PARENTING
01/16/2015 05:09 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2015

What TIME Magazine's Breastfeeding Mom Really Thought About That Cover

TIME Magazine's May 2012 cover sparked heated debates for featuring a photo of a mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son with the headline "Are You Mom Enough?" accompanying it.

That mother was Jamie Lynne Grumet, who told HuffPost Live on Friday that the publication initially downplayed the photo shoot and she essentially didn't know she would be featured on the cover until she saw the magazine. She was under the impression that her photo was just part of an article on attachment parenting and extended breastfeeding. When her husband first saw the photo, he said, "Oh my gosh," but not for the reasons one might expect.

"The photo that they chose definitely wasn't our favorite. It wasn’t offensive to us at all, it was kind of a just more awkward shot," Grumet told host Nancy Redd. "But paired with the tagline ["Are you Mom Enough?"] and I’m sitting there thinking, 'I wonder what’s going to happen.'"

The cover sparked numerous conversations about extended breastfeeding, and Grumet said the editors of TIME were also surprised at the extent of pickup.

"I remember sitting with one of the editors of TIME ... and they brought it in and said, 'It’s in South Africa now,' and the look on his face, I remember thinking, 'Wow he’s really surprised at how big this got too.'"

Despite being concerned that the "are you mom enough?" question would upset mothers, Grumet was happy it encouraged people to talk about something as unusual as extended breastfeeding.

"I’m glad that the ultimate conversation, pretty much, I feel like it’s continuing to help normalize child-led weaning and just healthy, unusual parenting choices," she said. "Things that aren’t normal in the West that are healthy and shouldn’t be stigmatized."

Watch the full conversation on extended breastfeeding here.

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