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I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

TIME - You know the one....

Photo of woman with breast-feeding child


Yes of course, I agreed, offensive and controversial.... I went on to tell them my passion is to help mothers succeed at breastfeeding and it really wasn't a big deal to see a mom nurture her kid, but many people think it is. My son who is embarrassed by every thing I say, didn't think twice about any of this.So, I haven't read the article, yet. I've only seen the cover.




 I went to Publix tonight ( a few weeks ago, this sat in draft mode), I thought I'd better get a copy of that TIME issue and weigh in as an early mothering expert. You guys want to know what I think, right? They didn't have the issue. There was a May 14th issue. At check out with my 15 year old, I asked to the cashier and carry-out people, if they knew if there were any more around. They said they never saw it. They thought that the store probably wouldn't put something out like that because it might be offensive. So I haven't read the article. I have only seen the cover.

When I first saw the cover of TIME, I first thought, big deal, it could have been me....A photo of a mother with her kid standing next to her reaching for her breast to breastfeed.

I could have been on the cover!
Photo by Bernadette Clark
In the course of my daily work, it is not so unusual for me to see children breastfeeding. It's not really a thing that phases me.

However, I never did a professional poised photo shoot with my three year old(s). Most of the time, when I fed a boy the same age as the one in the photo, it was in bed, on the couch, in a chair, in PJ's or something cozy ... and I was overweight .... Most often, my hair was wet, in a towel... definitely no make-up. And there was eye-to-eye contact, laughter, happiness and connection. My boys also were often in over sized T's or some other comfy houseclothes, barefoot and suited for cuddle time. Most of the time.

But  at times, the boys stood and see if they were big enough to nurse or just because they could. If they could they were happy. By three years old  if I pulled out a camera in a propped situation they would have ran. The boy in the TIME newspaper looks a little stressed. His mouth is just there.


Breastfeeding a three year old is about so many different things. It's hard to condense the value of nursing a three year old into one photo or one short news article and condense the years that lead to such a journey.

I want to help mother's overcome the common obstacles society places on them that interfere with breastfeeding.

It's OK to speak up for your birth.
It's OK to hold your baby after birth. No one should rob you of that time.
It's OK to co-sleep.... in the same room... in the same bed... even if you have a dog.
It's OK to hold your baby and Babywear. It's OK to stay at home with your baby (or get out if you prefer.)
It's OK to be the most natural mother you can be if you desire. You are mom enough, you are doing a fantastic job. Traditional Medicine shouldn't make you feel guilty. A cover of TIME shouldn't make you feel guilty either.

Yet, it's nice to see breastfeeding and Dr. Sears get some coverage in TIME.
Breastfeeding Meeting in PSL
I love seeing anything that supports the upper durations of breastfeeding.
Nursing a three year old is more common than you think. Even in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
All the power and honor to the mom who got the opportunity to be on TIME's cover.

As a new mom you only have to take it day-by-day and not worry about nursing your child till he can tell you he wants to join the military. The moms I see on a daily basis are doing an excellent job attending to their children's needs.

My 15 year old finally saw the cover to TIME. He said, "That's not natural." He meant the pose. He knows breastfeeding is natural. He KNOWS.

Since seeing the cover my younger son has found mommy-stuffed-animals for his baby-stuff-animals. Thank you TIME for reminding my 8 year old how his little babies need their mommy's night-nights.


 I have a copy now. I'll let you know soon what I think of the article, itself.










5 comments:

Orlando Realtor said...

Well written Denise. I am proud of you and how you are passionate about what you believe in.

Orlando Realtor said...

Well written Denise. I am proud of you and how you are passionate about what you believe in.

Becky R said...

The picture is odd because it looks so unnatural. It almost looks to me like it's not even her kid, or it is just photo shopped together. I nursed my son beyond baby and he was usually laying down and relaxed. This boy doesn't really look relaxed. I comend moms for nursing as long as the child needs, but I almost think this picture does not convey breastfeeding an older child well.

Denise Punger MD IBCLC said...

Becky, I agree it looks photo shopped. I know you are on facebook. :)There are some more comments on my profile.

Jeff said...

Hi,

I was wondering if you accepted any guest posting on your site. I couldn’t manage to find your email on the site. If you could get a hold of me at jeff@drugwatch.com, I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks,
-Jeff

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