The mom on the latest cover of Time magazine said Friday she didn’t expect such a strong public reaction to the photo of her breastfeeding her 3-year-old son.
“I don’t think any of us were expecting it,”Jamie Lynne Grumet said, appearing on NBC’s “Today” with her son Aram.
The cover, meant to illustrate the philosophy of “attachment parenting,” went viral Thursday and sparked debate about breastfeeding children past babyhood — and the appropriateness of depicting it on a national magazine.
But Grumet said she wanted to make a point, and for that, “we knew exactly what we were going to get into.” She said she herself was breastfed until she was six years old, making her family “basically one of the better families to handle this.”
“When I asked him if he would also like to breastfeed he smiled and jumped right on my lap. Our first experience breastfeeding you could tell his was an old pro. It was clear it was something he missed dearly. Something from home I was able to give him.”
As a contributor to the website MomsLA, Grumet called breastfeeding “a subject I’m passionate about” and described participating in a breastfeeding “nurse-in” at a Target store.
She told “Today” some breastfeeding advocates have criticized the cover for the way she was actually feeding her son.
“This isn’t how we breastfeed at home, you know, it’s more of a cradling, nurturing situation,” she said. “I do understand why Time chose this picture, you know, because it did create such a media craze to get the dialogue talking.”
Addressing one of the other tenets of attachment parenting, the so-called “family bed,” Grumet said her parenting style does not take her away from being intimate with her husband.
“I don’t feel like that takes away from my personal life. My relationship with husband is very, very important to me, and I think that it gives my children a strong bond, too,” she said. “A lot of people say, you know, you can’t really be intimate with your husband if you’re co-sleeping and — those are kind of myths.”
Still, Grumet admitted she hopes this will be the last year of breastfeeding for Aram, who’s almost four.
“It’s not right for everybody,” she said. “You need to do what’s best for your baby.”
Watch below, via NBC: