In my family, breastfeeding is encouraged but, i had to do it behind closed doors because men are not allowed to see women breastfeed. I am happy about that because i wont want them to see me either. One thing I was surprised about was my mom and my mother-in law wanted me to give the baby formula so he can be strong. I was caught by surprise by this, as I thought they would be my cheerleaders encouraging me to keep up the good job. My mom bless her heart tried every chance she would get to tell me give my baby formula. My doctor on the other hand wanted to make sure i was exclusively breastfeeding. Why did this happen? Why were two women from different developing countries telling me the same thing. I think that marketing companies back in the day did a good job in convincing women that formula is better than breast milk - think about there is no fda or fcc in developing countries ( not that they always have our health at heart- that is another story) . For the record my mother and my mother-law gave and still give me tremendous amounts of support in other areas-I am indefinitely indebted to them. I had a great support system my for breastfeeding from my cousins, friends and my awesome husband! Currently in the Uk infant formula commercial are banned. In Iran you can only get formula by prescription only.
With all that being said, I am not against formula. I had to use it for my baby for medical reasons and if you want to give your baby formula that is your prerogative. Everyone chooses what is right for them and their family! Here what i think of that magazine cover:i am happy to see that this woman had the patience and was brave enough to breastfeed past 1 yrs old. Notice I did not say healthy. In don't think she is significantly improving this child health or mental mental health by breastfeeding for this long. Skin to skin contact is important for infants Mother -child bonding - I am sure that you can have a healthy bond with child that you don't need to breastfeed a 4 yrs old. There are plenty of other methods to bond with your child. Nutrition-i dont know how much nutrition the 4 yr old is getting with the breast milk --he needs to eat more than breast milk to stay healthy. I dont know enough about immunology to say if his immune system is really benefitting from breast milk. Besides she could pump ( if she can )and give him the milk in a sippy cup. What i really think happened is TIME magazine needs money so they needed something that will bring attention to their magazine. What I think is hypocritical is that if you care so much about your son why expose him to the media and make a spectacle out of it. So I question her true intentions to expose her sons identity. The mom on the cover said she was breastfeed until she was 6! So her cultural norms told her its ok to breast feed for a long time, so I don't blame her to do the same with her son but, she knows it's odd and is aware of the positive negative attention her family will receive.