I n many circles, TIME magazine's latest cover is causing quite a buzz. Many people in the United States find they have quite an emotional reaction to a picture of a mother breastfeeding her toddler.
The article inside talks about a new trend among mothers, called attachment parenting.
"I think breasts are very sexualized in the United States and when someone sees that , their immediate reaction to see that and say what is going on there. And the way the picture is framed , it definitely creates controversy," said Tiffany Bateman, R.N., BSA Lactation Department Manager.
The picture is also raising a very important question, how old is too old to breastfeed a child?
Bateman says around the world, age three and four is actually the norm. However, here in the United States, mothers stop when the child is a year old.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to breastfeed exclusively for six months and then start foods after that and the baby should breast feed beyond that as long as desired by the mother," said Bateman.
In fact, she says mothers who choose to continue breastfeeding are not only doing so for the nutritional value and immunity boosting affect, but they say their children find it soothing and comforting.
However, at the same time, Bateman says mothers need to respect others, and when in public, they should breastfeed discretely.
She says those who still breastfeed their toddler, as she did, should confine that to the privacy of their own homes.
"I don't consider it terribly unusual, but then again I wouldn't condone doing it in public where everyone could see it and cause controversy ".
A debate that has been going on for years and will continue for many more.
Bateman says in another country, that picture would not generate the same reaction. But also says she is seeing more mothers in the Texas Panhandle choosing extended breastfeeding.