Is it breastfeeding or is it something else?

We’ll we, as a nation and in our media circus, have discussed pretty much every issue on and about women.
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There’s been health care, birth control, maternity leave, equal pay and more. But the latest media fire storm is surrounding this topic of “Attachment Parenting.”

The recent cover picture and story in Time Magazine is feeding this now national uproar and public comment frenzy. This time, I have to admit, I agree with the majority of the feedback.

Women breastfeeding an infant is one thing. But nursing a child that is old enough to say, “Yo Mom, give me the tit,” is clearly another. The Time article depicts a number of women breastfeeding their children.  On the cover there's a 3-year-old still nursing, and frankly, it looks very unnatural. Breastfeeding is, of course, very natural and not indecent, up to a point. I would be curious to know how the husbands (if in a heterosexual relationship) feel about breastfeeding a preschooler? This seems to be not an attachment question but perhaps more of an independence question.

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What does a mother get from nursing a child past 2 years old? I guess we could go back to tribal-caveman days and ask the same question; how long do you nurse your child? But back then, there weren’t other baby nutrition options. Did they nurse this long? And are there really nutritional benefits or was it just socially more acceptable? I guess some could argue, “it’s your body, do what you want.” But isn’t also about the child and the issues that she or he will grow up remembering? For example, “I left for preschool, but before I got myself dressed and ate all my breakfast, I latched on to Mom for a quick drink…???”

I wonder if Moms who breastfeed their child over the age of two are afraid of “not being needed?” I can’t really get my head around the idea that it’s all for the benefit of the child. Is it? But then I would be casting a judgement against my fellow tribe. I don’t want to do that, I just know that when I finished breastfeeding all my kids, they weren’t walking, talking and running down the street asking for directions on how to get a drink of milk.


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