Controversial Time Magazine Cover Shows Mother Breastfeeding 4-Year-Old Son
A mother of two has told of how she breastfeeds her two sons who are aged three and five. Jamie Lynne Grumet, 26, has appeared on the cover of Time magazine breastfeeding her three-year-old Aram as he stands on a small seat to reach her. The Los Angeles mother has spoken about how she applies the same attachment parenting method to her adopted five-year-old son Samuel.
Ms Grumet was breastfed by her own mother until the age of six.
In a larger feature story about the controversial parenting technique, she tells the magazine that she is able to recall memories of being latched onto her mother’s breast.
She said: ‘It’s really warm. It’s like embracing your mother, like a hug. You feel comforted, nurtured and really, really loved. I had so much self-confidence as a child, and I know it’s from that.’
She has aimed to provide the same type of support to Samuel, who was adopted from Ethiopia in November of 2010.
Samuel was breastfed by his new mother instantly. He is latched to her breast ‘maybe once a month.’
Ms Grumet said: ‘Being able to give him that [comfort] with the trauma that he faced was really, really important to me. I didn’t realise how much it would help my attachment to him.
‘When his English improved, because the connection was there, he didn’t do it as much.’
The mother has written on her blog about how much Aram, who will turn four next month, enjoys to be breastfed.
In one post, a photograph of Aram in the Playboy mansion has been uploaded.
The picture is captioned with the text: ‘I’ve breastfed Aram at the Playboy mansion. I actually felt it was the most appropriate place on earth to do it.’
There is no explanation to explain why she believes this.
Ms Grumet is completely aware of how unorthodox the parenting technique, which was originally coined by U.S. pediatrician Dr William Sears, can be perceived. But she strongly believes her methods are ‘biologically normal.’
‘There are people who tell me they’re going to call social services on me or that it’s child molestation, she said. ‘I really don’t think I can reason with those people.’
She believes that the more people see it, the more it will become ‘normal in our culture.’
‘There seems to be a war going on between conventional parenting and attachment parenting,’ she continued. ‘That’s what I want to avoid. I want everyone to be encouraging. We’re not opposing teams.
‘We all need to be encouraging to each other and I don’t think we’re doing a very good job at that.’
The technique also involves parents co-sleeping with their children and wearing them in a sling to ensure they remain physically close to the body.
Ms Grumet believes Dr Sears is ‘great’ and a ‘gentle spirit.’
‘I’ve read all his books.I find what he’s saying to be non-judgemental and relevant to what’s happening today and what we’re finding out about some of the issues that are popping up with out children’s health,’ she said.
‘I feel like he really is doing this because he knows this is best. And the way he does it is graceful and educational rather than condeming.’
She added that her mother was also a fan of attachment parenting for its health reasons.
‘She wasn’t a hippie,’ she said. ‘Everyone thinks she must have been because we lived in northern California. My dad did go to Berkeley, but he was a nutritional scientist. He got his master’s there and his PhD. My parents were really into nutrition.’
Ms Grumet wrote on her blog: ‘I love how my mother never made breastfeeding a dirty or secret act.’
It is not the first time the parenting technique has come under the microscope in recent times.
Blossom actress Mayim Bialik recently wrote a book about how she breastfeeds her three-year-old son and allows her six-year-old to sleep on a mattress on the floor with her and her husband.
Dr Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience, told Newsok.com: ‘When we treat our children kindly and expect love and give love, we hopefully are raising children that then expect that and give that to the world around them.’
She kept both of her children close to her person for many of their first months by placing them in a sling across her body every day.
A $35 sling was used for both Miles, six, and Fred, three, who were kept laid down rather than upright to ensure the baby kept its natural shape.
The couple have also allowed their children to develop correct toilet habits as soon as they realise their body’s natural signals.
Dr Bialik said in regards to diaper use: ‘You’re basically training your child to use their pants as a bathroom and two years later we have them turn around and do all sorts of complicated manipulations to get them to unlearn.’
Ms Grumet is angered by others who judge her for breastfeeding her children for an extended amount of time.
She wrote on her blog: ‘When critics are making very uneducated analyses of these issues (with absolutely no persona experience), it actually hurts the mothers trying to care for their children.
‘Find me a child that was breastfed past two that said they wished they hadn’t been.’
She continued: ‘Motherhood is hard enough then to hear constantly how you are caring for your child is “weird” or makes people “uncomfortable” is almost too much to handle.’