An edited version of the cover of the May 21 issue of Time, which features a 26-year-old woman breast-feeding her 3-year-old son.
ATLANTA -- Time Magazine's cover story this week talks about extended breastfeeding and the right to do so in public, along with other "extreme" parenting concepts.
While there is a greater emphasis on creating a more understanding society in America that does not frown on this sort of activity for new mothers, the cover image on the issue has created more of an uproar.
The Time cover features 26-year-old Jamie Lynne Grumet of Los Angeles nursing her 3-year-old son, who is perched on a chair to reach her breast. Other photos in the issue include images of 3 and 4-year-old children breastfeeding.
Nirvana Jennette, of Breastfeeding Peaches of Georgia, applauds the article, saying breastfeeding is natural and shouldn't be stigmatized.
"I think it's a good step," she told 11Alive News via Skype Thursday. "We're lucky to be breastfeeding our children for just a few weeks after they come out of the hospital. Only four percent of hospitals follow breastfeeding guidelines. What would we say about that if it were diabetes protocol or heart condition protocol?"
Jennette, a mother of four who is currently breastfeeding both a 1 year old and a 3 year old, said the act improves both the child and the mother's health.
"When you don't breastfeed, children literally die. That's not something people seem to talk about. Womens' breast cancer rates are skyrocketing and it's because we're not breastfeeding. The longer you breastfeed, your breast cancer rates dramatically fall."
The TIME magazine cover article discusses the concept of "attachment parenting," first popularized by publication of "The Baby Book" by Dr. Bill Sears and his wife Martha in 1992. Key elements of "attachment parenting" in the book include extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping and what is termed "baby wearing," where infants are attached to their parents by slings.
The image from the Time cover was trending on Twitter during the day Thursday, providing even more debate over breastfeeding itself, along with the image on the magazine's cover.
Actress Alyssa Milano, who had a baby last year, tweeted "@Time no! You missed the mark! You're supposed to be making it easier for breastfeeding moms. Your cover is exploitive & extreme."
@Jennandtonica tweeted: "Hey, moms. It's up to you to join these made-up Mommy Wars, not Time Magazine. There's no war if you don't allow one."
Photographer Martin Schoeller said he was looking to capture various attached parents and their reasons for attachment parenting in his shoot.
One of the mothers, Dionna Ford of Kansas City, Mo., discovered how difficult it was to wean her son off breast milk. "After six months, I decided I'd wait until he turned 1," she said. "But after my baby turned a year old, he was still a baby - not talking, barely walking - and I wondered why I'd stop now."
(USA Today contributed to this story.)