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TIME Cover Controversy

May 11, 2012, 6:05 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

TIME Cover Controversy

If you haven't seen the cover of an upcoming issue of TIME magazine yet, chances are you've heard about it.

Even before the issue hits newsstands next week, the cover photo is getting plenty of attention.

TIME magazine shows an actual mom breastfeeding her almost four-year-old child and the headline says, 'Are you mom enough?'"

Everyone from entertainment news to nightly talk shows has something to say about the issue. It's also the talk at local hospitals.

Some health professionals say they've worked for years to encourage more mothers to breastfeed and now worry the magazine cover could hurt those efforts.

"In the nursery, the nurses were showing it to each other on their phones," Sanford Lactation Consultant Martha Pap said.

Pap hopes the photo doesn't cause a negative reaction among mothers who are thinking about breastfeeding.

"I, like most of us, I think, are just a little uncomfortable with that," Pap said.

"I wouldn't do that on the cover of TIME magazine, but I think it's more is a private situation where you breastfeed in the comfort of your own home," New mother Paige Rock said.

Rock just welcomed her third son into the world this week. She says she has every intention of breastfeeding him, just as she did with her first two, and this magazine cover won't change that.

"It's for the best for them. There are so many health benefits. I want to do everything I can to get kids off to the best start possible," Rock said.

While there may be a lot of controversy surrounding this photo, Pap says there's actually nothing wrong with the woman breastfeeding her three-year-old. In fact, there are several health benefits.

"I know the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby go on a long time. There is no end to those benefits," Pap said.

Still Pap also believes some Americans may be uncomfortable with the cover because it puts a very public eye on a private issue. She also hopes the cover controversy doesn't negatively impact efforts to encourage more mothers to breastfeed.

"I hope we can have a giggle or two with it and go on," Pap said.

The magazine is set to hit store shelves next week. Most lactation consultants recommend that women breastfeed exclusively for six months, with continued breastfeeding for a year, and then for as long as they feel comfortable.

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