Childrearing

A Reality Show About Breastfeeding After Infancy Is A Truly Horrible Idea

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breastfeedingWell, 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.

(Photo: Cherry-Merry/Shutterstock)

11 Comments

  1. Brooke

    July 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    This country needs to work on seeing breastfeeding as normal. It shouldn’t be television fodder. 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.

    AMEN!!!

    • Becka

      July 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      EXACTLY!
      I agree that it should be seen as boring! And mundane.

    • Amanda B

      July 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Yes!! ^^

    • Another Steph

      July 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Yeah, when I read the title of this article I thought, “How the hell do you make a show out of breastfeeding? That’s going to be some boring shit!”

  2. Katia

    July 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Agree! But the crappy thing is to avoid formula you need to breastfeed for a year before using cow milk. But at one year old both my kids were too clingy to wean so I fed them a few more months… To20 mo for #2 even.
    So I guess I did “extended breastfeeding” tho it was not my plan or philosophy I thought I’d be breaking their hearts otherwise
    It kind of irritates me when ppl say “it’s not for me, no offense” etc because i feel i had no choice but I’m probably too sensitive abOut the subject

  3. cory

    July 9, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Do you think they will actually show the mothers’ large milk-filled tits just oozing and dripping milk? If so, this show will quickly become a porn-lover’s favorite show. It would be ratings gold!

  4. Rebecca

    July 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Sign the Petition on Collins Avenue with Change.org 🙂

    http://www.change.org/petitions/breastfeeding-should-not-be-a-reality-show#

  5. natalie

    July 11, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Have to say I was bored most of the time myself!

  6. Becky Cheney

    July 11, 2012 at 8:32 am

    What the hell is wrong with these people? Someone actually pitched the idea (probably in a board meeting) and someone o.k.’d the idea. How stupid do you have to be, to even pitch this show to anyone, much less, o.k. it and pay to have it produced?

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  8. KF

    July 12, 2012 at 12:53 am

    A television show about breast feeding? They have researchers and writers and THAT is the best they can come up with? They probably will make it look bad. Breastfeeding is natural – what do you think they did before bottles were invented? Breasts have become so sexual that you can’t even use them for their actual purpose without being ridiculed. I don’t agree with breastfeeding a six year old child, but I don’t think 18 months would be inappropriate. Two years is where I would draw the line though. They can eat solid foods long before that, and I would ween them off breast milk at the same time I would a bottle. However, that’s just me.

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