Alanis Morissette: I Will Breastfeed Until My Son Weans

05/18/2012 at 01:00 PM ET
Jeff Kravitz/AMA2011/FilmMagic

Amidst all the breastfeeding controversy, Alanis Morissette has added her voice to the conversation as a pro attachment parent.

In a new interview, the singer reveals she is still nursing 16-month-old Ever Imre — and, as of yet, has no plans to stop.

“I breastfeed and I’ll be breastfeeding until my son is finished and he weans,” Morissette, 37, tells Access Hollywood.

Her decision, she adds, will provide her son with the stability he needs in his future. “I think it affords the child, when he grows up, to have a lot less therapy to go to,” the first-time mom explains.

“For me, I protect his safety and his well-being and his attachment. That stage of development is a very important stage.”

The family of three — which includes husband Mario “Souleye” Treadway — stays “skin-on-skin connected” as much as possible and is practicing co-sleeping. However, despite sharing their bed with a toddler, Morissette reveals it doesn’t put a damper on the couple’s relationship.

“He’s a very robust, virile man,” she says with a laugh. “You gotta take care of your husband.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 232 comments

Cammy on

I’ll never understand why this is “newsworthy.” That’s wonderful she is breastfeeding, it’s super she’s breastfeeding past 12 months, but we really need to get over this obsession of how long women breastfeed.

Sarah S. on

TMI, Alanis.

Cris on

That’s her baby, and her business. As long as she’s not neglecting the baby, I think it’s a great way for a family of three to bond. I only breast fed my son for eight months. It wasn’t right for me to continue, but who am I to say that it isn’t right for her.

exactly on

I agree, Cammy! I too am overjoyed that so many new moms are doing what they think is best. I have no idea why this newsworthy or how this is any different than when I had my first son 16 years ago. I managed to raise a wonderful person and two more just as wonderful without having a label, a celebrity, a book, a magazine or a movement. I did what I felt was best, what was mutually beneficial to the pair of us without all the fanfare. I am still doing the same thing. Since when did being a good mom become such a topic of conversation? Do all knew moms think they are the only ones to ever want the very best for a child? My youngest is 9, so I just laugh that these women act like breastfeeding, co-sleeping and potty training are such new concepts and how they have tackled them all so expertly. Wait until you have three children, in three different schools, three different activities, with three different personalities and abilities, 15 different school teachers and 5 different coaches, and school projects and homework….and then we will talk about parenting. It gets much harder. Not physically like taking care of a newborn, but emotionally, psychologically and logistically harder.

kendrajoi on

I am all for BF, I did it with my son for 12 months. But is it really necessary to imply that non-BF kids are going to need a lot of therapy? Really?

Pamela on

I agree with Cammy. I get that this is a hot topic right now and the media is riding the wave, but folks, this need for people to share and criticize women for their breastfeeding choices is too much. I don’t care to know, please just handle your own family and I’ll handle mine.

jones on

Good for her (and I mean that seriously). Her therapy quip seems a bit much, though. Kids are not still breastfeeding at 16 months do not necessarily have issues. I don’t like when people think one approach works for all families.

Mya on

WTG Alanis! I’m still breastfeeding my 26 month old and will until he weans 🙂

Katie on

Way TMI!!!!! Breastfeeding and a connection to therapy? WEIRD!!

daria on

add me to chorus of excellent comments above. extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping do not a perfect child make, and this ridiculous emphasis on supposed “perfect mothering” is media-driven and needless. i nursed my kids for over a year each (my daughter for two) and co-slept. i don’t need a medal and neither does she.

emmalee on

I agree with EXACTLY above…there’s soooo much more to parenting than breastfeeding…and that decision is nothing compared to the ones you’ll be making later in their lives.

Anonymous on

I am all for BF, but I am one of those mothers that was unable to do so. Please don’t make those of us that can’t feel guilty. All 3 of my kids are formula fed and doing just fine.

NikNak on

I guess if this is what she feels is right, then good for her for trying to be a good mom. I don’t think the the amount of time one breastfeeds is any indicator of how much therapy a child will need. But in the world, everyone will have differing opinions.

Vanessa on

Wow, therapy. A little much, eh?

Tee on

I think it’s wonderful that Alanis is practicing extended breastfeeding. Nursing is one of the best gifts a Mom can give to their baby. But this quote really bothers me:

“I think it affords the child, when he grows up, to have a lot less therapy to go to.”

I don’t even know what to make of this statement. To imply that a child who isn’t nursed will need therapy is downright crazy, in my opinion. I firmly believe that there are a lot of women out there that could nurse and choose not to because they don’t want to or because they think it too difficult. However, there are also women that truly can’t nurse and those women shouldn’t be put down because of something they can’t do! Take a step further… what about an adopted child? The majority of adopted children aren’t nursed. Does that mean that they will all need therapy because they were bottle fed or what?

Maybe I’m taking her words out of context but I don’t think I so. For this woman to imply that a mother who can’t or won’t nurse means her child will grow up with emotional problems is just wrong. I’m sorry, but I’ve lost a lot of respect for Alanis at this point.

cynlee on

What does breast feeding have to do with future stability. Good god, what’s wrong with people!

Yo Mama on

Thanks for sharing that information Alanis. Maybe now I can get eight hours of sound sleep.

Gues on

So? Why do you feel the need to let us all know what goes on in your home?

Emry on

I wouldn’t keep breastfeeding my child past her first year, but whatever works for her and her child, its her decision, my child uses sippy cups.

melissa on

I’m guessing this kid is going to be completely undateable in the future

teresa on

To me this is a form of perversion

Beth on

Another Mama’s boy in the making! Just what the world needs! Cut the freaking cord already.

Deborah on

I had a friend who did the co-sleeping thing and let me tell you it too her son from age 4 when they tried to get him to sleep in his own bed until age 10!! She never did it with her daughter, he daughter was in her own room at 6 months.

Akri on

Maybe she was kidding about the therapy..she does have a quirky sense of humor..maybe not..but’s her choice and she’s allowed to voice her opinion..I however do not agree..even though I’m a big fan of hers..but whatever and let live.

lisa on

i think thats nasty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! when your kid has teeth you should stop

Anonymous on

Some newborns have teeth! Dumb comment

Cat on

Mya, “until he weans”? It is your job to know when and how to wean him.

sally on

Well good for you!

Cat on

Mya, it is your job to know how and when to wean your child. If he finds the act comforting he’ll still be doing it at 12.


Lisa, my duaghter was born with a tooth, should I have not nursed her?

Aimee on

I’m tired of this topic. If you so wish to breastfeeed until kindergarden…fine. If you wish to stop @ 9 months, fine. If you can’t or didn’t want to….everyone will be OK! I will say something I DO disagree with – is putting the “reasons for doing so” on the child. Its odd to hear her say “I’ll do it until he weans”. As parents its our job to GUIDE.

Erika on

wow! glad she has this parenting thing figured out after 16 months! LOL!

Shanny on

The part in here that bothers me is where she says

“I think it affords the child, when he grows up, to have a lot less therapy to go to,”

Both of my children were formula babies and they dont need therapy. Im all for BF but Im not for the mothers who do putting down the mothers that dont and acting like the formula fed babies are gonna grow up to be babbling idiots all the way through life.

serious on

Can you say desperate for attention much. I mean really. She will do anything she can right now to attempt to sell her new crappy CD.

JessicaB on

it’s called your “private life” for a reason. that your husband is “robust, (and) virile”, or that you breastfeed your baby; just your business. no need to discuss. and if you want to hop on the bandwagon of breastfeeding-PR, you’re about 2 1/2 years too early.

Mommy of 3 on

For my first child I breastfed for 6 months, then the next was 12 months and I’ve been breastfeeding this baby for 6 months so far. I think past a year it’s a little gross. I feel like children should learn to use a cup to drink milk or whatever beverage they choose. I hate breastfeeding but I have done it for my children to give them a better health.
I encourage women to breastfeed I think it’s awesome. Just glad mother’s still do. But I guess if they want to breastfeed past 12 months is up to them.

Lala on

I had no idea she had a degree in psychology with a study that links breastfeeding and therapy! Seriously, everyone needs to stay out of everyone else’s business with all of this breastfeeding and natural or not birth and cosleeping or not. If your child is happy and safe and mom is happy and safe, then the conversation is done. When her child is in therapy in 15 years, she will eat these words.

Emily on

Children need the parent to guide them. Will you also let the child “decide” when/if he wants to go to school? Will you let the child determine all of its behaviors? (sigh)

Meg on

“I think it affords the child, when he grows up, to have a lot less therapy to go to,” the first-time mom explains.

I hope that comment was sarcastic, because if it wasn’t that was a strange comment to make. Just because a child wasn’t breastfeed past a certain age does not mean that child will have issues.

Andy on

I do not understand this whole attachment thing. I tried to breastfeed but my son was not having it so I did not force it on him and he is still attached to me and well protected. I am for breast feeding but at some point its becomes borderline incest. What if a mother decided to breast feed her 10 year old child would everyone be for it.

Cass on

Mya….you are a weirdo. It’s not right!! I don’t care if anyone feels I shouldn’t judge based on how long you breast feed…fact is, your child should be eating food not sucking your boob at “26 months” which lets be real…is OVER 2 YEARS OLD!!!

sha on

They’re all important stages, Alanis. The developmental stage he’s at now is no more or less important than when he was a newborn, 6 months or 12 months. He’ll be developing for the next 20 years or so and it’s great that you feel you’re doing what’s best for your son but please don’t insinuate that other children will have mental problems because they weren’t breast-fed for the first decade of their lives, that’s arrogant.

CJ on

I think the mother should wean the son. How the heck will he know when it’s time? I bet they’re speaking to him only in French now too. He’s going to grow up like one of those freakish untouchable kids that’s afraid to ride a bike or spend the night at a friend’s house.

Tracie on

It sounds to me like she probably has family problems, because people who have to brag about themselves and put their personal issues out there for the world to see, are usually the ones with a lack of self confidence!!

CJ on

I think the mother should wean the son. How the heck will he know when it’s time? I bet they’re speaking to him in French only now too. He’s going to grow up like one of those freakish untouchable kids that’s afraid to ride a bike or spend the night at a friend’s house.

G on

All of this sounds weird and perverted to me

sunny on

that is disgusting! These women have some serious issues and these kids are going to be really messed up as a result of.

Anonymous on

Of course kids will want to stop nursing on their own. Two of mine nursed til age 4 and 4-1/2 yrs. No big deal. They are now 18 and 12 and very healthy, physically and emotionally.

Gigi on

I don’t think it is TMI. We all just saw the TIME cover with the woman posing with her son. THAT was TMI. Talking about it in response to current events is relevant. Plenty of women do it and/or don’t do it and don’t talk about it. In the current light of the negative response to the TIME issue, she is just making her statement. It you came to this site to get “newsworthy” information, you came to the wrong site.

Julie on

I am a very attentive, loving parent, however, I am unable to breast feed for medical reasons. Does this mean my children are going to grow up unstable and needing therapy? I think it is time public figures start thinking about the impact of what they say.

Amy on

I have to agree, this is not newsworthy; BUT just as those mothers who bottle-feed shouldn’t be made to feel bad or less, those who breast-feed beyond 6 months shouldn’t be made to feel like freaks. For those of you who see it as ‘perverse’ or ‘gross’ I wonder if you realize how ignorant you sound? I’m not going to regurgitate all of the statistics about breastfeeding, but I can tell you this, while I certainly didn’t PLAN on nursing my daughter until age 2, my child is very well socialized, speaks like a 4 year old, is way more independent than I would like her to be, and is rarely sick. I’ve never heard a breastfeeding mother talk about deriving sexual pleasure from nursing, it’s the perverse minds of others that impose guilt. Maybe when people stop seeing breasts as objects that should be stuffed with silicone and start seeing them as natural parts of our bodies, we can drop these ‘issues’ and try to support each other as parents.

Anonymous on

I’m all for BF and did so for as long as I/they could with my children. (10 months for my oldest and 8 months with my youngest.) Having said that, I know several amazing, incredible and beautifully well adjusted young adults that were formula fed for various reasons. Who’s to say that a kid that CAN REMEMBER when he was breast feeding might need therapy because of that…Maybe she was kidding, but the “therapy” statement went too far.

Julie on

I am a loving attentive parent, however, due to medical reasons, I am unable to breastfeed. Does this mean my children are going to grow up unstable and needing therapy? Breastfeeding is something I dearly wish I could do but it is not possible. It is time for public figures to start thinking about the impact of their statements.

Ojib on

Listen to all of you women go on the attack!! Reading your comments that nursing a 16 month old baby is ‘perverse’, ‘sick’, ‘incestuous’?? What is wrong with you? This is why young or first time moms don’t do well breastfeeding: judgmental, twisted minds that try to sexualize a natural process. Grow the hell up, get over your own guilt if breastfeeding didn’t work out for you, and stop trying to make something wonderful into something grotesque!

amanda on

Breastfeeding is great and she is proud that she is able and continuing to do so. I see nothing wrong with the article. Let it go people, its not that deep.

Jeanine on

Ok get the kid off the boob and put him in his own bed! That right there is bad parenting….kids that sleep with their parents grow up to have detachment issues! My mom never breast feed me and I slept in my own bed and guess what…I haven’t went to therapy ONCE!

Hayley on

So my child will need therapy because he was not breastfed until he was 2?? That’s jacked up Alanis.

Hayley on

So my child will need therapy because he was not breastfed until he was 2?? That’s messed up Alanis.

Suzy on

too much sharing…is nothing private…I think talking about this 24 / 7 is too much…do what you want…just don’t tell the world every detail.

blessedwithboys on

Alanis, good for you! I’ve loved you as an artist since I got Jagged Little Pill in my late teens, and I admire and respect you all the more now to read about what a great mama you are to Ever!

~BWB, who nursed dc1 for 2yrs and dc2 for 5yrs, both self-weaned 🙂

Julie on

I am all for the breast feeding, but to imply that kids that are not breastfed or weaned off of it after a certain age are the ones that need therapy is ridiculous! That makes it sound as if I was a bad mother and now my child is going to need help. I am upset over that comment.

April R. on

Good for her!! I am nursing my 14 month old, and we need more extended breastfeeding in the spotlight.

Dawn on

what do you people want the celeb new parents or newlyweds to say? Gee, I hate my kid and I think my new spouse is a douche? Of course they are totally in awe of their babies and totally in love with their new spouse. Of course us old timers know the euphoria wears off, but I remember how awesome those early days were, let them have their moment to shine. And as for being newsworthy, well, not really but this is PEOPLE so this is the kind of news I expect from them.

Valerie on

I’m all for doing what feels right for you and your family but I’m going to echo a lot of the previous posts. This is just weird.

bh on

Both my children were formula fed and both go to ivy-league colleges. They are both extremely healthy as well. Enough about breast-feeding – do whatever feels right for you.

Hea on

If I’d still sucked on my mothers breast while old enough to actually remember doing it, I would probably need therapy.

Jennifer on

She’s protecting his attachment by breastfeeding him until grade school, perhaps? What if he’s not ready to “wean” until middle school? Will he need therapy after his friends find out he has to go home to have lunch on his mom’s boob? What couple in the modern age needs a 16 month old child in bed with them? Haven’t we progressed beyond the era of the caveman? Put the child in his own bed and turn off the lights.

kim on

I’m so glad Alannis is an expert at parenting after only 16 months. What a genius.

christy on

Who cares? I breast fed my son until he was almost 2, and I didn’t have to tell the world about it. It was the most natural thing to do. Nobody ever told me I should stop any sooner either. It just naturally happened. This was 11 years ago, before all this ridiculous hoopla!

bh on

Breastfeeding toddlers is more for the mother than the child. Give the child a sippy cup with milk and be done with it. Stop smothering.

Somes on

“A lot less therapy to go to” huh? Sorry but she sounds weird.

lea on

I dont understand how she thinks she can get away with assuming children who dont breast feed until they start driving will need therepy????? I am a mother who breastfed two children but I am not about to assume that is the only way to keep them out of therepy. further more whats wrong with therepy of any sort??? i am not in therepy but if my children or myself needed it i dont think it would be due to lack of breast feeding!!!!!! Get a grip Alanis, and i have listened to your music maybe you werent breastfed long enough because you need therepy!!!!!!!!

Cristina on

really….. this is not surprising.

Anonymous on

She’s not the one who chose to get this article on….I agree this whole thing isn’t newsworthy, but look how many peoples’ attention it’s getting! She says what she believes, and what the media and the people who listen to/read it do with that information is not up to her. So to say that she didn’t need to share….that comment should be directed at, not Alanis

Jenny on

Sigh..another celeb talking about breastfeeding. Am I the only one that is getting really tired of reading articles about this? They fail to mention that many women CANNOT breastfeed. I would have loved to breastfeed, but it was not an option because my ds is adopted. I was not a fan of her therapy” comment either. Seriously judgemental, in my opinion.

Anonymous on

to add to my comment above….if you want to read something newsworthy, what the heck are you doing on

Lourdes on

She is weird. Sounds like she also screws her husband in the same bed while her son is alseep next to them. Yuck.

Luke on

When your kid can say “mom i’m thirsty for tit milk” and starts unbuttoning your blouse, I guess it’s time to wean. She sounds like a pervert with her kid in the bed with her and hubby doing the wild thing.

Nina on

I wasn’t nursed, but I did sleep in the same bed as my mom for years. I started sleeping alone when I was 10, when my mom got married. I’m 30 now and am still afraid of the dark, so while I can advocate for attachment parenting in general, and wanting a child to grow up with healthy self-esteem and sense of self, I think the methods may not be in the best interest of the children.

Joy on

Ok, the creepy part is that she’s “taking care” of her virile husband with a toddler in the bed. I promise, in kindergarten you won’t be able to tell who was breastfed and who wasn’t. It’s the new Hollywood “in” thing. Love the quote last week that some celebrity was raising their child without a nanny. So did my parents! They were trendsetters before they even knew it. I’ll be glad for the celebrity that keeps their private life private, but then where would People be?

holly on

breast or bottle frredin past 1 yr old isnt good. if i had my 16m old or 3 yr old on a bottle still i would b a bad mom but breasts r better. no its gross.

Shea on

Why in the world do we feel the need to lay out our personal lives for everyone to see? Do what you feel is right for your child, and leave the TMI for your girlfriends. A child will most definitely need therapy if he reads that his mother is blabbing about his life to the world.

Michelle on

After reading, I thought everyone was going to agree with Alanis and I wanted to add a comment to defend the non-BF moms…guess I don’t have to do that. I am on the extreme opposite end of this pendulum,I just think it is gross. How about this Alanis, I didn’t BF AND I am a single mom, and my teenager and I have a great attachment…It’s called love.

Annette on

I’m still breastfeeding my daughter at 17 mths and plan to let her wean when she wants. I don’t think extended breastfeeding does any harm as my partner was breastfeed till he was 24 mths and he turned out fine. We also co-sleep with our daughter and she’s a lot better sleeper than any of her coffee group friends. Having her sleep with us means I get more sleep too as I never have to get up in the middle of the night to feed her. The therapy comments are a bit puzzling though, I don’t think breastfeeding or not breastfeeding would result in a child needing therapy alone. Maybe other issues but not breastfeeding.

Anonymous on

To all the people complaining that they are tired of reading articles about women and their breastfeeding: why are you reading this article? The title said everything you needed to know to not click on it and read it, but you did, and now you complain.

sandy on

Is she really that stupid? Co-sleeping is a danger to the baby’s physical and emotional health… And that statement about the co-sleeping not put a damper on her and her husbands relationship, that sounds like things are happening in front of that baby that a baby don’t need to see. That’s gonna lead to plenty of therapy and I think someone should call Department of Child Protective Services on them for doing those things in front of that baby, shame on them…..

Jennifer Coombes on

That woman on the cover of Time was on the Today Show recently with her almost four-year-old. That kid was out of control – way more so than a normal kid that age. I think attachment parenting makes more of the current glut of self-centred, entitled little brats we’re seeing these days. Is that what we want?

Jeana on

These people are pathetic

Jennifer on

So she thinks all bottle-fed babies will need therapy? Hmmm. Something tells me that breastfed KID on the Time Magazine cover will be spending a lot of time with a shrink, thanks to his mom’s nurturing behavior.

Aerola on

Is the kid going to be hanging off her tit when he graduates high school?

Hen on

Okay, is she looking to piggy-back off the Time Mag article or something to get in the news? So what she has a baby, I’m glad she is breastfeeding. I don’t think she will find much controversy in this area. he is 16 months old, a B-A-B-Y! I did find it strange that she tinks he will need “less therapy” as he grows up because she is breastfeeding/cosleeping. Come on, that doesn’t even make sense.

me on

so much wrong with this article and people’s need to share with the world their private lives. Just do what you think is right and move forward like all of us “regular” people, there is no need to be so self righteous! Personally, breastfeeding past the age of one year is pretty gross.

Acorr on

If you didn’t breastfeed, why are you offended because someone says they did? This happens all the time. A celebrity talks about breastfeeding and those who don’t breastfeed or couldn’t feel neglected. For whatever reason you don’t/can’t breastfeed, don’t let your feelings of inadequacy over power your opinion of others who can/did, whether for longer than you or just at all. It’s not up to YOU how long someone breastfeeds. Maybe YOU couldn’t, just as I couldn’t with my first or may have stopped at a certain point for your own reasons, just as someone keeps nursing for their own reasons. Alanis’ comment about therapy was a bit weird. But, she sounds proud to be still nursing and she should be. My first son only nursed for 6 weeks. My second son nursed until his third birthday. I weaned him because he was to start pre-school soon. He would still drink from a cup and eat “regular” food. I feel bad that I stopped before he weaned himself because he just wasn’t ready and it was difficult. He is now 5 and a well adjusted outgoing little boy. You can pass judgement, comment all you want but the fact of the matter is, WE all want what is best for our children.

Shannon on

Does she want a cookie? Big whoop.

AC on

I have a five month old and it sounds like when he grows up he is going to be surrounded by a whole bunch of people who are adults but still act like children and can’t function and support themselves in the real world. Since when did teaching a child to be independent and self-sufficient while still knowing their parent loves them become a bad thing? Keep holding him back Alanis and see how that works for you. Oh and by the way, my nephew was bottle fed and just got the award for being number one in his class. You don’t know what you are talking about.

Meg on

I find it quite funny how people assume that if a child breastfeeds past a year, they don’t know how to use a cup.
My children were nursed for 33 and 28 months respectively, and both started using sippy cups around 6 months. Just because you nurse longer than a year doesn’t mean that’s their only source of fluids.

Laila on

WTF with the therapy comment? And u know this how? OMG…

Disgusted on

Is it me, or are there more women breast feeding little boys until puberty than little girls….just sayin

Sarah S on

Ummm yeah, I like Alannis and all, but the therapy quip made no sense. I don’t get why women make such a big deal out of how long they breastfeed or if they don’t do it at all. When I had my son I did what worked for us and I didn’t go tell it from the highest mountain. Very odd.

Jill on

What a surprise it will be for her, when her kid ends up needing therapy because he was breastfed so long. Haha

Vanessa on

I wonder how many of these women, who are breastfeeding until their children go to college (“attachment parenting”, it’s in their best interest)), had their baby boys genitally mutilated (“circumcised”). Certainly that is not in their best interest.

Really? on

I feel attachment parenting is for the parent, not the child. What exactly is the benefit to the child to nursing at age 4? I nursed my first-born for health reasons (didn’t work – the child is sickly), but I didn’t nurse my second child for medical reasons. I believe nursing is beneficial so if you can, great. If not, I really don’t think your child will hold it against you.
A friend still co-sleeps with her 10 year old after several attemtps to bribe the child into sleeping in her own room. The child was nursed past age 4, and most likely she stopped because of family pressure – there is nothing more embarassing then being at a restaurant and having a 4 year old walk up and start unbuttoning the mother’s blouse because she wants a drink. I’m sorry, but at that point, it’s just for comfort (actually, it was usually because the child was bored and wanted to cause a scene), not medically beneficial. Comfort is not a medical need; you need to teach your child to learn to self-comfort (I think co-sleeping also prevents the child from learning to put themselves to sleep or how to comfort themselves when alone). I love my kids dearly and hug and kiss them frequently, but let’s be honest with ourselves – there is no medical benefit to nursing so long. 16 months…I’m on the fence, but 26 months…
Maybe Alanis made the comment about therapy because she’s had a lot and wasn’t breastfed and somehow connected the two? And maybe she’s keeping her husband satisfied in other places in the house, instead of in the same bed with a toddler (which sounds somewhat dangerous)… Maybe cave people procreated around other cave people, but I’m not too sure there are many cultures that do that now – we don’t need to – we have means of obtaining privacy now. It may be natural and sure a 16 month old doesn’t know what they’re seeing, but are you capable of knowing when is enough enough? At some point the child will understand and, if you have a boy, will that boy need therapy because he doesn’t compare to his father…down there? Will they become too comfortable with the bare body and start running around like that at school – because they don’t know it’s not culturally accepted? I’m not a prude, but there is a fine line to teach your children and some people, I think, are just too casual about it and some too prudish.

weezer on

I think the breastfeeding thing is great(if you’re able to continue doing it), many women have to get back into the workforce. Alanis obviously has the luxury of time. The co-sleeping thing is completely unhealthy for both parent and child. The child needs to learn independence and the parent need time to themselves.

Sheryl on

TMI, good lord, NOTHING is private anymore.

amee on

Good grief! These comments about self-weaning and children nursing til college are ridiculous! How many children do you all know that are in school and still breastfeeding. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a kid reaching puberty still nursing. Ridiculous! Also, calling the nursing relationship between a child and mother gross in disturbing is insulting. Some of you people obviously have issues!

Anonymous on

Everyone has the freedom to have their own opinions, but it’s not right to judge others who are doing what they feel best, whether it’s extended breastfeeding or not at all. Please make sure your opinions are based on fact though – research before you decide on a stance.

My research over the years lead me to this: extended breastfeeding is common around the world and has been for all of history – it’s not a new thing and it’s certainly not worthy of shock or disgust. Medical research has proven the benefit of it for a child’s physical and emotional development as well as reducing a mother’s overall risk for breast cancer.

But there are equally as many perfectly healthy intelligent adults that were formula fed by loving wonderful parents. When the child is grown, they’ll only be embarrassed by extended nursing if their society teaches them to be.

Personally, I found self-weaning to be a good thing. I forced my oldest to wean when my husband felt it was becoming weird and it was heart-breaking for all of us…we didn’t do that again with our other kids.

Just my two cents on a topic that I’m passionate about…I don’t ever post on these things!

Katie on

Yes I agree with many. It sounds like her and her husband are doing it with their child in the bed! SO GROSS what is wrong with them both???? He’ll need therapy for that alone! Poor kid!! Is she on a jagged little pill?

Emily on

As a disclaimer, I want to make it clear that I don’t believe there is a right or wrong when it comes to breastfeeding. You want to breastfeed? Great, fabulous, do it! If you don’t, or can’t? Great, fabulous, don’t.

In relation to this aticle, I feel that Alanis’ comment about the therapy is a bit too much. Maybe it’s been taken out of context, but on face value it seems ignorant and unfair…

Which leads me to this point. I find this culture of “Here’s what makes a perfect parent (mother)” (and by extension, “This is what Dr Google told me is right”) fairly disturbing. Society seems so full of judgemental mothers, preaching and telling other Mums what is best to do. Whilst I understand it has always been this way to some extent, I feel that it has seen a new level of intensity given the media and social media that has amplified peoples’ voices, many of which are uneducated, ignorant or simply judgemental for the sake of being judgemental.

I don’t have a baby myself, but I am actually terrified of having a baby. Why? Not only because of the usual demands of having a child, but for all the judgement women and mothers get for their choices. Put a blanket over myself while breastfeeding in public because I’m shy and don’t want strangers seeing my boob? I’m told I shouldn’t have to and that it’s natural and mothers shouldn’t be ashamed, so I’m a bad Mum if I feel shy. Whip out my breast in public to breastfeed? I’d be told that I’m brazen and should go somewhere else to do it privately. Feed the baby with a bottle in public? The outrage! Not breastfeed at all? Well…I’ll leave that one to you. Suffice to say, it seems a no win situation (unless I never leave the house at all?)

I feel like mothers in society spend so much time forming judgements and opinions about motherhood (and medical motherhood) that it doesn’t spend enough time worrying about what they themselves are doing, and also considering how they make other mothers feel. And whilst they might think it’s helpful, it’s actually incredibly detrimental.

This post isn’t to specifically accuse people in this forum, but rather to voice a concern I’ve been having for sometime, and it perhaps felt like the right topic in which to raise it.

I hope I’m not alone in these feelings.

JMO on

Attachment parenting has imo become the new scientology “cult” of we let our kids decide everything they want or don’t want to do!!

Her therapy remark whether joking or not is beyond stupid. If anything these 6 year olds are gonna need therapy from their mommy’s having too many attachment issues to them!!

Kim on

TMI. And, did I read that wrong or did she imply they have sex with their son IN THE BED? :X

Mya on

Hey Anonymous I also did NOT circumcise, I too wonder the same thing though. If we’re going to speak out for what is a child’s best interest it should start with the fact we leave their genitals alone. I think circumcision is disgusting and am shocked at the amount of people who still do it.

And I’m shocked that people think breastfeeding beyond a year is gross. It’s normal and natural.

Amy on

I’m firmly for families making their own decisions for what is right for their family, and not criticizing other families’ decisions. With that said, I would issue caution for co-sleeping, especially with infants and small children, as there have been connections made to SIDS and istances of death due to smothering and accidentally rolling on top of the infant while the adult is asleep. If you do practice co-sleeping, please take precautions to prevent an accidental death.

Katie on

Oh, Alanis. You should be slimed for a comment like that. (Yeah, I went there. You Can’t Do That on Television reference.) Breastfeeding leads to less therapy? Really? Do you think before you give sound bites?

K on

Breastfeeding past twelve months? Come ppl. Should be regular milk after, you will never get your child off breastmilk. They will think that is normal. I got my daughter off of Enfamil at 11 months.

Sarah on

I haven’t read through all the comments yet so maybe this has been said but I think her quote was taken out of context. I read it as she thinks attachment parenting in general not just breastfeeding would end up with less therapy for her kid. Not saying I agree with what she said, everyone has their own idea of parenting and I didn’t breastfeed or co-sleep with my son he is 7 years old and doing great and I don’t think he is going to need therapy when he is older. I just don’t think she meant to single out extended breastfeeding=no therapy.

Anna on

I couldn’t breast feed my daughter due to my milk drying up because of an infection. She was formula fed until 12 months. At 12 months the pediatrican told me to take her off the bottle and only use sippy cups because the long their on the bottle the harder it will to wean her. So explain to me how it’s okay to keep breast feeding after a year. My husband’s cousin breastfed all her kids until the were 3 or 4. They had NO desire to wean. She finally had to stop and the boys had a hard time adjusting. I believe this whole attachment parenting isn’t any better then the way I’ve raised my formula fed, sleeping in their own bed from birth.

Marky on

My experiences with co-sleeping showed me that the child does NOT end up feeling more secure and capable, at least before they are grown. None of the children in our family who co-slept, were able to sleep all night before they were several years old, none of them were able to go to sleep on their own before they were in their teens, and one has raging insomnia at 18 years old! None of them were able to self-soothe in any way before they were 12 years old.

My personal opinion after seeing how it has affected all these children (some are now adults) in my family is that it is like the Emperor’s New Clothes. It may sound just terrific to many of you and you think it’s a great “new” way of parenting. It’s what people did waaaaay back in the day, just as they tanned their own rabbit hides after they killed and ate the rabbit. Most of you who do this now are vegetarians “because there’s no need to eat meat and you think it’s barbaric”. Back in the day, they used to mostly be dead by 45 or 50, and the death rate of children was sky-high, as well.

I’m not impressed and I’m wondering how anyone who is saying they “don’t have to get up to feed their 17 month old in the night” because they are co-sleeping, is missing the fact that if they WEREN’T co-sleeping their child wouldn’t constantly be looking for a breast and trying to get comfort from someone else! My children were sleeping all night without waking up at all way before 17 months, breastfeeding and all. Some of my children are bio, some adopted and some were foster, but none needed to get up and eat at 17 months. Doesn’t knock my socks off, sorry. Most of these children are being pushed to BF after about 16 months, frankly; I think you are choosing to “miss the signals” that let you know little Tommy, Mistletoe, or Whatever are giving out that they are ready to go to the cup only (my kids used a small child’s cup, not a “sippy” cup which is a glorified bottle). What on earth makes you think a breast is the only acceptable way to “comfort” your child? One of the saddest looking children I’ve seen recently is Mayem Blalick’s son, Fred. He never seems to look content; and let me tell you, I LOVE Mayam’s acting (been watching her since she was a child) and really respect her getting such a great education. I just think she missed the boat in jumping in the “attachment parenting river”; It’s been really polluted……

Mom of 2 on

My daughter, who’s now 6 was bottle fed. My son, who’s 2 mos is breast feeding. I pumped a lot in the beginning, so there are times when daddy gets to help out. Don’t try to tell me I’m a bad mother. Don’t try to tell me my daughter will need therapy. I think a kid who’s being breastfed until 3 or 4 will need more therapy than she will. I plan to nurse until he’s around 1. I’d hate for my son to remember my boobs in later years! …and my daughter was no longer using a bottle after her first birthday either.

Anonymous on

My sister BF my nephew until he was 22 months old until he weined.Now my neice is 18 months old and is still BF and will be until she weins 🙂

Megan on

We co slept with our daughter for 3 months- she literally would not sleep anywhere but my chest for the first six weeks, and then she slept in her nap nanny in her bed. At age 3 months, we put her in her crib, and she’s been there ever since. The problem with continued co sleeping, is there is a good chance you will never get your child out of your bed. I know people who have their 13 year old daughter still sleeping in their room. If you’re ok with that, go ahead.

I could care less for how long people breast feed. However, her comment that non breast fed kids will need a lot of therapy really makes me angry. How callous, and hurtful to all the women out there who can’t breast feed. Very ignorant. My 13 month old was bottle fed, I physically couldn’t nurse, and she is happy, outgoing, sweet, funny, and well adjusted.

The most important part of a child’s life and development is feeling SAFE and LOVED, two things that do not solely come from nursing.

C on

Good Lord. I will never understand the need for women to be SO critical of one another. So long as your child’s needs are being met, and they are provided with a loving, stable home, the manner in which one Mother chooses to feed her child is of no consequence to another. I have a daughter that will be 2 in August and I am still nursing her on a regimented schedule because I am able, and because it is healthy. She is not pulling at my shirt every time she needs comfort, but instead is nursing early in the morning when she wakes up and before she goes to bed. This is not to say that I judge Mothers who choose NOT to nurse… that is simply the choice that they have made for their own children. We as women MUST stop judging one another for choices made within the walls of our own homes. I love my breastfed baby just as much as my friend loves her bottle fed baby!

justme on

I like chicken nuggets. Yumm.

nvsue on

I nursed my 2 children for only a year each and they never spent one night in my bed “co-sleeping”. They learned early on to self-sooth and sleep through the night. Today they are 7 and 9 and are happy, healthy and well-adjusted. No therapy needed here. She’s a kook..

Carol on

I think breast feeding is a personal choice made my each new mom. I was not able to breast feed either of my boys due to post labor health issues. My boys are awesome and proof that you can bond, protect and nurture your children without them hanging off your chest for years on end! To each their own I always say, but the way kids are being bullied in schools and neighborhoods these days, it might be a good idea to think about “weaning” them way before you have to head over to school at lunchtime to feed your child. Breastfeeding your children is not an indicator of future behavior or therapy needs, that’s crazy!! Your child isn’t even going to rememeber it was breast fed!! I know my kids would be mortified if I did that to them!!

shelleybean73 on

I am all for BF. I don’t think it will mean less therapy for the kids though, i don’t see how BF trumps parenting in that aspect. I have more of an issue with it being implied they have nookie while the kid is in their bed! Gah!

fer on

Some of us were doing this long before this silly term, ‘attachment parenting’, came along. We weren’t newsworthy, and really, this isn’t either.

shidso on

Breastfeed or don’t….this is so not newsworthy. But the notion of attachment parenting and constant skin to skin contact. Do these people ‘get it on’ with the baby right there too?

If so, I guess all I can really say is EWWWWWWW. And yes, there will be therapy in the future.

ang on

I am so glad this is here instead of another horror story involving children.

emma on

look i am 21 years don`t have mum only breast feed me till i was 6 months old i turned out fine cause it was not a big del back in the day.also what about teeth i have been bit by a 1 year old and man dose it hurt,and the on your boobie no thank you

Carol on

To each their own. I have 2 sons, 12 and 9, didn’t bf either one, I couldn’t due to health reasons, but didn’t have an interest in it anyways even if I could have. Both boys slept though the night well before they were 1, and both boys at 2 years old were in twin beds of their sleeping 10-12 hours with no problems what so ever. Both boys are awesome in school, have alot of friends and are blessed athletically. They are completely normal kids who KNOW we love them, and respect flows in both directions. Bottle fed kids grow up just fine and it takes a hell of alot more than breast feeding and co-sleeping to be a parent in today’s society. I certainly don’t condemn breastfeeding, so please don’t think your breast fed kid is any better of than our bottle fed ones……..line up all the kids later in life and you couldn’t pick out the kids by the way they were fed. Really. Every mom AND DAD do what they think is best for their kids, so this whole issue is a personal family one that really needs to stay in the home, not in magazines.

Diana150 on

What I find remarkable here is the amount of women who get offended because AM talked about therapy. Wake up, people! Your child WILL need therapy, be s/he breast or bottle fed! Most people end up needing therapy in life anyway… AM was joking and used the phrase “a lot less therapy to go to,” –LESS, not NO–which makes it clear that she expects the child to have therapy when s/he is an adult. Back off, people! Don’t be so defensive and have a little bit more of a sense of humor!

annoyedinNJ on

Ugghh!! I am all for BF if you are able to, but am SO freaking sick of some judgemental moms out there who think all non breast-fed children are destined for failure. We should all just focus on our own lives and quit telling others how they should raise their children or live their lives. Just my opinion.

EPS on

Oh, gosh. This cracks me up. Whilé I’m all for the ‘live and let live’ mantra, it does gross me out. When a child is old enough to ask for the breast, he/she is too old to be drinking from it.

I do have to say, though, these words will come back to haunt her if her child is any way messed up. I might have to laugh a little, at her expense.

Kelly on

Attention whore? Who asked ya Alanis? TMI

S on

Some mothers/babies can’t even do the BF thing so this therapy thing I take as an insult. gmab. the baby sleeping with her and the husband is also weird and ridiculous that kid will be a cry baby for sure never want to sleep on his own. take care of your husband wow she’s real secure I really hate when women say that crap

Shannon on

LOL this woman is a first time mom and wife and all of a sudden she knows it all. Typical. Let’s see what her kid is doing in 25 years and whether she’s still married. Maybe then she’ll have some credibility.

Attachment parenting? Must be the cool thing for all the hipster parents. What a dumb name. As if other parents aren’t attached to their children.

hannahsmom on

I think some of the kids who are breastfed until they are 4 may need therapy in the future.

look on

Well, I’m breastfeeding my 16-year-old son and will continue to until he weans. I think he’ll have a lot less therapy to go to. And remember everybody: Gain your wisdom through the words of a famous Canadian pop/rock/alternative singer! Because famous people are STARS.

Melissa on

I think most of you are missing the point- the interview was about the recent uproar over attachment parenting. The article begins with talking about extended breast feeding- just one of the three major components of attachment parenting. Her comment about “therapy” just happened to be placed in the the breast feeding portion of the article; however, based on my knowledge of attachment parenting (extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping) that she was stating that an “attached child” will need less therapy NOT breastfeed babies in general.

swack on

Diana150 – what a horrible way to look at life – thinking everyone will need therapy. Sorry, but that is not true. That’s like saying everyone will get cancer or aids or std’s. Making generalized statements like that is just wrong. I’m all for BF and it is up to each individual as to how long they will breastfeed. As far as co-sleeping, again, the person’s right to be able to do so. My children were in a portacrib until they slept through the night (at about 3 months). It was for convenience for me, but also, I was a heavy sleeper and did not want to miss them waking up to feed (I breast fed for about 6 months each). Once they slept through the night they went into another room so that they would not be disturbed if one of us got up in the middle of the night. To each their own is what I say.

Guest on

Do we really care???

It is no one’s business but her own and is not worth posting on People!

sat on

Has anyone here ever heard of tongue-in-cheek? Again, this is why public figures should not make personal comments. I personally believe the therapy comment was made in total jest, even self-deprecation. All of her songs are about profound dysfunction in one form or another, and I believe she is speaking from a point of view of someone who has resolved or has dealt with lots of psychological crap in life and is simply making light of the very real efforts she’s most likely making to provide a normal environment for another person, an environment she herself was not provided. If extended breastfeeding represents not a perverted Oedipean complex but in fact an expression of unconditional love, nourishment and support, then of course she is going to provide that opportunity for her offspring. The shame is in not anticipating that people would actually take the therapy comment seriously.

jen on

Amen Marky!! I was thinking the same thing about getting more sleep because you dont have to get out of bed to feed your 17 month old…WTF..why in the world would a 17 month old need fed in the middle of the night anyhow? Good lord!

Anonymous on

Ok, umm, wow. I scrolled down to check out some of the comments, just out of curiosity, now I’m wishing I had paid attention to that old saying about curiosity and the cat.
I’m actually still nursing my 16mo * sigh * I had hoped to stop at around a year, but she is making it rather difficult to wean. For those of you that say it is the parents’ responsibility to guide the child, that is true, but it isn’t always a simple one-way street. I think that is the point of attachment parenting, Idk…not to force everybody to live one way, but to tune in to your kid and pick up on some of their cues, what they need? Some kids need a little extra coddling, some are independent spirits. I am the mother of 3, I have nursed all 3 and, in my case, I’ve observed every child and situation is unequivocally different. This is my longest nursing stint and not entirely by choice. With this child, a sudden stop wouldn’t work, she’s even resisting soft weaning. She’s used a sippy cup since 6 months, so that isn’t an issue. There’s nothing perverted about it, shame on you weirdos for even saying that, seriously, back in the day there were women hired to feed other women’s kids…get some perspective. My kids are highly intelligent, rarely get sick, and are very well adjusted. Is this because I nursed? Maybe, in part, yes. They have also inherited my teeth’s propensity to develop cavities. Is this due to nursing? Maybe, in part, yes. I do think Alanis’s comment about therapy was tongue-in-cheek, she doesn’t seem the judgmental type.
Maybe we can all support each other’s ‘food’ choices and live and let live?

hannah on

It seems to me that the parents are just as if not more attached to their child nursing than the baby is..Are there even any scientific evidence that breastfeeding after 12 months has significant benefits??? Especially once they start eating solid foods??? I tend to think no… parents get way too attached…what 2 or 3 years old knows what they want and knows what they want better than the parent??? That’s what I thought….

Cath on

Oh, so that is what ‘holier than thou’ in the mothering realm looks flash, there are many kids that are formula fed, weaned before they can talk in full sentences and do not sleep naked next to their parents that do just fine when they are all grown up. Being a unique musician does not make one a parenting expert.

Kat on

What a bunch of defensive and ignorant people. Hurrah for her. I am still BFing my 3 year old and a 5 month old. And co-sleeping with both of them. How sad, so so sad people think this beautiful gift of life and love that we are given, and have to give to our children is sick or twisted.

The only thing that’s perverted here is how many women are so against nursing their babies as nature intended and that is extended.

So many of you say, “I’m all for breastfeeding but bash bash bash and I couldn’t because of “medical reasons”. Sure.

cara on

Oh for God’s sake ! what utter rubbish.

Totally understand her choice to breastfeed as long as she wants, I did it for 6 months with both of mine, but trying to put a ‘less therapy’ spin on it is uneducated dumb drivel. Attachment parenting is not for everyone, not everyone believes in it’s principles, but claiming it will mean less therapy down the road is just absolute nonsense. Dumb woman!

Kat on

It’s just so horribly sad that so many people are so disconnected from nature. It’s heartbreaking that so many kids are deprived of what nature intended them to receive and it’s also sad that so many women believe that they are unable to provide what they were meant to.

Yes I believe in long term nursing of children, co-sleeping, and mothering. It’s also quite remarkable how many people got so upset about her obvious joke about therapy. (to people with their wits about them)

You know why you all got so defensive? Cause she hit a nerve, that’s why.

Hea on

I think all of you on here who has kids and don’t nurse them need to open accounts and save up for the future because therapy is expensive! :O

Jeebus, Alanis. Really?

djcharlye on

Well said Cammy, well said!

kate on

So extended breastfeeding is going to protect a child from later bullying, illness, bereavement etc, all factors which can lead to the need for therapy later on? I’d like to see that result…

Jen on

I did NOT breastfeed either of my kids, nor did they sleep with us, they are now in their teens they have always been the healthiest, kindest, most caring kids you could ever find, I am so proud of them! My best friend breastfed and made her child sleep with them until he was 6 when he was yelling for his own bed, the child is sickly and a major brat. Breastfeeding and sleeping with your child has nothing at all to do with their health or well being as a child or grownup. Get over it breastfeeding/sleeping with your kids moms! You are only doing it for some sort of sick need within YOURSELF!

annoyedinoz on

I am really saddened by AM’s comments and also a lot of other judgemental mothers regarding babies who aren’t breastfed. I would have absolutely loved to have breastfed my little one but was unable to due to health reasons. My own guilt was bad enough let alone others that really have no idea what they are talking about. It should not matter AT ALL how your baby is fed, breast or otherwise, as long as they are healthy and happy. And this is what will help prevent them from needing therapy, not that they weren’t breastfed. Shame on you Alanis for making such uneducated statements.

annoyedinoz on

Very disappointing comments Alanis

Linda Szasz on

I don’t think that the discussion about how long to breastfeed your child is being driven by celebrities’ need for ‘a medal’, but rather opening up the public attitudes about what is acceptable. In my experience, children who breastfeed for longer than two years tend not to do so publicly, but privately and so are out ‘out of sight.’ Women are opening up this private sphere to let others know that it’s OK to breastfeed beyond what is now considered normal. All the best to breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding parents!

Katia on

I breastfed all four of my children. They nursed until they were eating food from the table and drinking from a cup. That happenned between 1 and 1 1/2 yrs old. It was convenient for me, not to mention it was FREE, and it was good for them. Once they could chomp on steak and salad it was no longer necessary. It was not a big newsworthy issue, and had no political correctness or incorrectness back then. I did it, my friends did it, our moms had done it before us, really not a big deal. People nowadays turn everything into such a huge psycho-babble issue.

Kelly on

I don’t get why breastfeeding became such a big issue now. If a mom wants to nurse, she does. If she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t. Why is everybody being so judgmental? Do you really thing breastfeeding less or breastfeeding more are the only things that might cause the child harm? There are many other parenting choices that might end up harming the child, but no one really talks about them because at the end of the day, people get to raise their children the way they want to.

Daisy on

Alanis is a nut. Beast feeding has nothing to do with therapy! Please! People need counseling for a million reasons and premature weaning is not one of them. Also, I don’t think it’s healthy for a 16 month old to still be sleeping with parents every night. To each their own but don’t judge others, alanis for following your footsteps. Ridiculous!

Jholmar on

Good for her! Obviously by all these comments this country has a long was to go before breastfeeding is the norm again. Hopefully with more moms coming out and talking about it and breastfeeding in public whenever they need to, it wont be such a big deal for our next generation. I dont understand all the harsh mama judgements, though. Everyone makes the best choices they can for their family. Dont judge; love and support and educate instead!

Malias_mom on

A few points… 1) She wouldn’t have made the comments if someone hadn’t ASKED HER THE QUESTIONS! 2) North Americans are the only countries that feel they can offer up opinions on how other people raise their children! Yes, Alanis is a celebrity, but she is also still a mother. Why do some of you women feel the need to criticize her parenting style. Just because it doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean it isn’t working for her. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!

lisa on

This is way too long to to nurse a child. There is something very disgusting about nursing a child that can walk and has teeth.

jaks on

The therapy comment may be a bit much but the theory with AP is that being so centered on meeting your child’s needs when they’re young creates trusting, emotionally healthy adults.


WHOA! It’s great that she’s doing what she thinks is best for her child and I’m sure she’s a good mother. The problem is that as a first time mom of a 16-month old, she’s got an out of control swelled ego to be preaching about how her way is the solution to reducting the need for therapy. I breast-fed my kids for a year and they weaned themselves and I never felt the safety and well-being of my children were any less because the nursing was done. GET OVER YOURSELF, ALANIS!!!!!!

Shannon on

And every time she has a let down, she hopes you feel it. AH CAN YOU FEEL IT?!

stacy on

I am so tired of hearing about celebrity opinions on breast feeding!! I believe that a new study will come out, 10 years from now, that there is no difference between breast and formula feeding. The only thing that matters, is that babies are well nourished. To imply that formula fed children will need therapy, is preposterous and unsubstantiated!! On the contrary, I worry about the kids who can actually “remember” breast feeding!

My Kids Mom on

although i didn’t like the therapy comment, i’m glad that celebrities are speaking up for breastfeeding. the world health organization (WHO) says that breastfeeding is beneficial for at least 2 years, so its perfectly normal and healthy to nurse a toddler, it does not need to end at 12 months. children do self-wean and they should be allowed to do so. i have nursed all 3 of my kiddo’s. my oldest stopped at 7 months, my next was 27 months and my daughter just weaned in march and will be 4 in june. anyone who thinks that breastfeeding is for the mother and is somehow sexual is sorely mistaken! it is a huge time commitment and painful at times, but its for the health & comfort of kids, so how can it be wrong? i am glad for the TIME article and picture and happy that woman are talking about their experiences with extended nursing. the united states have still not caught up to other countries when it comes to breastfeeding and its a shame. too many people still don’t have all the facts on why breast is best (if it can be done, it should at least be tried).

vlamommy on

I never breastfed, never co-slept, and my kids are extremely healthy, intelligent teenagers. To each their own. Knowing what I do now, and hearing the story of a local woman who breast-fed and co-slept with her now-deceased baby boy who was accidentally smothered when they fell asleep breastfeeding… I would never take the risks of co-sleeping.

Just my humble opinion… I respect the moms who choose to breastfeed, but I’m so over all of the soapbox action.

Shawna on

That is so idiotic to say that kids who are allowed to self-wean will nurse until they are 16. That just does not happen. I nursed my girls and they both self-weaned at 4 years old. There was nothing perverted or incestuous about it – that is a disgusting and offensive thing to say. And the fact of the matter is if all the women who say they “couldn’t breastfeed” are telling the truth human society would have died out by now because formula is a modern invention. Human milk for human babies!

Elaine on

Wow, what a look into the general American view. Most people either think it’s TMI, misread her comment about “less” therapy which was obviously said in complete and total jest, or they start in railing against attachment parenting, nursing past infancy, co-sleeping, or some mix of the three using irrelevant anecdotes and “facts”.

What a bunch of prudes, and what a bunch of folks with very poor reading comprehension skills.

Yeah, mmhmm, I totally respect many of your ill-researched and ill-informed North American folklore based opinions about child rearing and weaning.

And, I really truly think that Alanis was dogging on formula-feeding mothers and mothers who couldn’t nurse, just by the very act of making a joke and daring to say she nurses past infancy and thinks that’s BEST! FORGET all of the health organizations that completely agree with her, she’s saying this to tout herself as so much better than everyone else, and add to that – she is totally personally attacking YOU and ANY of your choices that differ from hers! Because, we all know, any mother who brags like this about nursing past infancy as recommend by health organizations is completely self-absorbed, pious, and judgmental.

*Since there seems to be a lot of trouble with reading comprehension here, I will give many of you the hint that my response has a fair bit of blatant sarcasm.

caitie on

I don’t think she’s saying that non BF’d kids are going to end up in therapy – I think she’s saying that not FORCING her kid to wean before he’s ready is what’s going to keep him from therapy. I really don’t think she’s being judgmental at all about whether you choose to nurse or not – she’s saying that she’s letting Ever wean on his own because forcing him to wean could set him up with anxiety problems later on.

Hea on

Kat – A three year old is NOT a baby. No matter what eyes you look at your child with, a three year old is not a baby.


Hey, Elaine! You sound like a pompous moron. Nobody cares about your blatant sarcasm or your comprehension editorial about this article. Please make note that your self-labeled wisdom is negligible.

Elle on

What effect does breastfeeding have on therapy? What a dumb thing to say. There are many children that were not breastfed that never went to therapy and that just seems like such a stupid thing to say.

jen on

@ Kat and Shawna….how dare you insist that people are lying about not being able to brestfeed. I did not get one drop of milk in..I have the medical report to prove it, so therefore yes my infant would have gone hungry! It happens! I wouldn’t of breastfed anyhow but thats besides the point. My son is now 12, a straight A student, and plays sports 5 days a week..oh and he has never been in therapy nor has my husband or I! You dont know a damn thing about our lives so stop acting like you do.

Diana on

UGH WHO CARES???! She wants to breastfeed GREAT! If she didn’t so what to. I am so tired of moms trying to divide eachother by making other moms feel bad for their choices. And implying that children are going to need therapy if they aren’t breastfeed??? Really???

MichaelaQ on

Ok, seriously TMI!! It just seems like nothing is private anymore! I understand that she is all for breastfeeding, but the part about her husband was way more than I needed to know! As for all these people talking about co-sleeping, I am not so sure it is as safe as they claim. My dd had horrible colic her first 4 months and would not sleep day or night. She averaged about 6 hours total a day of sleep. I was so desperate for her to sleep that I had her sleep with me on my chest. It was the only way I could get her to sleep. In my completely exhausted state, I woke up one morning to find that she had rolled off of me and onto the middle of the bed. She was completely covered up by the comforter, and I was laying partially on her. I was so exhausted that i never realized any of it until i woke up. It was a miracle that she did not suffocate. She went in her crib from that day on. I only told that to remind people that there are dangers with co-sleeping.

Carol on

Just to clear up one of the comments made about moms who can’t breastfeed are just making up excuses…….well, you may think breast is best, and maybe so, BUT…..when new mom has to take medications that will be passed on to baby through breast milk because of post pardum health issues, at what point is that safe for baby? IT’S NOT!! I was told it would not be in either of my son’s best interest to breastfeed due to the passing on of the medications, by my doctor and 2 specialists. Are my kids ANY different because they were bottle fed? Um…no. They are 2 very normal confident and independent kids, no therapy needed. And maybe if more people had more common sense, they wouldn’t need therapy as teenagers or adults…….just a thought.

EM81 on

There was a reality tv show on TLC recently about the results of attachment parenting… It was called Mommas Boys of the Bronx…..

Marky on

Talk about “dogging” on someone! The multiple remarks about how North Americans are the only people who think they can criticize others–boy! do I call BS on that one! Women from everywhere have criticized breast-feeding moms, AND bottle-feeding moms, on every thread that has anything to do with BF! Not so cool, ladies!

Speaking as a former Lactation Consultant, as well as a BF mom, I will say there ARE moms who can’t BF, Shawna. There are mothers who have had breast surgery because of cancer, and can’t; There are mothers who have MS and can’t; there are mothers who are on anti-psychotic drugs which allow them to be great moms but not to breast-feed; there are moms who are on certain anti-hypertensives, ant-inflammatiories, and other drugs for conditions you never thought of having. They will be (and are) great moms, but they can’t breast-feed. Get off your sanctimonious high-horse and stop being critical of those who can do a great job raising their child, except they can’t breast-feed and that’s just fine, their child will be okay! Adoptive moms generally can’t truly breast-feed; does that mean there should not be adoptions? I LOVED BF, and my children self-weaned by about 14 months. Our food supply was excellent, much grown in a pesticide-free garden, and I paid close attention to where the meat came from, as i do now.

Too much of what we do as moms is done for our own benefit and pleasure (I’m not talking about sexual pleasure–just about satisfying ourselves emotionally), then we jump all over other moms who choose differently. I stand by what I said in my earlier post, and what I am saying in this one, BUT, if YOU choose to co-sleep naked for 5 years plus, BF forever, and your child goes off to school with a diaper in their backpack, (and they can change it themselves), if you don’t give solids until they are a year old and when you do, you chew it up and spit it in their mouth because you can’t figure out how to use a blender or food-processor, even though all those WHO authorities you cite for BF until “Kindy” don’t recommend it because of disease and tooth decay, well then, help yourself! BUT don’t be hateful and cruel to the person who doesn’t or can’t, do the same. If you don’t give respect, you can’t expect to get it.

Barbara on

TMI, lady!

Laney on

Breasts were made for feeding, not for male pleasure. If anything the root of male attraction to them is because it was a signal of fertility. We’re too sexualized these days, if we think using what we were made to use is gross, perverse, or wrong.

I understand not everyone can BF, but when possible it’s been proven to be the best source of nutrients with the least extra stuff. And self weaning is not letting them go until college, it’s until they don’t need it to sooth anymore. Mine are all done once they quit napping, whatever age that may be. It’s no different than blankets, teddy bears, thumbs, and binkies.

Laura on

As a child psychologist specializing in anxiety I know of no link between breastfeeding (or not breastfeeding) and need for therapy. Based on a decade of clinical experience, however, several aspects of attachment parenting seem to correlate with increased separation anxiety, other forms of anxiety, and sleep problems with toddlers and grade-school children. How a child responds to prolonged co-sleeping etc depends very much on his/her temperment. A child predisposed to anxiety may have a lot of difficulty transitioning to independent habits later on.

Katie on

Very disappointing. She is a real wack-a-doo!

Holiday on

I find it amusing how worked up people get about breast feeding a toddler. You know what, Alanis doesnt give a damn if you think its wrong! Just like I could care less you all think its wrong, sick, disgusting etc that I still nurse my 24 month old daughter.

Elaine on


Stereotyping “AP” folks so strangely (admittedly a little funny, I can kinda picture someone going a wee bit overboard and doing some of those things. Diapers at 5 though sounds like a physical problem on the child’s part?) and saying WHO recommends practices that they don’t is just silly.

So, you’re really going to sit there and tell me that you, with all your apparent expertise being an EX-“lactation consultant”, know way better than all of the experts and researchers at WHO, UNICEF, AAFP, ANM, ABM, APA, ADA, IPA, ACOG, FIGO, and WHO (to name some).. who officially would all disagree strongly with you about what normal weaning ages “should” be.. especially since several of the organizations I just listed recommend nursing until — AT LEAST — 2 year olds, or many say –AT LEAST — 1, one clearly states – at least – 18 months, and all say “for as long as is mutually desired”, it doesn’t say “kids should only nurse til 16 months otherwise it is BAD FOR THEM/unhealthy/emotionally unhealthy” anywhere. At all. You’re saying you know way better than organizations that come to their positions based upon extensive research into the topic. Not to mention, you seem to know way better than anthropologists with doctorates like Katherine A. Dettwyler who’ve written entire books about how nursing way past infancy is a totally normal human act.

So, what research have you done that proves your stance? What organizations back you up? What organizations that have done a plethora of research into the topic, back you up and disagree with WHO, UNICEF, the AAFP (which is an AMERICAN entity.. so the “good food supply” hoopla doesn’t even apply), IPA, when they recommend nursing until AT LEAST 2 years old (or like IPA at least 18 months)? Where does any other health organization that list 1 or until mutually desired mean “14-16 months” when they say “as long as mutually desired” after the recommendation of a minimum of 1 year? And, where is your evidence that – 14-16 months is an ideal human weaning age acrossed cultures and nutrition levels?

If it’s an ideal for –YOU– or a woman exactly like you with the exact same kids, cool. But to claim it’s ideal for EVERYONE is just completely crackers.

About waking at night, has it ever occured to you that metabolisms, children’s development, the temperature, how much a child is sweating, bad dreams, a physically/mentally/emotionally hard day, how distracted a toddler was that day (perhaps too distracted to eat or drink enough), milestones, a darn dry mouth, growth spurts, teething, a headache, allergies, the need to urinate/poop, gas, level of need (re: some kids are high needs naturally), disability (perhaps not apparent til a child is older), general not feeling great, just plain temperament, etc, could all play a roll in a child waking up hungry, thirsty, or wanting mommy/daddy comfort or a diaper change or to use the restroom in the night??

Biologically speaking, some kids just aren’t wired to sleep through the night without incident as early as parents would like. Your kids “never woke up hungry” or slept through very well after “X” age, and because you and your kids are the base-line and the entire scope of normal in regards to metabolisms, parenting, temperaments, need, thirst, hunger, bladder/bowel ability, breastfeeding, etc. and there must be something terribly wrong with ANY child and/or their parents if they are different from how you/your kids were! Right?

Holiday on

Thank you Elaine! I have agree with everything you said and you said it so well too.

emilyc on

Yes, thank you Elaine! Finally a sound, educated sounding comment. I agree with you absolutely and am so disheartened by so many ignorant comments. ( and I don’t mean ignorant as an insult, just the literal meaning of ‘having no knowledge’) Raising baby’s used to be instinctual and people didn’t need to follow what some institution was telling them to do. They just followed baby’s cues and their own instincts. Now, however it seems as though we have lost those instincts and need to be re-educated. Please people, let’s get educated and base our opinions and actions on knowledge instead of ignorant judgement!

Jen on

What on earth does breastfeeding have to do with therapy later in life?! I was not breastfed, and that has had absolutely no impact on my loving and close relationship with my Mom. Honestly, does she think that because she breastfeeds him for a longer period of time, that this will make him a “better” child and “healthier” adult? Give me a break!

Wynnie on

I’m proud to have breastfed until I was 3 years old. I do remember it, and I most certainly do not have any issues because of it. I will nurse my child for that long or longer if I feel like it’s the right thing for both of us.

Most kids aren’t toilet trained until 3 years old or so, and having breastfeeding memories is no weirder than having memories of diaper changes. Seriously people.

Cassie on

Well, if breastfeeding until he’s 8 won’t cause him the need for therapy – his parents having sex in the same bed surely will…

sarasimon2012 on

” these women act like breastfeeding, co-sleeping and potty training are such new concepts and how they have tackled them all so expertly.” It’s not the women who practice attachment parenting that act like these are new concepts, in fact we are trying to make it clear that these concepts have been around for generations and span many cultures. Te media tries to make it out like these are new ideas and some form of extreme parenting, but for most of us it’s just what works best for our families. It has nothing to do with judging others for their parenting choices, or claiming that what we do is better. Each family needs to do what works for them. As far as weaning goes children will naturally wean when they are ready. It’s called full term breastfeeding and weaning generally happens between 2 and 4 years of age. This is completely normal for us as mammals…..more normal than drinking milk from another mammal just because you reach some magic age in my opinion. As for the comments about babies with teeth, my son has had teeth since 4 months of age and I was certainly not going to wean him that young!

Genevieve on

Maybe, just maybe, if people stopped prying into the lives of celebrities and buying “rags” and watching TMZ or listening to Perez Hilton, there wouldn’t be any TMI situations. But then again, wouldn’t our lives be ever so tedious without the lives of celebrities to live vicariously through.

If you don’t want to read about Alanis Morrissette, Mayim or Jamie extended nursing and attachment parenting, DON’T BUY THE MAGAZINE,DON’T READ THE STORY, DON’T CLICK ON THE LINK. The “public” is pushing this matter. We stop reading, they stop supplying. Get it?????

BTW Good job Alanis, from one AP mom to another. 🙂

Shannon on

In the health policy world, “for as long as is mutually desired” is code for “we need to say this so as not to enrage people who could bring us really bad publicity and/or mess with our funding.” It has NOTHING to do with science. If it did, ALL groups would have the exact same recs. Believe that.

Marky on

Elaine, I think maybe you didn’t exactly read my whole post. Perhaps you looked at a sentence or two, and off you went to answer me. I am correct in stating I was a lactation consultant who taught BF in hospitals, was with La Leche League in my city, and was a BF mom myself. I stopped teaching BF just a few years ago because I chose to work with an orphanage in Haiti.

My statement was CLEARLY stating that YOU could do whatever you chose as to when you weaned your child(ren), etc. What I ALSO said was that of all my children, none were still waking up to eat in the night at 17 months, and that I questioned whether the child was really hungry, as opposed to not being able to self-soothe. I also stated clearly that my children self-weaned by the time they were 16 mo. at the oldest. Some posters have said you should just insist and keep pushing the child to continue BF even if they want to wean, so my statement was that some mothers don’t accept their child’s signals and their desire to move on to a cup, because the mom doesn’t want to stop when the child does.

Let me make one thing clear; I had 45 children (bio, adopted, and foster, and NO, I am not kidding!) and NONE of them woke up in the night past 4 months of age. I didn’t say I had only 2 children, or little experience. What my tongue-in-cheek statement actually was saying was this: Make your own choice, and do as you please, but do NOT criticize others for choosing differently. What bothers me, and I did NOT do so myself if you re-read my post, is that too many people start hammering on other mothers for making choices different from their own, and I think that needs to stop because it causes pain and hard feelings between mothers. Stating your opinion should not include being rude, hateful, or making blanket statements that everyone can BF if the would just try. Some people can’t for clear medical reasons, and that can be so painful to hear from another mother who may just not have thought before speaking.

Sandy on

Lessens the need for therapy later on??????? What a bunch of HOGWASH!

Sandy on

Any women who breastfeeds their child until age three has NOTHING else to do in their life, becaues that is just plain ridiculous. It is your job as a parent to move your child onto the next level. My daughter did not want to poop on the toilet- only in her diaper hiding somewhere else. It was my job to help get her potty trained- which I did successfully. Would it have been better for me to just say- oh well, she can just go on pooping behind the couch in her diaper? This whole attitude about letting the child call all the shots will for sure come back and bite these types in the a$$ that’s for sure.

ruby on

I breastfed for over 3 years … and by that I mean, my mother nursed me for over 3 years. I think that’s excessive. We had control issues — she wanted to control every aspect of my life, even as an adult. And I knew nothing else, so I let her. I’ve had tons of therapy and still need meds for anxiety. So…I call BS.

Not to mention, Alanis, your entire interview is TMI! Gross!

Delilah on

I think you’re decisions are just that, YOUR decisions. But jeez. Keep the personal details to yourself.

By the by I was in the store with my 4 year old the other days and that Time cover was situated right at his eye level. He looked at it and looked up at me “What’s that kid doing Mommy”

“He’s breastfeeding”


I shrugged “Because his Mommy wants to I guess. You were breastfed when you were a baby”

He scrunched his face up “Cant he just drink from a cup like everyone else?”

meghan on

Somewhere, Ryan Reynolds is breathing a sigh of relief over the bullet he dodged.

SMiaVS on

TWO YEARS. The World Health Organization recommends AT LEAST two years. Why is this so hard for people to grasp? Breast feeding a 26 month-old is “disgusting?” Grow up. A kid’s not going to be messed up because (s)he’s still breast feeding at two. How much do you remember about being two? One of my closest friends was breast fed until age four, and the only reason she’s aware of that fact is because her mother told her. She has no recollection. Save the attacks for people breast feeding school-aged children, if you have to complain about it. Outside of the sexually oppressed “developed world” this is well within a normal range.

Elaine on


4 months.. Are you a Babywise follower?

Okay, I definitely read what you had written, and what I had a problem with was your first response. You: ” Most of these children are being pushed to BF after about 16 months, frankly; I think you are choosing to “miss the signals” that let you know little Tommy, Mistletoe, or Whatever are giving out that they are ready to go to the cup only (my kids used a small child’s cup, not a “sippy” cup which is a glorified bottle). What on earth makes you think a breast is the only acceptable way to “comfort” your child?”

Alright. You said you weren’t being judgmental at all, but those sound like pretty sweeping and judgmental statements to me.

I would say that women like myself are not pathologically pushing their children to nurse past a certain point. I would say that they are simply not pushing their children to wean. There’s a huge difference there.

It sounds to me, I could be wrong, but it sounds like you have never really looked into what mother-led weaning is. You said that your children self-weaned, but you also said they switched to a cup. That could be pretty well classic mother-led weaning. I have nothing against mother-led weaning at all, but I think you could possibly be a little confused about what constitutes what.

I could be completely wrong, but here is a common synopsis of someone who thinks their toddlers self-weaned that were really mother-led to do so. Perhaps you never nursed on demand, or only nursed on demand the first few months. This means, perhaps you limited or scheduled the nursing at some point, or perhaps you didn’t allow “comfort nursing” at all or past a certain age. Maybe you sleep trained early. Perhaps you limited the nursing to a few nursing sessions per day and encouraged more and more solids after a certain age. Perhaps you fed them solids and perhaps other liquids before nursing after 6-8 months, which would greatly reduce how much they would want to nurse since you’re filling them with solids. When you did allow them to nurse, perhaps you limited how long they could. Perhaps you gave them a great deal of cow’s milk and solids prior to any nursing sessions that you allowed prior or at age 1. Perhaps you saw them not very willing to nurse after all of that food and cow’s milk, so just stopped offering for this or that nursing session which they did not seem to protest. Finally, after you’d eliminated all but 1 or 2 nursing sessions, you figured it was a sign that they were ready to wean anyway and just stopped letting them have that 1 or 2 last sessions over time, probably slowing down on it if they protested. That, if it follows the limited allowing of nursing in the first place, too much solids too soon, food prior to nursing prior to 1, pushing a lot of cow’s milk, and then eliminating those “last couple nursing sessions”, is classic mother-led weaning. If that’s how it went down, you did nothing wrong, and it it probably would’ve been done so slowly it looked like they gave up nursing pretty much on their own, and that’s how mother-led weaning should look.. But, it was definitely not self-weaning just because it wasn’t traumatic to you or your children.

I mean, I could be totally wrong, but ^ is pretty common.

And, it’s like the opposite of what I did. lol.

Me, I nursed on demand, never a schedule, never limited how long he could nurse at any point and welcomed nursing for comfort, I introduced solids when he sat up well on his own and wanted to put food in his mouth at 7 months, I always nursed before I offered solids at that point, I never did sleep-training, I co-slept. I never introduced cow’s milk, although I did introduce a cup at 1 year with water in it.

I finally started being less strict about nursing him prior to food when he was about 14 months and was eating a much more varied diet. Also around that time he started to nurse a lot less at night. He fully nightweaned on his own at 17 months, accept for me nursing him to sleep. If he woke up in the night, he didn’t want to nurse. I offered to nurse him still during the day whenever my breasts felt full. I let him nurse whenever he wanted until he became much more verbal at 18 months old, which is when I started to say things like “After lunch” “after dinner” “when I can find somewhere to sit down”. Around 2 years old he decreased how long his nursing sessions were from about 8 minutes each to about half that amount of time and started to nurse for only a couple of minutes at bed-time, then just wanted to cuddle the rest of the way to sleep. I continued offering to nurse during the day until he stopped accepting at almost 2 1/2, so then I stopped offering.

Around that time he started to nurse even less frequently and for probably only a couple of minutes each nursing session. Finally, at a few months to three, he cut most of his own nursing sessions out and would only nurse for about 20 seconds about two-three times per day. At this same time he also stopped wanting to cuddle much or nurse at all around bed-time, so I thought we would work towards getting him in his own bed since I thought he might have been ready to work towards that. If he took issue, I’d have stopped. So, we started with our usual routine (bath, read books with daddy, then mommy comes in for good-night) and no nursing and then me just kissing him, tucking him in, saying I love him, goodnight, and turn off the light and shut the door. At first he wanted the bathroom light left on, but then about a week later he wanted that shut off too. Then about 2 weeks after his 3rd birthday I moved him to his bed. At first he wanted the hall light left on and the door open, but now at 3 yrs and 2 months he wants the light off and the door shut and a very brief goodnight.

Once or twice he has woken up before I do and crawled into bed in the morning.

He has had a totally normal development, potty-trained early for an American, been extremely healthy, is bright, is very social, is extremely confident, is sweet unless overtired, etc.

I do not see how a couple of nursing sessions per day for about 20 seconds per day are a problem, or hardly me “making him nurse” or “not letting go” or “not seeing signs”, since I haven’t even offered to nurse him in 8 months! He is weaning himself. I don’t need to wean him, he’s doing it just fine on his own. Soon he probably will space them out more, and then more, and then more, and then it’ll be a week then a month then.. it’ll be done.

About the “comfort” thing. When he was littler it’s true to a degree, anytime there was a problem he would want to nurse. But, it was never just nursing, there was always the loving words, the gentle pats, the kisses, the loving squeezes, loving look into his eyes.

Just because I didn’t switch to another mammal’s milk at 1, instead kept using human milk, and have used my breasts as an extension of myself like anything else a hug a kiss a loving word, in a way to comfort him.. doesn’t mean that he hasn’t learned independence from me, from the breast, and many other ways to be comforted, and to comfort himself. He’s moved himself away from “baby comfort” by far and large, on his own. I didn’t have to push it.

Again, I have nothing against mother-led weaning. However, I just didn’t want to go that route. I wanted to let him grow up and away from being a baby at his own rate and at his own pace.

I think you’d find that a lot or even most women who nurse beyond “X” age probably just didn’t encourage weaning… which isn’t to say past 18 months – 2 years that they necessarily discourage it. They just don’t encourage it. Make sense to you?

It’s a choice to continue, true, but I thought it was necessary to point out to you that many or most women are not pushing it on the children in some pathological way because they’ve swallowed the lemon koolaid AP parenting. I find it important to point out to you that, that is not what most of us are doing at all..and give you a time-line of how it plays out and it’s NOT me forcing it or “holding on too tight” as you seem to imply. And, I also should point out that it’s not just AP parents who nurse to 2 and beyond.. since I know of mothers from all walks of life and many very different ways of parenting who have nursed to 2 and beyond..

And, the people you saw who became pathological adults, perhaps they were co-dependent or there was abuse you didn’t see or abuse their parents didn’t even know about. Just about anything can be taken too far, though, true.

Also, I agree with you about making women feel bad for differing choices or because they couldn’t breastfeed, about that being mean. I think it’s mean, too.

Shauna on

Did Alanis write the article herself? NO, so don’t take the quotes to heart many times the person who writes the article rewords things and puts there out of context to stir up drama. Who cares if we keep hearing about people extended breastfeeding, if you don’t want to hear about it do read this article. There are many woman myself who love hearing about this because it encourages you to keep going with you have ignorant people who keep saying oh you should stop breastfeeding your child at 1 or look at your like you are crazy for nursing a toddler.

meghan on

Elaine, stop writing novels. Or start your own blog and go away.

Elaine on

Hello Meghan. You are too nice! You have made such a well thought-out and intellectual responses to this article and the comments, that I truly think everyone should stand up and applaud you for your lovely and kind way with words. Bravo! 🙂

Merry on

way to go Alanis! I’m still breastfeeding my almost 20 month old. I also want him to decide when it is time for him to wean. There is nothing wrong with this. the bond that breastfeeding creates between mother and child is amazing! I would much rather read an article like this, than anything that has to do with Kardashians or Real Housewives! (that’s why this is news-worthy!). I’m very glad that more celebrities are speaking out about how great breastfeeding really is! Maybe we can get more mothers to breastfeed their children. Breast is best!

k1029 on

To each their own I suppose. But is a little unfair ro have a self righteous attitude that your way is the right way because you choose to use attachment parenting method. If you do not want others to judge your parenting style than don’t judge other’s. I personaly do not agree or practice “attachment parenting”. Suprisingly I don’t use any “techniques” I use common sense! I observe, listen and learn something new everyday and my approach is with the utmost love and understanding of all our families mutual needs. There is no pressure relying more on intuition, If I let my 3 year old make all of there own decisions at their own discretion she would still be in a diaper, probably on a bottle or pacifier, she would eat ice cream, and jump on her trampoline in her pj’s all day. I think the pressure parents are feeling to follow “a method” is enough stress on it’s own. Relax and enjoy your children, do what feels right in the best interest of your children. What I see a lot is mom’s doing this kind of thing for their best interest, their social status, outside pressure and their own insecurities and inability to let go. The one’s with the attachment issues are often the mom’s.

k1029 on

I should add, that I firmly believe that breast feeding is a wonderful gift to give your children. I thoroughly enjoyed breastfeeding and I highly recomend it.

Anonymous on

Love you Alanis M, but didn’t need a mental picture to accompany robust and virile..and the co-sleeping arrangement. Maybe something you tell a pal, perhaps not the ‘news’. Choices, choices!

Stacey on

I can see why there are SO many messed up kids and adults – this breasfeeding kids who are plainly old enough to use a cup and letting children sleep in the same bed with you is making a bunch of wimpy and whiny kids who are going to be very demanding on you and everyone else. Have your children but stop stiffing and smothering!

Kat on

Way too much judgement here. If you breastfeed, great. If you bottle feed, great. Whatever works, in my opinion. The therapy quip is total bull.

Tammy on

Okay…so I will now add Alanis Morissette to the LONG list of BF Mom’s who have made me feel guilty that I did not BF my 4 children. Oh yeah…did I mention that I HAVE A CHRONIC ILLNESS that DID NOT allow me to BF my 4 children? And before you BF-ing Mom’s slam me and tell me that there is always a way…NO THERE IS NOT!!! So, for all you Mom’s who were unable to BF, FOR ANY REASON, please…do not let this woman or any other woman make you feel guilty. We, at least I, feel guilty enough already. And equating not BF-ing to needing therapy…uh…HUH???? Thanks, I’ll add THAT to the list too. Sheesh…some people.

Anonymous on

The only child who will need therapy here is the one who is sucking on mommies left boob while his ‘robust’ and ‘verile ‘dad sucks on her right!! SERIOUSLY….Give the kid a cup and put him in his own bed!

Beth on

I was formula fed and turned out fine. My son is 11 months old and we nurse and use formula. Not that it is any one’s business. This breastfeeding/formula feeding war needs to stop.

Linda on

I agree that breastfeeding should be one’s preference and a personal decision and probably should not be something you brag about so to speak, and I do not agree with Alanis’s “therapy” comment. However, I am glad people are talking about it more and glad Alanis is speaking up because 6 years ago when I was nursing my son, I had the complete opposite experience. I received so much negative feedback from people, who spoke about my nursing as if I was abusing my child. I would pump at work and walk out with my little freezer bag to put in the fridge and literally people would make faces and say,”this is gross.” To each his own IS right. I experience people putting their 2 cents in on something that was none of their business, and I am glad more and more people are breastfeeding now.

whatever on

Argh i’m so sick of this topic. Why can’t people just do what they want and stop crapping on about it. Alanis breastfeed until he’s a father for all I care and then breastfeed your grandchild while you’re at it but Therapy….really? While we are telling each other what makes a good parent let me tell you my unwanted opinion. Are you going to let him crap in his pants until he’s 10 because that’s what he wants to do. NO you teach him to use the toilet because that’s what parents do, teach them to advance in life. That’ll be the next cool parenting strategy, not “forcing” your child to use the toilet. Why shouldn’t they be able to wear diapers until they’re 42 if that’s what they want, they might need therapy if you force them. Letting kids do what they want when they want is no good for anyone.

whatever on

And before some people reply saying that they want to wean but they can’t I totally get it but this whole let the kid do what it wants does my head in


It’s her baby and her business as to how long she wants to breastfeed. But she needs to shut her trap and keep her personal choices to herself. I am pretty sure breastfeeding is not the one and only way to provide stability, comfort, and love to a child and to make sure they have the best start in life.

I am so tired of this Mom and Mom one-upmanship BS that just keeps getting fueled by celebrities. Last time I checked, their names did not end with the acronym M.D.

skyangl55 on

It’s really to each their own but you really have to give some serious thought about breast feeding when the babies start teething or get their first teeth in,all I can say is OUCH!!! My daughter bit and I had an infection not from the bite but never the less, it was painful and uncomfortable for both of us.

Jackie on

TMI…good for you honey…and no shade but this is the first child…this is trial and error time…Its funny how strongly opinionated folks can be when they are doing something for the first time…

Julia on

“New age” parents crack me up. So now she’s so evolved because her kid is sleeping in her bed? I’ll bet she’ll be the type of parent to let Ever’s girlfriends (or boyfriends, whichever it ends up being) stay the night while they’re in high school. Oh how evolved you are, Alanis. There’s something to be said for teaching your children independence and self reliance, which is sorely absent from these past two generations.

Dana on

I guess my two boys are going to need lots of therapy!! I couldn’t breastfeed either of them! All of these breastfeeding weirdos are getting on my nerves!

NeuroMom on

Every parent can choose whatever method you please. No parenting method is perfect nor can it guarantee that you will not need therapy.

I am a mother of 4 and a neuroscientist. What I believe is what is right for your family dynamics. If you can breastfeed for a long time without affecting your family dynamics, this includes your husband. Than go for it. If you can’t for some reason breastfeed because it affected your family dynamics too much, i.e. a stressed sleep deprived mommy is not a good thing, than good for you.

My only beef with a lot of today’s parenting is that it is child centered. Last time I checked they’re not capable of making logical decisions for themselves. That what parents are for they are responsilbe to be their frontal lobes for them. For example, when my twin boys start getting irritated I help them label what they are feeling like you are tired maybe you should go to sleep. I’m not a stay on strict schedule parenting either because life happens and I think its important to teach your child to be flexible.

In the end its about balance in the family. In the end all kids need is a stable predictable environment. Its not about the breastfeeding, sure it can help. But so can a loving enriched environment. A stressed child will not learn as much, will be irritated, and have issues later on. Breastfeeding is just one of the many things you can do to help you child be in a safe stable loving predictable environment.

BTW the zealous proBF should stop because there are way too many women out there who for some reason can’t and they shouldnt be criticized or thought less because they didn’t BF.

I have this belief, I will not be a perfect parent so I will not stress out about being a perfect parent. I will be the best parent I can be and I will teach my child to be forgiving so that they can one day forgive my mistakes.

Mary on

I’ve read a lot of these comments and what it boils down to is, as breastfeeders, we are proud of our sacrifice and doing something positive for our children. those who can’t (or won’t) are nail spitting jealous and have to condemn us to make them feel better.

Marie on

It´s amazing that she decided to breast feed her baby until he wants to stop,there´s nothing wrong about it,it provides self esteem to the baby,kids grow up with less possibilities of catching a flu and stomach disorders.good for her and her baby.

Katherine on

Live and let live, that’s what I say. I am not an attachment parent, but for those who are, wonderful. That style of parenting is just not for me, but does it make APs wrong? Heavens no. We, as mothers, are all different; as are our children. What works for one doesn’t necessarily have to work for another. It doesn’t mean I’m right and you’re wrong or that one is a better mother. I saw some comments about BFing a 4 and a half year old…my son is 4 and a half and I could not imagine still BFing him, but that doesn’t make either of us wrong or bad mothers. Sadly, it is coming to the point where parenting is like politics or religion and cant be discussed without harsh judgment or criticism, and as a woman and a mother, that upsets me. We are mocking and criticizing one another when we should be helping and supporting. Cosleeping, breastfeeding, formula feeding, whatever…as long as our children are loved and being nutured and taught in a stable, safe environment who cares? I am sick of the media dictating to us what is best. Only you and your child knows what works best. So, in closing, every side, regardless of parenting style, needs to quit trying to shove their methods down everyone’s throats. All of us need to learn to support, quit judging, and simply let it be.

Niecy on

I wanted to breastfeed my child until he was 2 years old simply for the health benefits. Of course he still would eat regular food the nursing would be a supplement. But at around age one my son decided the world was a more interesting place than my lap so he quit except for first thing in the morning and last thing before bed for a few more weeks. Really, if it is the heath benefits you are looking for than why not pump and breastfeed from a bottle? They get the exact same nutrition and you and your child don’t have to worry about any stigmas. If it is for bonding, there are many ways to bond and breastfeeding isn’t something an older child needs. As for co-sleeping, I have a friend who did that and accidentally killed her child. It happens a lot more than people think and is NOT recommended by any reputable health organizations for that reason the risk outweighs any potential benefits. Have them nearby in a crib or bassinette (even if the bassinette is in the same bed, you would presumably wake up when you hit a hard box like structure in your bed as opposed to a soft warm child laying next to you). Yes I know it doesn’t happen every time to every baby and the point is to have that skin on skin contact but why would you even risk it if you want what’s best for your child?

JF on

Practicing skin on skin contact????? Why can’t she just say all three of us are sleeping in the same bed???? This is such mumbo jumbo crap; she can do what she wants with her baby, who cares? Just stop coming up with these “new age” names for things people have been doing since time and millenium. And while we’re at it, I don’t understand why this is newsworthy either.

Amber on

1) If you think breastfeeding is gross, something is wrong with you. You are most likely a pervert, yourself. Look in the mirror. You are the abnormal one. It is natural, wonderful and a gift from God. 2) Stop hating because you didn’t breastfeed. Stop putting people down because of your own choices and if you were unable to breastfeed, then you shouldn’t feel guilty. End of discussion.

Beck on

TRead it! The attachment parenting will help the child. The therapy was a stab at humor people. No where in there did I see a judgement about non-breastfeeding mothers. Not even inferred. Jeez people she’s giving an interview not condemning anyone. Get over yourselves. BTW this was in People not USA today. It was a celebrity interview not a “news” report. Why did you read it? Based on the title you should’ve had an idea what it was and not read it if you were looking for news.

Lyn Bourgeois on

I nursed my son until he weans. About 21/2 to 3 years. I never thought not to do it.

faux femme ballon on

Alguém sabe como diz Feliz Aniversario em elfico?