'I'll stop whenever he wants': Why Alanis Morissette is prepared to breastfeed her son until he's five or six years old
15:33 GMT, 31 May 2012
Alanis Morissette has revealed that she will continue to breastfeed her son until he tells her he wants to stop.
Speaking on Good Morning America, the singer, 37, tackled the debate on attachment parenting, addressing the effect of the recent Time magazine cover, and the stages of 'appropriate' childhood development.
When asked if she would breastfeed her 17-month-old son, Ever, even at five or six years old, she said yes, 'I'll stop whenever he wants'.
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Attachment parenting: Speaking on Good Morning America, Alanis Morisette addressed the effect of the Time Magazine cover, and the stages of appropriate childhood development
Mummy's little boy: The singer, who is married to rapper Mario Treadway (left) said she will continue to breastfeed her 17-month-old son, Ever, until he tells her he wants to stop
She continued: 'Some kids naturally stop at two, some stop at a couple of years later, it's up to the child. I will stop when he says it's time to stop.'
Ms Morissette's comments come on the
heels of a debate raised by Time magazine, which
recently featured a cover photo of Los Angeles mother Jamie Lynne Grumet standing
up and breastfeeding her 3-year-old son.
The cover separated mothers into two
camps – those who choose not to breastfeed after the American Academy of
Pediatrics' one-year recommendation, and those that regard extended
breastfeeding as essential in a child's development.
The singer, who is married to rapper Mario 'Souleye' Treadway
explained her argument in favour of extended breastfeeding.
Advocate:The 37-yaer-old has revealed that she will continue to breastfeed her son until he wants to stop
She said: 'For me, I protect his safety and his well-being and his
attachment. That stage of development is a very important stage.'
Breastfeeding debate: Alanis Morissette said she is in favour of attachment parenting, and issue raised by Time magazine's cover
The debate specifically surrounds attachment
parenting, a term coined by pediatrician Dr William Sears for a
parenting style that includes co-sleeping with a child, constant
skin-on-skin contact, and extended breastfeeding.
Working women and mothers worldwide have
accused the Time cover, with its cover-line, 'Are you mom enough' of
turning motherhood into a competition.
Blossom actress Mayim Bailik, 36, who still breastfeeds her three-year-old son, criticised the magazine's cover for encouraging mothers to unfairly judge one another.
Dr Bialik, who is an attachment
parenting advocate and also stars on the TV series The Big Bang Theory,
told Anderson Cooper last week that the controversial method is
misunderstood, which has lead to ill-informed competition between
In the U.S., women have said that it is nearly
impossible for working mums with no maternity leave to continue
breastfeeding to meet even the AAP's guideline.
Taking this into account, Ms
Morissette admitted that she is in a privileged position, having access
to certain resources not available to every American family, which
allows her to make such a decision.
She said: 'I'm in the privileged
position where I have the time, the money, and the availability [to
breastfeed]. That's not possible for many families.'
The singer loves to have Ever with
her as much as possible, so she built a make-shift studio in her house
to ensure she is always 'available'.
Joining the debate: The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik is an attachment parenting advocate, but believes the controversial method is extremely misunderstood, which has lead to ill-informed competition between mothers
She admitted: 'I like to have as much skin-on-skin contact as possible. I love snuggling and sleeping next to him.'
This element of attachment parenting, which involves parents co-sleeping with their children in order to ensure their safety throughout the night, has caused fear among some parents.
Some doctors believe the technique could
lead to sudden infant death syndrome, and many mothers are scared they
would 'roll over' their baby.
Attachment advocate: Blossom actress, and author, Dr Mayim Bailik supports extended breastfeeding
However Dr Bialik, who wrote the book titled Beyond The Sling: A Real-Life Guide To Raising Confident, Loving Children The Attachment Parenting Way, has argued that 'that doesn't happen.'
She said: 'The notion is sleeping near a child safely, whether that's sharing a bed surface safely or having them near you. It make sense, it facilitates breastfeeding.'
Reality star Kourtney Kardashian has also been vocal about co-sleeping with her two-year-old son, Mason.
She posted on her blog about the merits of co-sleeping, writing, 'I especially love how when you sleep with your baby, you breathe together on the same pattern. I've been able to bond with Mason so much more… We take all the pillows off the bed to make it as safe as we can.'
However Ms Kardashian told Parenting magazine: 'Mason did fall on the floor once by mistake. It was the worst moment… I've since lowered our mattress to the floor. I put pillows all around the floor, too.'
Ms Morissette also spoke directly about the Time magazine cover, touching on the fact that all families have different needs.
She said: 'I consider it appropriate, it is appropriate for that particular child and that particular family.'