I would like to ask Jamie Lynne Grumet at what point she supplements the breastfeeding with food or how she manages the eventual weaning process? Does she initiate the breastfeeding by direct or subconscious prompts or is it entirely the will of her four year old? I fear that the child may look to please the mother in this way, which would be a peculiarly perverse dynamic. Indeed, there may be any number of unhealthy interactions playing out as the child gets older, involving elements of manipulation, calculation or control, which do not bode well for social development. If this is the case the act itself is not ‘natural’ or benign. It depends on intention and outcome and these are not always clear. Some have gone even further, equating the act of sustained breastfeeding with deliberately keeping a child in nappies or only allowing them outside in a stroller. I’m not necessarily agreeing with this , but there is a question to be answered. Is she, in some analogous way, unwittingly stunting her child’s natural development?
In truth, for all of this, the real issue here is why so many mothers are choosing not to breastfeed at all? I think front covers like Time perhaps overshadow the true concerns. They conflate the natural and positive act of breastfeeding with , what many see as, aberrant behaviour. This will only hamper positive discussion about such an important subject and will make those woman who breastfeed in the public eye discomfited and estranged.