New Breastfeeding Reality Show: Supporting the Cause or Hurting It?
Posted by Morgan Benzian
Breastfeeding toddlers is once again in the spotlight (remember the Time breastfeeding cover in May?).
Collins Avenue, the production company behind “Dance Moms” and “American Stuffers,” has a reality series in development based on mothers who breastfeed their older children, and mothers in the area where the show is filming are speaking up about the issue.
“I didn’t set out to nurse a 3-year-old,” Jessica Cary of Park Slope, whose daughter Olive is still breastfeeding, told the New York Post. “But two years came and went. Now breastfeeding and mothering are so intertwined for me.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life and, surprisingly, government agencies don't track breastfeeding past then, which means there isn't a way to know how many mothers continue to breastfeed beyond that.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years of age, and neither the WHO or the AAP set an upper age limit on nursing. “Experienced pediatricians realize that the benefits of breastfeeding don’t just magically disappear after one year,” Karen McGratty, a lactation consultant in Midwood who is nursing her 3-year-old son, told the Post.
So, when is the right time to wean? Personally, I feel that breastfeeding is a personal choice and what another woman does or does not do with her breasts is none of my business. I breastfed both of my children past their first birthday, but I certainly don't think it's a decision that works for every single family.
While I encourage publicity that makes breastfeeding more "normal" or "socially acceptable," I have serious concerns over this reality show. Mostly because breastfeeding really isn't that big of a deal - it's totally natural.
So, in order to make this show entertaining, I'm worried the producers are going to make a spectacle out of it. My fear is that they will cast the most fanatical breastfeeding advocats they can find (and you know there are some serious wackos out there) so they can turn a completely normal and fairly uneventful practice into some kind of freak show.
What do you think? Does a reality show about breastfeeding preschoolers support the cause or hurt it?
3 back to preschool
July 21, 2012
I have not seen the TV show, so to comment on it would be a little ignorant. However I feel if this show takes women and shows the Western World that breastfeeding is a natural, normal human activity for a mother and child, I feel the show will be productive towards its objective. Only certain societies see breast as a sexual attraction or turn on. In fact most societies in the world see them as what they are mammary glands that are for feeding a child. My daughter is 15 months old and I still breast feed her and I will continue until I feel it is time to give it up. I breast feed in public because it is natural and I cover myself up, not because I care if any of you know I am breast feeding, but I don't want men to stare at my breast, because yes they do stare even if you are breast feeding. So I am all for education on breast feeding, if it is going to be productive towards the cause.
July 15, 2012
I dont see a problem with women breast feeding after the age of 1 or 2. Its a personal choice for the mother. But why are they pushing the public to agree with thier actions. If you feel its right, by all means do what you feel is best...Im sure most people dont care one way or the other...I think these mothers are exploiting thier kids and their bodies publically and none of that is going to make them and any of these mothers feel better about thier choice to breastfeed. Its ignorant to show your child on your breast. They end up looking like a fool and putting thier chidren in the midst of this unmeaningful battle. Use your words.