The Cover Shot Heard ’Round the World
An interview with conscious parenting revolutionary Jamie Grumet
Rock singer Alanis Morissette nailed it when she wrote during the media frenzy surrounding the Time magazine cover featuring Jamie Grumet nursing her 3-year-old son: “Gotta love it when something meant to instigate, instigates.”
Ignoring Morissette’s caution, as well as worldwide norms for nursing well into toddlerhood and the science of attachment parenting (AP), the mainstream media took Kate Pickert’s Time cover story and its slap-in-theface tagline to mothers everywhere—“Are You Mom Enough?”—and did what it does best: distort, cartoonize and reinforce cultural ignorance with threats of public humiliation.
So what if the Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers report places the United States dead last among 36 industrialized countries for breastfeeding? The report states, “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.” [Emphasis added.]
The venerable and comprehensive report also shows just how dangerous it is to be a new mother or infant in the zero-social-support-for-familywellness culture of the U.S.:
In the United States, mothers face a 1 in 2,100 risk of maternal death—the highest of any industrialized nation. …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.