A Reality Show About Breastfeeding After Infancy Is A Truly Horrible Idea
Well, it looks like that TIME cover story with the breastfeeding toddler did more than launch a mommy war. It spawned it’s own reality television show. Apparently the kover was a Kardashian.
Given the extreme reaction to the controversial topic of breastfeeding into the toddler years, the production company behind the Lifetime hit Dance Moms decided to create a program that follows mothers who nurse past the one-year mark. Considering the popularity of production company Collins Avenue’s other reality offerings, the show will surely make it on to some cable channel in the next year.
Heaven help us.
Listen, I have no problem with women who choose to nurse past the first year of childhood. The World Health Organization recognizes benefits of nursing in the second year. Plenty of studies have demonstrated that it definitely doesn’t hurt children to nurse past a year. While I think one year would be a good ending time for me, I would never judge or shame another mother who chooses to breastfeed her kids longer than that.
It’s not that I have a problem with anyone deciding to nurse their kids for whatever length of time they find appropriate. You want to know what I do have a problem with? Dance Moms. And exploitative television in general. I cannot imagine any way that this production company will present this issue without being offensive and distasteful for mothers everywhere.
If they try to make this a drama-filled program with a La Leche representative who behaves like the Abby Lee Miller of milk production, they’re going to make breastfeeding look bad. There is absolutely no need for screaming and absurdity when it comes to mothers providing nourishment for their kids.
If they’re going for a My Strange Addiction type of expose on breastfeeding toddlers, they’ll make the practice look weird and unconventional, which it shouldn’t be. This is not like eating your couch cushions. Nursing your kids until you decide it’s time to ween is natural, it’s been happening for years, and it’s common in various parts of the world. This should not be billed as a freakshow.
Whatever direction they choose to go, this production company has proven that it’s looking to make drama and headlines, not present an honest look at life. It isn’t worried about who it hurts while it’s creating all that addictive trashy content. And to see something like nursing get the reality TV treatment is scary. It makes me worried about how this will present such an important topic.
This country needs to work on seeing breastfeeding as normal. It shouldn’t be television fodder. That’s the worst thing that could happen. We need breastfeeding to be boring. We need it to be so common-place and accepted that no one would think of making a television show out of it. Breastfeeding should be like walking your dog or mowing the lawn. It’s just what you do.
You know what breastfeeding doesn’t need? A reality tv show.