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Time Magazine staff writer Kate Pickert talks about her cover story on the 20th anniversary of the school of "attachment parenting."
I am all for breastfeeding. I am saddened by the fact that it has fallen out of favor and happen to hear that there is public discussion that will educate women of child bearing age.
I have not seen all the pictures that accompany the Time story, but I have to quarrel with the cover a bit. It seems to me that whenever this is issue is represented in the media, the older child involved is a male child. I think that this is an attempt to play into what appears to be a widespread fixation on breasts as soley sexual organs. I've heard young mothers express everything from a vague discomfort to outright disgust with the idea of breastfeeding. I think more images of women breastfeeding their daughters would go a long way to dispelling this sense that it is somehow "inappropriate."
Bob from Flushing:You will feel differently when you have a baby and want to actually go out with your wife for a beer. You probably aren't going to spend $40 on a sitter so you can get a $4 pint, either.And try not to worry so much about what's "cool," OK?"
Misty - I've got to side with Bob on this one. If you are an adult, and going to a bar - or for that matter, a fine-dining restaurant - the expectation is that you will be able to relax and have an adult experience, without having to censor yourself. There are far too many parents today who bring their kids into adult establishments and start trying to call the shots & change the vibe for the benefit of their kids.
A family once complained to a bartender at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central - during happy hour - that my husband was "swearing and being loud," which wasn't good for their kids. My husband replied "why are you in the bar with your kids? The restaurant is right next door. Are your kids tipping the bartender?" I have also been out to brunch at nicer restaurants where parents are letting their kids run around the restaurant & screaming as if they were at Chucky Cheese.
There are plenty of "family friendly" establishments that happen to serve alcohol if parents want to combine those activities, or, people can invite friends over to their own houses if they want to have a beer/wine while the kids are asleep, or playing in another room. It makes things easier and cheaper for everyone, and leaves the bars to people over the age of 21.
For some reason, my wife and I were far too busy with our two kids when they were babies to even consider going out to the bar for a beer or two. Plus, the bars we liked weren't exactly family fare. And I don't we were alone in this.
The study shows that babies who are fed when they are hungry – with breast milk or formula – achieve higher scores in Sats tests at ages five, seven, 11 and 14, and that by the age of eight they have an IQ four to five points higher.
However, mothers who keep to scheduled feeding times score better on wellbeing measures, and report feeling more confident and less tearful.
Bob from Flushing: You will feel differently when you have a baby and want to actually go out with your wife for a beer. You probably aren't going to spend $40 on a sitter so you can get a $4 pint, either.And try not to worry so much about what's "cool," OK?
Did you know that "Momism" was invented by Voltaire. It seems that high class families were sending their children to rural areas to wet nurses because it supposedly interfered with their life style. Many of those children died because of unhealthy conditions in these communities. Voltairestarted a campaign,using guilt among other ideas and guess what it's still going on today.Using 3rd world models to encourage American women to breastfeed seems to ignore why these women in developing countries continue for longer periods of time than we do: 1) no other means of nutrition for an infant 2) no medical birth control available 3)lack of food for most toddlers .I am really in the middle on this issue; do it if you find all the right reasons, but you DON'T have to do it. A recent study said that they tested women's breast milk and found that there were many toxins in the milk. Another factor to consider.Ah,ha; there are many factors and breastfeeding may only be one of them. If I don't breastfeed I can still hold and cuddle and coo with my baby, I can still spend hours and hours paying attention to him, teaching her songs and games, ect. After all is said and done (as Brian Lehrer said in this segment; their will always be someone who will criticize Your parenting style) Perhaps when all the sound and fury dies down, it is simply love and concern that matters the most.
I think men need to really meditate on that picture, especially the type of men who write some of the facile comments above, revealing themselves to still be at the emotional age of the child pictured. Men are obsessed with breasts, even though they are simple feeding machines. It is only in Abrahamic cultures where the attitude toward the breast went from functional to sexual, and the confusion in men (and later women) developed. We have been led by archaeologists with just such cultural biases to believe that the Ancient Mother carvings were associated with sex & fertility because of the large breasts, whereas the obvious association of these figures are as symbols of knowledge and wisdom, where the fullness of breast and body are not symbolic of sexuality but about food and sustenance, about nurturing and teaching, passing on one's vital essence. Many creation myths talk about our origins from the oceans of Mother God's breast milk, but Abrahmic cultures literally threw out the baby with the breast milk, and created cultures of very angry, insecure, and frustrated men who resent their mothers and go on to blame their girlfriends/wives. It is the current idea of the family unit that creates the impossibility for women's fulfillment at work and home, not whether she wants to breast-feed. We're slowly figuring it out, but it's a very long road.
to jgarbuz from QueensMen already have all the glands needed to lactate. There are documented cases of men lactating in response to their own starvation or to infant demands.There may be some way to use hormones to cause male lactation, but I'm not aware of any such attempt. If you really want to nurse, look into it. You might make the cover of TIME.
The decisions about how long to breast feed or when to leave the bed are never up to the child. These choices are always up to the mother. Please stop mixing up who is in control.
A wise woman once said to me, "Parenting books are like weight loss books. If any of them actually worked, they would never need to write another one." I'm glad I realized this early on, threw all of mine away, and stopped measuring myself against others.
I breastfed my daughter until she was 14 months old. I also used a breast pump so that my husband could share in the experience. It also allowed me to go to work and have my daughter still receive breast milk. She decided when she was ready to stop, and it was a very emotional time for me (I'm not sure I was ready!). However, I feel confident that she knew when she was ready to stop, and she, now 22, is a very well adjusted and healthy young woman. I believe strongly that a child knows when they are ready to stop breast feeding, it should be respected by the parents, and it's really no one else's business and certainly not a decision society should be making. This was a very private and personal decision my husband and I made together and we were both able to share in the bonding experience.
Emily, yes, I caught that, too. I hope just misspoke. It does imply that a mother who does not (or cannot) breastfeed is less dedicated. That is unfortunate and, in my experience, untrue.
Sorry I was typing too fast. CoSLEEPING is sleeping in the same room. CoBEDDING is sleeping in the same bed. CoSLEEPING is recommended. CoBEDDING is higher risk when parents drink, do drugs, smoke, feed formula, have sleep apnea or are morbidly obese.
Really, every time I hear Hanna Rosin's name quoted, the epidemiologist in me just feels like the new media needs to put every so-called science journalist into a solid two years of course work on epidemiology. She employed what is known as confirmation bias. She threw out any data that didn't support her theory. She did NOT look at the data on necrotising enterocolitis, respiratory infections, ear infections, and diarrhea. She merely looked at soft targets -- those multicausal factors such as obesity.
Attachment Parenting. Sounds like it is more about the parent needs than the childs.
It's unfortunate that the guest chooses to use the word "dedicated" to describe the women that decide to breastfeed rather than bottle-feed. I find that an extremely loaded and judgmental word choice. What about women who can't breastfeed for medical or professional reasons? Are they REALLY less dedicated parents? I just had a baby this past week; The pressure to breastfeed IMMEDIATELY after birth and exclusively for at least 6 months from the Lactation nurses in the hospital is extreme and almost cultish in nature.
I have a toddler that I breastfed until 13 months old and I just put her on a time out. It is just all about the balance.
I think the biggest problem is that child-rearing has fads at all. The new baby book comes out & huge numbers of parents get on the bandwagon, when the same approach may not be the best for every child.
All these women jumping into a baby rearing technique written by a human male as if it were written by an all-knowning goddess. How silly.
I NEVER thought I'd be a crunchy attachment parenting mom. I had my son in 2009, on my own, and work full time, and for the first 4 months he slept in a cradle, nursed, and I did take him in the sling as much as possible. Then we took our first travel trip, and he just wouldn't stay in the crib at my brother's house....so I let him sleep in bed next to me. What a revelation. I realized that there was no way I would ever roll over on top of him - the awareness of him in bed with me was so clear even as I slept - and he has slept with me since then, only in the last 4 months from the age of two starting to transition to his own bed. (He now takes his naps in his own bed, and the first part of the night).....
I am a full time working single mom, and I sincerely believe that the co-sleeping was a way to convey love and security to my son who I couldn't see much of during the day - other caregivers and parents find him to be an unusually confident, anxiety free, well behaved, friendly loving kid....of course many factors including his genetic makeup would impact that, but I do believe the co-sleeping was a big part of it. I can't speak for it as a philosophy, but I know it's worked so well for us so far.
I recall a tribal culture where all the women nursed all the children, and non-mothers lactated as teenagers in response to suckling by village children.The children grew up to be very mellow adults.After missionaries introduced blouses, communal suckling disappeared, and the next generation became as neurotic as westerners.
I think what's missing with this discussion of attachment parenting is that in the US parenting is mostly a function of a "nuclear family" (mom and dad and kids). But in reality, parenting throughout history has been a function of the "extended family." Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents... were all available for sharing and assisting in raising children. The US nuclear style may foster too much attachment, too much guilt for not measuring up.
Not a single comment from a psychiatrist? Not a word about relevant, respectable psychoanalytical principles? Instead WNYC has opted to let a Time Magazine reporter frame the entire discussion with junk science and anecdotes. Pathetic and pandering radio.
I always felt that the external pressure to stop breastfeeding an older infant came from a place of insecurity some people felt about not having done so perhaps because of discomfort about it. Some people are just squeamish about breastfeeding, and that's fine. Just don't make me feel like a freak for choosing to do so. Our choices our ours alone, and don't necessarily reflect judgments about yours.
Actually most of this comes from the research of Harlow, Bowlby, Ainsworth and others. I didn't read Dr. Sears, but I do know the research on breastfeeding and it is perfectly normal and recommended to breastfeed until two years of age by the World Health Organization. So, I totally ignored all parenting advice and did want I wanted because I lived in Africa for two years and had my son when I was 41 years old. There actually are a LOT of mothers who breastfeed until 2 years and beyond, mainly in finance for some reason. Anyway my son breastfed until he decided to quit and he has a black belt in Martial Arts at age 10. He was and is VERY VERY independent. He even took a taxi to Times Square at age 11 with his friends for lunch and managed to get back to Middle School on time. I feel ambivalent about it.
Atlantic Monthly did a HORRIBLE study. I had a doctorate in Nutritional Sciences and Hanna Rosin LEFT OUT filing cabinets worth of research. Clearly Kate Pickert has not read the original sources on the research on the risks of formula.
The research actually shows that it is LESS SAFE than putting your baby in a separate room. It is 36% higher among those who put their baby in a separate room and 16% higher when babies are in the bed with parents. So, people really need to read the research.
Can you PLEASE put real researchers on along with the journalists? I am so tired of pseudojournalists like Hanna Rosin being quoted when she really did not do her homework.
Co-sleeping is NOT co-bedding. Cobedding is sleeping in the same bed. Cobedding is sleeping in the same room. And the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends co-sleeping.
Breastfeeding is natural and healthy for kids, but Vitamin D levels should be of concern with long term feeding. La Leche came around finally to the idea that breast milk quality is subject to the mother's nutrition. Get more sun or supplement.
The cover really shouldn't be promoted. What your guest isn't saying is that the mother on the cover is quite pretty and wasn't just chosen to highlight the issue, she was chosen because sex sells and the picture is as much about titillation and the implication of sex as it is about parenting. They are trying to sell magazines.
Also, being a parent and having read a bunch of parenting blogs, the joke about *extreme* breastfeeding and "co-sleeping" is that the blogs and boards are FULL of people trying to figure out "how do I get my three year-old out of my bed"?
Eventually, you will need to get your kid off the boob and out of your bed (by high school, perhaps?). If you are enjoying the warmth of co-sleeping, you are forgetting that eventually, the kid has to move on.
Yes Brian, I think you have a good point - it can certainly be used as just another way to make moms feel guilty that they are not doing a good enough job.
The Cult of Narcissism perpetuates!!
Hey Mom and Dad, if you're planning to a brew pub or bar for a little something to eat and drink, don't wear you kid. There are some traditionally adult environments that should remain adult. (High chairs aren't particularly cool in bars,either.)
I think the photo on the cover of Time is meant to be provocative so we have this debate on it's appropriateness. As we all know, the nature of advertising and marketing requires that headlines (both written and photographic) be as controversial as possible to sell copy, and I presume Time's sales numbers for this issue will be up.
As far as the subject matter, is "attachment parenting" - a subject that I'd never heard of until yesterday - attachment for the parent or the child or both. And once attached, how do you get them unattached? Children do need to start asserting their independence at some point.
As for breastfeeding, we should all, by now, know that it's just plain better for mother and child. It helps shrink the mother's uterus back to pre-pregnancy size, helps bond mother and child, helps provide natural birth control (if done frequently enough - I remember a magazine article from several years ago about members of an African tribe who nurse for 4 years and their children are spaced approximately 4 years apart), provides important antibodies for the child, is much more convenient for the mother as it precludes all the heating of formula, washing of bottles, nipples, etc. It was built-in to our species and that of all mammals for a reason. All pros, no cons, except for working mothers with odd schedules outside the home. And I do know of children who nurse for more than the standard six months or year. I had a boyfriend who told me he nursed 'til he was five. I think for men, in particular, it creates more respect for women. So let's just go with the nursing, stop making it out to be prurient for magazine sales purposes, and leave nursing mothers alone.
Why are we revisiting this? It's devisive in the extreme. I agree with the comment above; most commentary about parenting is aimed at making parents, predominantly mothers feel either guilty about their choices or defensive. The cover is aimed to inflame people as is the general discussion about this. Enough. It is a backward step for everyone. Make your choices, do no harm and don't judge others.
I want to know why Time chose such an intentionally scandalous photo - when the same mother and child could have been photographed as I'm sure they actually nurse: he in her lap, in a chair in their home.
I'm amazed that people are talking about "pressure" from others to stop breastfeeding. I can't imagine that anyone could have the nerve to "pressure" someone else about such a personal matter. That is appalling.
My independant, 30 and 32 year old daughters, were breastfed to 18 months, sometimes slept with us, and as they were toddlers, I sat in the room with them untill they were comfortable going to sleep. They naturaly reached a point, where they said, "thanks mommy we don't need you in the room any more". And they never had to endure the night terrors of being alone.. I'm sure that half of parents are of the "let them cry it out" school, my girls are quite normal, and glad that I was not of that belief.
It is NOT appropriate not matter what you say to put this on public display. Get a breast pump and put it in a sippee cup if this about health concerns. A four year on the breast? Foul.
Where does the father fit into this parenting model?
Just saw that cover image. Big laugh.Right up there with the "Buy this Magazine or We Shoot This Dog" in terms of desperate salesmanship.
Yes, we all "come to our parenting with plenty of baggage..." That's why one needs to challenge themselves when it comes to these issues, NOT drink some cargo cult pop Kool Aid®.
Haven't always lived in the "modern era"
What nutso nonsense. Let's create a generation of people even more narcissistic, seeking of instant gratification, and frustration intolerant than what we have now.
Women today often get breast implants to look sexier. Can men get MILK gland implants so that they can breast-feed their children too? Men love their children too. It's not fair that women get to bond so intimately with children which men can't do in the same way. It's sexism.
Misty, you are so right. There are extremists who want to make you feel guilty whatever you do. How about we all just say "mind your own damn business about how other people raise their children"?
Inappropriate for a magazine cover.
I just saw the cover, I would breast feed off of that woman in a minute!!
There's "SERIOUS "parenting" NUTS, out there.
1. It is narcissistic and borderline-abusive of the cover-photo mom to subject her son to having this photo of him forever on the internet. Perhaps she wasn't thinking?
2. Do whatever you want as far as breastfeeding is concerned; this is really no one's business but the parents'.
3. I have no problem with breastfeeding in public.
4. I believe it is the closeness and intimacy while feeding that builds a healthy baby, and a mother can absolutely do this with a bottle of formula.
5. As a new mom who had trouble breastfeeding due to my baby's being hospitalized immediately after birth, I was subjected to a great deal of pressure and judgement by other "breastfeeding nazi" moms. I spent hundreds of dollars trying to breastfeed. I did the best I can. And you know what? Now that my child is past breastfeeding age, I realize that breastfeeding is a TINY part of being a mother. Basically irrelevant.
for those who think that the photo is unique or a one-off....i once shared a house in another city with a woman who breast fed a child that age. it was gross, but at least she didn't do it when i had people over.
Got to second what Lisa said, even though I myself am not a parent. The media spends so much time debating child-rearing techniques - which like many things in life, should be personal and best left to individuals to find what works for them.(And frankly, as a non-parent, I am SO sick of hearing about this topic.)
However, the #1 conversation about parenting should be: why isn't American society providing families with more support? Why don't work places offer on-site daycare? It seems so much more crucial to discuss how difficult it is to raise children with both parents working full-time; how can we evolve and create a more family-friendly lifestyle for all of us?
Im 35 nd i love to breast feed
So if Time magazine's cover story is celebrating the 20th anniversary of publication of Dr. Bill Sears' book, why didn't Time put a picture of him on the cover? That's the conversation you should be having. Time is exploitative.
What nonsense. Breastfeeding is a personal decision for a woman and a personal experience between mother and child. Are the people who want to control what goes on in a woman's uterus the same ones who want to control what she does with her breasts?
How unfortunate that Time deliberately chose a headline and photo that would make it look like their is a debate over the merits of extended breastfeeding and "attachment" parenting. This is a manufactured conversation. This is how the species got here and has been around since the beginning of humans. Breastfeeding, co-sleeping and responding to your baby/child's needs is how a mother provides protection, food, love, warmth and imparts high self-esteem to a child which allows them the ability to move forward with independence and confidence into the world. It also provides them with the antibodies and immunities that are needed to keep them healthy in a world that is polluted and full of non-nutritive food.The medical profession should not be in the parenting advising business because as we have seen over the years their advise is constantly changing and represents no more than the current medical fad of the moment.
A little over 100 years ago in America it was just called "parenting". I have a 15 month old daughter and a mere year ago I would have thought that the tenets of "attachment parenting" seemed a little too out there for me. After our daughter was born we were inundated from all sides with all kinds of conflicting advice over what was good and bad for our child. At the end of the day we realized we needed to not listen to anyone and just trust our instincts first and do our research second. So when my wife started taking our daughter into bed at night or during naps I became worried. Isn't this the exact thing we were told was dangerous and bad? Yet...it totally worked. Our daughter slept better next to us, we slept better, she nursed more. So I did my research and that's where I stumbled upon "attachment parenting". Attachment parenting for us was not a new style of parenting, a fad, or a handbook of what to do with our child. It's function was to give us the needed support to trust ourselves. Not only was it working for us but common sense, a brief reading of other cultures parenting techniques and a little evolutionary history made me realize how far Americans and the rest of the western world have strayed from parenting techniques that have been a part of our human culture for hundreds of thousands of years.I mean honestly which makes more sense keeping your young child physically close to you at night where they feel safe, secure and loved....or after a day of them never having a moment alone from a caregiver suddenly expecting them to sleep soundly alone in a dark solitary room (never mind that infant sleeping patterns are totally different than ours). And that to achieve this result you have to put them in their crib and let them cry till the point of exhaustion while you sit in another room. How far have we gone down the wrong path that this isn't labeled extreme or strange but sleeping close to your child is? Much like La Leche League didn't invent breast feeding, they merely rescued it from being forgotten. Dr. Sears didn't invent this style of parenting he just reminded us to not forget it.
as context we are both working parents.
Though Dr. Sears is credited for coining the term, it is misleading to call him the father of attachment parenting. Not only have these practices been accepted around the world for centuries, but there are other works that more fundamentally undergird AP practices than Sears' writing: Jean Leidloff's Continuum Concept and Attachment Theory to name only two.
This is not a trendy, modern dilemma; these concepts have been around for ages.
Positioning parenting choices as "mommy wars," erases the space for important, critical discussions about best parenting practices. There ARE choices that are better for children than others. We ought to be able to discuss those and learn from one another. But instead, positioning differences as wars sets us up to be defensive and divided, even blindly defending choices that may not in fact benefit our children.
It concerns me that attachment parenting is being reduced to a checklist. As a parent who has come to this after considerable (and continuous) research on attachment theory, brain research, child development, and parenting theories, it seems crucial that one's practice grow out of research and reflection, rather than simply subscribing to a a current parenting trend. Like with anything, good practice should be evidence based and grow out of solid principles. The current conversations about attachment parenting seem to encourage (or discourage) parents from that work, instead implying that one can blindly choose a parenting trend and simply follow a couple rules.
This conversation positions so-called attachment parenting as a choice of middle class, white, American women, completely ignoring the fact that its fundamental tenets have been practiced around the world for centuries. Extended breastfeeding, nursing in public, bed sharing, baby wearing--all are a given in the majority of cultures around the world.
the only anit-feminists i know of are those that do their best to prevent or discourage women from producing and rearing fully developed, healthy offspring, and you cannot have fully developed, healthy offspring without "attachment/natural" parenting and extended breastfeeding, among so many other things…
we really need to move this issue away from feminism/anti-feminism, working/stay-at-home mothers, man/woman, etc and address the real problem of parenting as a social issue… underdeveloped children (and eventually adults) are everybody's problem. social programs, resources, violence, etc. are all impacted by how we parent our children and in what environment they grow up within.
we need to stop this crazy assembly line type breeding, with sub-optimal feeding and outsourcing of parental involvement, and start supporting mothers and families with extended work leave and adoption of the WHO code. generations of kids are sick and dying over this issue, the government needs to step up and acknowledge the importance of breastfeeding and ideal parenting.
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