Breastfeeding Mom On Time Magazine Cover

Well, Time Magazine sure knows how to rustle some feathers. This week the magazine’s front cover features Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old woman breastfeeding her three-year-old son. Time photographed four mothers for a cover story on “attachment parenting,” a parenting philosophy that supports extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and “baby wearing.”

The cover has certainly elicited a strong reaction… especially on Twitter. Here’s a round-up of responses from around the media:

“Love the Time cover… in the cringiest way possible.” — Peter Kafka, of AllThingsD

“Anybody else slightly slack-jawed over this week’s Time cover?” — The Atlantic Wire’s Adam Clark Estes.

“Breastfeeding your 3-year-old is one thing, but putting a picture of him doing it on the cover of Time?” — The Daily News’ Bill Hammond

“Heads up, parents!┬áIf you’re planning to take your kids grocery shopping, you will have to explain this Time mag cover.” — John Cannon

“The Time Magazine breastfeeding cover doesn’t celebrate the practice. It exploits it.” — Meredith O’Brien

What do you think? Was the cover too much? Do you feel like the Time cover celebrates the practice of breastfeeding or exploits it?


  1. “Heads up, parents! If you’re planning to take your kids grocery shopping, you will have to explain this Time mag cover.” — John Cannon

    Is that something so hard to explain?

  2. Extreme attachment parenting, IMO is almost akin to neglect in the fact that it doesn't encourage the development of independence in young children. The cover is exploitive, they are using the shock factor of the pictures to make you want to pick it up and read.

    1. Who said anything about "extreme?" Breastfeeding a 3 year old is extreme? Interesting perspective.

  3. As per your request, I am adding my comments from your FB post earlier:

    I don't think it's indicative of what the concept of attachment parenting is. Reading through the comments on the Time (magazine) Facebook post earlier I was pretty disgusted overall by those that just looked at the picture and immediately made a negative judgement. I think Time could have chosen a photograph that was less controversial and more in line with the general concept of attachment parenting as a whole. As a mother with a blend of traditional Native and Western parenting skills, attachment parenting is just how I raise my kids. My children are more secure, compassionate and yes, I allowed my children to breastfeed until THEY didn't need it anymore. I was always taught my children will eat what and when their bodies need. I don't force them to eat anything. Nor did I force them to quit something that helped us bond and made them healthier and smarter.

  4. No, I don't think "exploit" is the right word. I think that these photos were meant to shock people rather than to give a balanced treatment of the practice of attachment parenting. At what point does the above reader believe that parents cross the line into "extreme" attachment parenting? Breastfeeding is not the only way to nurture parent-baby bonding, but it often facilitates really getting to know your child. As parents we try to do the best we can and often catch ourselves criticizing someone who chooses differently…self-protective, maybe? Any style of parenting has its pros and cons.

  5. Way to go TImes! I love seeing these beautiful women showing the world how stigma against BF older children obviously still needs to be addressed, although we should all know by now how incredible the benefits of breastmilk are to our children and the environment. See above comments for example.

  6. This Time Cover is disturbing on many levels.

    The child is the victim in this exploitive and extreme cover, which is sad. This child will grow to be a teenager and teenagers do not even like to see their parents kiss so you can imagine what his peers will say is they come across this picture.

    Apparently this mother was breast fed past toddlerhood also so it explains a lot.

    To do it is one thing, a personal choice, but to flaunt it on a national scale with your child is another.

    I question how much of an ego trip this kind of parenting style is. Seems more to feed the parents needs than the child's.

    Does a child need to be breastfed past the time they can open the fridge and get their own drink? But probably the parent needs to be needed a bit more by their child.

    They say it is good to open the discussion about breastfeeding, but I don't think this extreme needing to breastfeed your child for whatever reason is a positive position on breastfeeding more like a turnoff.

    I think the Mom and Time magazine were thinking of themselves while the child was left out of the picture when it came to considering this cover.

    1. Maybe the message is the breastfeeding is good for all children and that it's time that people in this country get over the sight of a bare breast and stop objectifying women's bodies. Then the stigma around public breastfeeding won't be so detrimental to all women and children. Perhaps the souls of these children on the cover story are happy to be shown because they too are playing a role in sending out this message that there's nothing wrong with it. You really never know. And just because a kid can open the fridge, doesn't mean it should be weaned. That kind of comment usually comes from men, women who aren't mothers or women who bottlefeed. If you've breastfed, you would understand. It's important that people stop and realize that women have the right to raise their children in a healthy way. Then maybe our world won't be so violent and materialistic.

  7. At first I was shocked a bit, thought it was a bit too much. But now, I'm realizing that it was needed. People in the modern world, especially those who degrade women for breastfeeding, need to get the message that women aren't going to cover up and stop doing what they feel is right just to make others who are insecure more comfortable. If you weren't breastfeed, or parented in a close way, it's sometimes hard to imagine this scenario, but it doesn't mean that it's wrong. There are many women who are still bottle feeding, who are still not breastfeeding, and there are many children who are suffering on the planet. It would be wise to support women and breastfeeding, no matter when the child is weaned. Time indeed wanted to sell magazines and these women allowed themselves to be used to make a point. If you can't get over the shock factor, then I guess Time missed the boat on this. Nonetheless, it put the issue on the front burner for a change, in time for Mother's Day, and frankly, the photos show strong, confident, healthy, happy, women and children…so what is the problem? Is it because it's a breast? Well if that's the case, get over it. It's a breast. Is it because the child is 3? Get over it, most in attachment parenting believe that 5-6 year olds can be breastfed, imagine if a 5 year old was on the cover? Someone would probably try to arrest the woman. Again, our society is so against supporting women and children….this is the core issue. Our society is designed to breed greed and capitalism. When we focus on happiness and doing the right thing as parents, society will shift for the good of all. Mothers and children will be held as sacred and not rushed through a process to suit the needs of an imbalanced nation.

  8. It's always amazing to see all the contrasting reactions to something like this. Time wanted this article read and put something, pardon the pun "titillating" out there. I breast fed all my kids pretty much until the birth of the next one. My last I breast fed until 3-ish and mostly because we were going away without the kids for a week- so I weaned him. He still misses it and he's six. I got positive and negative remarks from family about it. My friends were more easygoing around this.

    I don't have a strong reaction about the cover. I think when that child grows up- if his mom wants to show this cover to his girlfriend (or boyfriend), she'd be just as likely to show a nude baby photo.

    I didn't read the article, but I hope they actually talked about what attachment parenting is (explained to me- doing what feels most natural to you and forgetting the parenting books for the most part) so that folks have a better understanding of it. Like with any practice, you can use what works and leave the rest or get "religious" about it.