Most of us still remember that now-infamous TIME magazine cover. You know which one. And if those women wanted visibility, they may very well be getting it (if not for themselves then for other moms with similar beliefs) via a new reality show from the wonderful people who brought you Dance Moms and American Stuffers (a show about pet… preservation). While the term “attachment parent” has not been used in conjunction with the women whose stories you’ll see on this show, all of the women are considered to be long-term breastfeeding mothers. None of the women from the TIME article are currently linked to the show, but we can assume that their stories have a lot to do with this. And I’m not sure if the concept is really cool, or really, ridiculously, unnecessary. Check out the deets with me inside.
Here’s what the New York Post has to say about the forthcoming project:
Breastfeeding’s big kids are coming out of the closet.
Collins Avenue, the production company behind “Dance Moms” and “American Stuffers,” is developing a reality series based on mothers who breastfeed older children — prompting local moms to speak up about the subject.
“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.”
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.
“You can’t force a child to breastfeed,” said one mother whose daughter self-weaned at age 7 and who asked not to be named so her child would not be subjected to schoolyard taunts. “If she’d wanted to stop any earlier she just would have.”
Read more here.
Now it’s not that I’m disinterested in this topic, but I think I really said all I could in that PITNB popCulture piece we did a while back. Honestly, I liked the TIME cover and loved what people were talking about as a result but, I just can’t get on board with he idea of a show centered on breastfeeding moms. Maybe that’s unfair, but I really think it will work to further alienate one “type” of mom from another. I believe in honest, open discourse– and I understand the value of the occasional shock-image (like the TIME cover). But this sounds like pure sensationalism and, as of right now, I’m just not feelin it!
Of course, I’d love to hear what you guys think. Do long-term breastfeeding moms need more visibility via a reality show, or is this the wrong route to go?