Time Magazine Breastfeeding Cover Causes Stir

The Time Magazine covers shows a woman breastfeeding her son who looks like he's old enough to start school

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    The majority of the United States think that breastfeeding is for babies, but the Time Magazine covers shows a woman breastfeeding her son who looks like he's old enough to start school. (Published Thursday, May 10, 2012)

    A South Florida lactation specialist who saw a Time Magazine cover of a mom breastfeeding an older child said breastfeeding should be done as long as the mother and child feel comfortable.

    “I perceive this as she wants to take a stand and show women that ‘I’m a celebrity, look at me, it’s OK moms if you are doing this,’” said International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Pamela Hendrix with Memorial West Hospital in Pembroke Pines.

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    But the majority of the United States think that breastfeeding is for babies, and not a child who looks like he's old enough to start school.

    Some are calling it disgusting, while others said Time exploited the women and believe the cover will only hurt efforts by hospitals to get more mothers to breastfeed.

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    Hendrix said she sees breastfeeding as a gift from a mom.

    “It’s just a mom’s gift to her child and what it does is it protects that immune system, builds a strong immune system, so that the baby has less diseases and illnesses later in life,” she said.

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    Hendrix, who said her reaction would be different from that of the general public, also feels that the perception of breastfeeding varies in different cultures.

    “In our culture, people look at breasts as sexual and they’re probably going to have more trouble with that, and we don’t understand that breasts were made for breastfeeding,” she said.