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Mom breastfeeds on cover of Time Magazine

Reported by: Julie Tremmel

Videographer: B. DiGiovanni
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Updated: 5/11/2012 8:14 am

The cover of this month's Time Magazine was just released on Thursday, and it's already creating quite a stir on Facebook and Twitter, and is the talk at water coolers around the nation.

On the cover is a shot of an attractive mom nursing her three-year-old son while he's standing on a stool, and looking directly at the camera.

Here in the Capital Region, even some people who truly support breastfeeding say they think the cover is 'a bit much,' questioning whether showcasing nursing in such a public fashion is the best way to further the cause.

Rex Carey of Voorheesville thinks the magazine cover could make some trips to the grocery store interesting for local parents.

"I think it's definitely going to create some awkward moments for kids (and parents), and probably some strange questions and how to answer them," Carey said.

One local mom who didn't want to be identified said she's been nursing her baby for 10 months, and is in the process of weaning the baby.

Even though she's a strong supporter of breastfeeding, even she took issue with the caption "Are You Mom Enough?" on the cover.

"It's (breastfeeding is) a really hard thing to keep going, and to say 'Are You Mom Enough?' It definitely is insulting to all those moms where breastfeeding didn't work out. I definitely support the cause. I think breastfeeding is great. But for mothers that it doesn't work out for, that title is a little bit offensive, even a slap across the face," the new mom said.

The La Leche League is an international organization dedicated to educating and supporting breastfeeding mothers.

Chana Ritter is the leader of the Delmar Chapter of the La Leche League.

She thinks it's fantastic that the cover of Time Magazine is getting breastfeeding so much attention.

"It's been sort of an undercover, 'don't want to talk about it' kind of a thing, but I really think that it's very important to understand that whatever a mother does, whatever her choices are, are her choices," Ritter said.

The Guilderland mom says she breastfed her daughter Chava until she was six-years-old, and nursed her son Ami until he was five.

"I paid attention to my children, and I saw that that was what they wanted, that was what they needed. And I knew how much they enjoyed it. It was a very close sense of bonding for us," she said.

When asked if anyone ever judged her for nursing her children at an older than typical age, Ritter said, "My experience may not be as everyone else's, but no one has ever said anything negative to me. I breastfed both my kids, and I did it in the mall, I did it wherever. I was always discreet. You could never see a thing. I had people walk up to me and didn't even know I was nursing."

As for the age of that child on the cover of Time Magazine, Ritter says where nursing is concerned; the longer the child is breastfed, the better for the health of both the baby and the mother.

Ritter says statistics show that every year a mother breastfeeds, her chance of getting breast cancer goes down by 32 percent, and those children who are breastfed have lower rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

The breastfeeding advocate goes on to say her children are living, walking proof that breastfeeding has health benefits.

She said, "I can also very proudly say that both of my children are so healthy. In fact, my daughter has never even had an ear infection. It's pretty incredible"



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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of FOX23 News.

emedo - 5/11/2012 10:40 AM
0 Votes
Here's another case where America has it wrong. What's all the fuss? This woman should be praised for her commitment to breastfeeding and her child. There's absolutely no evidence that prolonged breastfeeding has ever harmed a child or negatively affected their physical or mental health. To the contrary, reams of medical studies confirm what nature already knew....human milk is for human babies. How long a mom wishes to continue is up to her. End of story.
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