The Life of Bon: Breastfeeding, oh my!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Breastfeeding, oh my!

Did you hear about the controversy over THIS?

Naturally the country is outraged. 
Up in arms, I dare say! 
This is profane! 
This is ludicrous! 
This is just gross!
How dare Time magazine show a three year old still suckling from his mom?

Upon seeing the cover, I didn't even realize there was anything "controversial" about it.  I had only two reactions:  #1:  What is all the fuss about? and  #2: I hope I look that good when I'm breastfeeding.

I suppose my lack of outrage at the cover can be blamed on Argentina.  Once you see breast feeding Argy style, nothing can shock you.  I still remember the first time I watched a woman feed her child, three days after arriving in the country.  There I was, nothing but an innocent 21 year old, trying to do good and help people make better decisions with their lives, and BANG!  BREAST!

We were in the middle of a lesson on the plan of salvation- you know, resurrection, returning to God, etc.  A child came up to his mom, pulled her shirt down and started to drink.  I absolutely could not take my eyes off of it.  I was riveted.  Transfixed.  Glued.  My companion went on with the lesson, as if this was routine as brushing your teeth in the morning, teaching, talking, testifying.  I just stared, open mouthed.  When the kid was done, he ran away, leaving the mom completely exposed.  She wasn't paying enough attention to what was going on to notice, and she sat there, bare breasted for the world to see for what seemed like hours.

There is no limit to the breastfeeding bananza down south.   Women in Argentina feed their children whenever their children want it.  There's no routine, no schedule.  It's like a water fountain.  The kid runs up for a quick drink, and then runs off to continue his playtime, like it ain't no thang.  And you can forget blankets or waiting rooms or trying in any way to be modest.  It is absolutely unheard of, just whip that thing out!

One time a lady pulled down her shirt for her six year old, who had just come home from school.  Another time I watched the bishop's wife stand up to bear testimony at the pulpit, in the middle of church, with a babe attached to her bosom.  Once I even saw a woman riding on the back of a motorcycle, holding one child in her lap while another held on through a scrumptious feeding.

I saw more breasts in those 18 months than I've seen clouds in the sky.  And when I came back to the states and my own flesh and blood sister left the room to breast feed, I was shocked.  What's the big idea?!? I wondered.  Just feed the young one right here in front of us all!

So, no, I guess you could say the cover did not shock me.

What did YOU think of it?


  1. I think its completely normal :)

  2. HA HA HA! I just laughed out loud! Everything you said about breastfeeding "Argy style" is SO true! As for the magazine cover, I'm not offended by it at all. I think it's a tastefully taken photograph. It's designed to make the reader a tad uncomfortable because the article is about something many people don't know about. I just hope the kid in the picture isn't made fun of later.

  3. Honestly, I think if they were trying to make it feel less taboo to American Society they wouldn't be making such a big deal out of it. Like you said, no one thinks twice about breastfeeding at any age in Argentina because people don't make a big deal out of it. Here, we have to put an attractive woman on the cover of a popular magazine as shock factor. The whole thing doesn't really bug me, except for the line "Are you mom enough?" It's kind of a logical fallacy, suggesting that any mother who doesn't nurse their child into preschool and beyond isn't "mom enough". There are many women who want to breast feed and can't. Rambly, ramble cut of: I don't think its a big deal, its new so its weird for American culture, but I don't think shock factor stuff like this helps a cause.

    1. I agree ... the "Are you mom enough?" thing was what bothered me. Maybe some bothers choose not to breast feed a 3 year old. Does that mean that they are a less competent mother who doesn't love their child enough to do what's "best" for them?

  4. Thank you so so so much for this! I am an advocate of and defender of women that choose to breastfeed to childhood, and that nursing in public is not profane. Still, because of cultural expectations, I never felt comfortable enough to nurse in public. I always left the room to find a private place. It sucked- literally and figuratively. Still, I nursed my son until about 2 moths ago- and he had just passed his second birthday. I fought hard to keep my milk flowing the first year so that we could continue nursing as long as possible, and we kept it up until it became physically painful to me- that's the only reason we weaned. Some people are shocked to hear that. Shocked that my son still asks me for it sometimes. I love that he remembers breastfeeding with fondness. I loved having him as my baby as long as possible. It's only natural.

  5. Well, I 'spose I will be the voice of difference here. I have a couple thoughts on the matter:

    1. Why on this green earth do some people insist on raising their children as if we live in a third world country?

    2. Breastfeeding is completely normal and natural. It is a GOOD thing to do. But so are peeing and having intercourse with one;s husband - BUT I DON'T WANT TO SEE IT in person nor on the cover of a magazine. :)

    3. And I feel like I will get harpooned for this next comment, so I will just leave it to Dallin H. Oaks to say, "Women, please understand that if you dress immodestly, you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you." ("Pornography," Ensign, May 2005, page 87). That's all on that.

    I am not shocked by it, but I find it tasteless to and disrespectful to womens' bodies and exploitative to that child to broadcast it.

    Yes, I still THAT strongly about public breastfeeding. :)

  6. Hmmm. . . I read about this last night aaaand don't have that strong of an opinion one way or another about this picture. I didn't want to breast feed my baby because it seemed weird, but I did anyway because I didn't want to pay for formula. Well, after a week she was losing weight and I didn't have very much milk and I had to give her formula and then I VERY MUCH wanted to nurse her. So I hate when people harpoon moms for not nursing. But I'm not freaked out by people bf until older, I just don't think I would bf past a year (if I could even get past a week!!)

  7. First: hahahaha!

    Second: Um, yeah I have a hard time with public breastfeeding because we are not Argentina so I don't see boobs all that often. I get all awkward and "omgoshwheredoIlook?!" So maybe if articles like this help women come out of the blanket we can be more accepting of those wanting to make boobies part of their toddlers' snack drawer.

    I'm just sayin'.

  8. Having breastfed 2 children I don't see an issue with it. However, when I had to breastfeed in public I tried to be discrete (there was the occasional dirty look) because as normal as it was for me to whip out a boob at a moments notice I was aware that not everyone is comfortable with it. And that's fine.

    I know more people have seen my boobs in the last 4 years, while breastfeeding, than probably (and hopefully) will in the rest of my life but not everyone wants to see it.

    I agree with an earlier comment that their trying to make it less taboo, but the contraversy will always be there.

  9. Girls may not mind seeing it, but the only breasts I want to see are the ones I already get to see on the regular.

  10. Girls may not mind seeing it, but the only breasts I want to see are the ones I already get to see on the regular.

  11. I already mentioned how disturbing I find this image, and this article helps explain why.

    As a psychology major and mother of two, I find it unbelievable that a mother would exploit her child like this. I also saw that she is a blogger who adopted a 10 year old African American boy that she also has pictures of nursing. It seriously makes me sick just thinking about it.

  12. I remember the first time I saw that in Africa too. Iw as shocked. I had to pretend not to react. However, that is the culture there. And we have to remember that it is our culture here to do things a little different. I'm still torn on how I feel. Keep you posted? Ha

  13. I don't get the big deal either...I mean, I don't want to be breast feeding my kid at that age, but I think the cover is hilarious. At least they had the right idea with playing the funny factor up!

  14. I have ZERO issue with exposure of breasts. Especially when it's breast feeding for infants, which is a life-giving mother thing.

    However (and I say this as someone who isn't a mother), it feels creepy to see a kid who is otherwise independent suckling from their mom. I don't know exactly why that creeps me out, but it feels like maybe it's a smothering or manipulative or needy to keep your kids on the tether of breastfeeding. At the same time, breast milk is free, and healthful, and I'm sure there's some positive attachment that comes with breastfeeding.'s a complex issue.

  15. You're one funny woman. I really enjoyed reading this just to catch your humor. I'm currently breastfeeding, and while I don't think I'll take it more than to one year or so, I suppose there's some pros and cons of the situation, as in anything. What's best for that family doesn't necessarily mean it's best for others, but who are we to have an opinion about their lives? Live and let live in this situation, I guess.

    I had a similar experience on a Guatemalan bus where an indigenous woman squished in beside my friend and I along with a baby. She fell asleep nursing, breast exposed, and the infant soon after. A couple of hours later, upon arrival, the breast was put away when they both woke up.

  16. You just made my day with this post! I had to read the entire thing to my husband because I was laughing out loud. I guess Americans are just a little too sheltered, eh??

  17. haha wow that would be shocking to see! So many boobs.
    I would just stare. I wouldn't be able to help myself. I'm glad women over here don't do that though haha.
    It would be too distracting for everyone.

  18. OH MY!!! I spend time in Peru and went through the same thing. We were doing medical consults and business meetings where mothers were 100% attuned to nourishing the kids while they went about their business.

    Breasts, ahoy!!!