Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Extreme Parenting: Nursing Edition?

A friend posted a link to this story on Facebook today, about a breastfeeding reality TV show. Before the article even mentions that the creators of Dance Moms and Bridezillas is involved, this sentence is already making me angry:
The show, called Extreme Parenting, will feature a closeup investigation of breastfeeding beyond infancy, as well as a range of America’s weirdest parenting rituals.

Breastfeeding is a weird parenting ritual? Excuse me? Is this weird?

And then there's the creative force behind the show. The teams responsible for Dance Moms and Bridezillas. Does this make anyone feel confident that breastfeeding will be portrayed in a responsible way? Raise your hand if it does. Anyone?

Me, neither.

Then I get a couple more paragraphs down in the article, and it mentions the debate sparked by the now infamous Time magazine cover (which was the goal of that cover, too - infamy). When is the appropriate age to wean, and how old is too old? (Answer: whatever age is right for that family. There is no firm rule of "wean by age x or else.") The article does mention that the World Health Organization encourages mothers to nurse to at least age two (I explored that in depth in this blog post last year), although in the next sentence goes on to say that it "creeps people out."

Will I watch this show when it airs? I highly doubt it. Even if I was a watcher of this type of show, I can already feel myself getting angry anticipating what they will show. I know that watching it will be even worse. And I'm cringing at the thought of the comments from America at large once this show airs. I'm amazed at how strong of an opinion people who have never nursed, never researched the benefits, or never have even been parents have about the subject. They are so certain that they, random strangers that they are, know what is best for someone else's child.

No, my blood pressure cannot handle me watching this show. I may record an episode for a night when I'm in a feisty mood, though. Maybe yelling at my television will make me feel better. (It seems to work for sports fans!)


  1. I kept rewriting my answer to this post. You would think it was hilarious to see all the lines I deleted. The Time magazine ticked me off, and now this! I'm at a loss for words, or at least the right ones, and trust me... this rarely happens.

  2. Yeah I don't even know what to say about this. I had some strong opinions myself when the TIME cover came out, but this takes the cake. I'm an attachment parent - not overkill by any means - but I don't think I could sit through five minutes of that show without breaking the TV.