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Time Magazine Cover Stirs Debate Over Breastfeeding

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s the magazine cover that has people talking everywhere: a mother breastfeeding her almost 4-year-old son.

Weijia Jiang has more on the controversy.

That parenting philosophy encourages breastfeeding beyond the baby years but critics call it and the picture outrageous.

Inappropriate, weird and downright disgusting– that’s what some are calling the cover photo of this week’s Time magazine.

“I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s different!’ It looked like they were trying to sell magazines to me,” Cary Barker, a father, said.

The picture shows 26-year-old mom Jamie Grumet breastfeeding her 3-year-old son who’s standing on a chair.

“He’s a little too old to be breastfeeding,” one person said.

It’s for an article on “attachment parenting” — when parents sleep with and breastfeed kids for as long as possible to strengthen their bond.

“Maybe it’s mom holding on. If it’s not really beneficial anymore, I don’t know if it’s necessary,” Jennifer Liles, a mother, said.

Mercy Hospital lactation consultant Margie Kay says after a child turns one, they get nutrition from food. So breast milk is no longer necessary, though Kay says it won’t hurt the child.

“It’s not something everybody feels comfortable with, but it’s really a choice between mom, baby and the family,” she said.

Most of the parents we spoke with side with the cover mom, and say if she has the time and energy to breastfeed, why not?

“As long as the child still wants to nurse, they should be able to nurse,” Regina O’Malley, a grandmother, said.

“If that’s your thing, more power to you,” Elena Ritter, a mother, said.

In the article, Grumet says people who see her feeding her son threaten to call Social Services on her or say that it’s child molestation.

“I really don’t think I can reason with those people,” she said.

Grumet says she posed because she wants them to realize it’s “biologically normal.”

Grumet goes on to say she hopes the more people see the picture, the more people will accept it.

The cover mom says her own mother breastfed her until she was 6 years old.

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