, was at the social security offices in our city about seven years ago. She had my baby brother with her, and was breastfeeding him while she waited. Micah was only eight weeks old, and needed to eat. A woman who shall not be named here came up to my mother, and demanded that she cover up or leave. Demanded, not requested. My mother refused, as she had every legal and personal right to do. This small incident between two people led to local news coverage and a protest outside the building a couple of months later.

I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is that women have a right to nourish their children where and when they wish, and at any age.


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