Time magazine’s breastfeeding cover getting backlash

The cover of the latest Time magazine illustrates a story about 72-year-old pediatrician Dr. William Sears with a photo of a nearly 4-year-old boy standing and suckling at the breast of his 26-year-old mother.

The cover photo of Jamie Lynne Grumet gazing at the camera nearly expressionless with her preschool-age son perched at her bosom rocketed through social media circles on Thursday, with screeds, pleas and jokes in tow. Commenters are weighing in on all sides of related issues — parental rights, child advocacy and media sensationalism, to name a few.

Time editors said they published the provocative cover and a story on attachment parenting to embrace the movement for prolonged physical bonding between mothers and their kids.

“Time magazine” spent much of the day as a trending topic on Twitter and as a hot search on Google. The cover was also the talk of morning shows such as ABC’s “The View” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where Time Managing Editor Rick Stengel discussed the story and Sears.

Time magazine photographer Martin Schoeller shot the photos of Grumet, as well as three other mothers who practice attachment parenting.

Download Time Magazine May 2012

Time cover shows mom breast-feeding young son

BREASTFEEDING: THE STATS

  • The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding a child up until their second birthday ‘or beyond’.
  • Many American mothers fail to meet the WHO’s recommended time period.
  • According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, 75per cent of mothers begin breastfeeding a child once they are born but only 44per cent continue to do so past six months.
  • Of the 44per cent that continue to breastfeed, only 15per cent are using breast milk exclusively.
  • The CDC also found that by the age of one, less than a quarter of mothers are breastfeeding at all.
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