Monday, July 9th, 2012
Mothers who breastfeed their children beyond infancy have been in the news recently, especially in the wake of a controversial Time magazine cover story about “attachment parenting.” Now, a New York production is reportedly planning a reality television show that will tell the stories of these moms. The New York Post reports:
“I didn’t set out to nurse a 3-year-old,” said Jessica Cary of Park Slope, whose daughter Olive continues to breastfeed. “But two years came and went. Now breastfeeding and mothering are so intertwined for me.”
Government agencies don’t track breastfeeding past 12 months, and many pediatricians assume it has stopped by the child’s first birthday. So there’s no way to know how many of the 28 percent of New York babies who breastfeed up to age 1 keep on going.
Long-term breastfeeding moms often cite the World Health Organization, which encourages nursing until at least age 2. Neither WHO nor the American Academy of Pediatrics sets an upper limit on breastfeeding’s duration
“Experienced pediatricians realize that the benefits of breastfeeding don’t just magically disappear after one year,” said Karen McGratty, a lactation consultant in Midwood who is nursing her 3-year-old son.
Most mothers of breastfeeding preschoolers let the child take the lead in weaning.
“At this point I don’t offer nursing, only give it to her when she requests it,” said Cary. That leads to a gradual reduction on the child’s own timetable.
Image: Nursing mother, via Shutterstock.
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Attachment parenting, the parenting philosophy that captured national attention when a controversial Time magazine cover sparked debate, has the support of a high number of self-identified feminists, a new study published in the journal Sex Roles has found.
The study asked mothers and non-mothers–who either did or did not identify themselves as feminists–to rate their level of support of a number of parenting principles, including the length of time children should be breastfed (from not at all to more than 18 months), whether mothers should carry their children in slings or arms as often as possible, and whether parents should co-sleep with their children.
On all of those measures, feminist mothers were most likely to support attachment parenting principles, with non-feminist mothers right behind them, and non-feminist non-mothers the least likely to support the principles.
The findings are intertwined with the perennial question of how to define feminism. The study’s authors, psychologists Miriam Liss and Mindy J. Erchull, write that the self-identified feminists in the study “saw themselves as somewhat atypical feminists who were more interested in attachment parenting than they thought was typical of feminists.”
An analysis from BuzzFeed.com said that Liss and Erchull also found that non-feminist mothers were most likely to believe that the principles of attachment parenting are incompatible with feminism:
Despite finding that feminist moms were more likely to subscribe to attachment-parenting philosophies, the study authors found that non-feminists, especially non-feminist moms, still believed the opposite: that feminism meant you weren’t interested in things like co-sleeping or carrying your baby in a sling. Liss and Erchull wrote, “these stereotypes are consistent with the image of a feminist woman as being less invested in her children and family, perhaps because she is more invested in aspects of her life outside of the home.”
Image: Baby in a sling, via Shutterstock
Monday, May 21st, 2012
The singer Alanis Morissette is weighing in on the debate sparked by a recent Time magazine cover on “attachment parenting” by saying that she has no plans to stop breastfeeding her 16-month-old son, Ever Imre. PEOPLE.com has more:
“I breastfeed and I’ll be breastfeeding until my son is finished and he weans,” Morissette, 37, tells Access Hollywood.
Her decision, she adds, will provide her son with the stability he needs in his future. “I think it affords the child, when he grows up, to have a lot less therapy to go to,” the first-time mom explains.
“For me, I protect his safety and his well-being and his attachment. That stage of development is a very important stage.”
Image: Alanis Morissette, via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Friday, May 11th, 2012
The cover of this week’s Time magazine features a 26-year-old mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son under the headline “Are You Mom Enough?” As MediaBistro.com reports, “The feature inside Time is about Dr. William Sears, the man credited with starting ”attachment parenting,” but Time obviously knew this cover was much more attention-grabbing than putting him on the front. Mission accomplished.”
Time’s website, which makes the article available to subscribers, has this note from author Kate Pickert:
As the author of 40-plus books on parenting and pregnancy, Sears is a familiar figure to many American mothers and fathers. Some parents subscribe to his theory that attachment parenting — characterized by extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and wearing your baby in a sling across your body — is the best way to raise confident, secure children. Others think Sears is an antifeminist tyrant, or that his ideas are just totally unrealistic.
Image via http://healthland.time.com