Pathways to Family Wellness Re-Shoots Time Magazine Cover

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 7, 2012) – Pathways to Family Wellness magazine delivers the whole story behind the controversial Time magazine cover that cashed in on parent guilt and American cultural breastfeeding taboos  by featuring Los Angeles mom, Jamie Grumet, nursing her three year-old with the offensive cover title, “Are You Mom Enough?” in May 2012.

In “The Cover Shot Heard ‘Round the World: An Interview with Conscious Parenting Revolutionary Jamie Grumet”, the homeschooling mother of two reveals why she posed for the Time cover, her disappointment in being used as a pawn in the media-invented mommy wars and how she and her family survived the firestorm to continue their conscious parenting advocacy in the U.S., as well as her nonprofit foundation’s work dedicated to the orphan crisis in the Sidama region of Ethiopia.

While the Time cover marked the 20th anniversary of The Baby Book by William Sears, MD, by labeling attachment parenting practices such as child-led weaning as “extreme” parenting, Pathways reveals it is this sort of culturally-driven stigma that keeps American babies and mothers ranked at the bottom of health and wellness indices internationally.  For example, cited in the article is the venerable Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers Report, also released in May 2012, lists the United States at the bottom of 36 industrialized countries for breastfeeding support for mothers.

Other statistics in the report directly identify the dangerous, socially-reinforced stigmas fueling infant and maternal mortality in United States are:

  • U.S. mothers face a 1 in 2,100 risk of maternal death – the highest of any industrialized nation. In fact, only three developed countries perform worse than the United States on this indicator.
  • A woman in the U.S. is more than 7 times as likely as a woman in Ireland or Italy to die from a pregnancy-related cause and her risk of maternal death is 15 times that of a woman in Greece.
  • The U.S. under-5 mortality rate is 8 per 1,000 births.  Forty countries performed better than the U.S. on this indicator. This means that a child in the U.S. is four times as likely as a child in Iceland to die before his or her 5th birthday.

“Most mothers want to breastfeed. Breastfeeding initiation rates are high, but breastfeeding drops off rapidly in the early weeks after birth. This happens not because mothers don’t want to breastfeed anymore, but because they haven’t received the support they need to continue. Breastfeeding is natural, but it is also something that requires community support,” states the report.

Named one of the Top Ten Most Controversial Covers by the New York Daily News, Time magazine’s claim that child-led weaning is “extreme” is disputed by the history of humanity, the world’s current average weaning ages of 3 to 5 years old and the World Health Organization’s recommendation to nurse at least until 2 years-old “and beyond”.   

“Labeling parents who follow attachment parenting practices that support long-term breastfeeding and its scientifically proven benefits of life-long health as ‘extreme’, is intellectually and ethically indefensible,” says Jeanne Ohm, DC, Pathway’s editor.  “Pathways is committed to providing families with the information, resources and community support they need to make informed wellness choices.  We are proud to bring Jamie Grumet’s whole story to our readers.”

In addition to the interview with Jamie Grumet, the fall issue of Pathways features an historical perspective of natural parenting by the founders of Attachment Parenting International; a bio-cultural anthropological overview of child-led weaning by Katherine Dettwyller, PhD; and an editorial by Jeanne Ohm, DC, putting the Time cover and its cultural backlash into the context of a consciousness shift toward global wellness.

The Pathways’ cover and intimate photos of Jamie Grumet’s family in their home were shot by Los Angeles photographer and former doula Lori Dorman. Dorman spent four hours photographing the Grumet family for this issue of Pathways, creating a host of loving images that underscore the family’s tight bond.

“Most mothers are shoved into the closets when it comes to nursing toddlers,” says Dorman. “It’s considered taboo in our culture, when in fact millions of women do it every day. The Time cover made it more difficult for those women to find acceptance. My goal was to correct the misperception that was created on the Time cover.  Its message was that nursing a 3-year-old was outrageous and inappropriate, when in fact nursing a 3-year-old is a normal, healthy activity in the world today. There couldn’t be a healthier interaction between a mother and a child.”

Pathways to Family Wellness is an international, nonprofit, educational magazine with over 250 local, gathering groups meeting worldwide through Pathways Connect, an outreach project where families can safely explore holistic insights and empowering resources and find respectful support for their individual wellness choices.

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