Return to Transcripts main page
Sex & The Single Mom; I Breastfeed My Four-Year-Old
Aired September 19, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: She was on the cover of "TIME" magazine for breastfeeding a 3-year-old. A year later, she`s still making headlines for nursing her son, now 4. Is the media making too much of this or can this kind of parenting go too far?
Plus, dating after divorce. Heidi Klum is the latest celebrity to go public with her dating life.
But regular moms are going through the same thing. Nearly 10 million single moms are trying to wade back into the dating pool and finding it`s rough going.
Is dating harder for a single mom? Let`s find out.
(END VIDEO CLIP0
PINSKY: That`s right. I hope you have an opinion on this topic. The number is 855-373-735.
It is sex and dating and the single mom.
And, you know, we have people on our show regularly that ring in with varying sorts of expertise and some guests are single moms and single dads, too. We`ll find later on.
But, right now, I`ve got Ramani Durvasula. She`s a clinical psychologist. She is a single mom with two daughters.
And we were talking in the green room. This is an important topic for you. I met one of your daughters. So, this is something I know about you but people watching the show may not.
RAMANI DURVASULA, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely.
PINSKY: We appreciate you coming here and sharing that.
I`ve also got Tinzley Bradford. She is a single mom who blogs about dating and sex.
Tinzley, how are you? Thank you for joining us.
First of all, though, I`m going to go to Ramani, and she says -- you say dating is -- probably as a single mom, probably is the most difficult activity in your life.
DURVASULA: Yes, absolutely, because you are -- you are balancing the issue of your children, I mean -- because now, you have a whole -- it`s a whole different game. This isn`t just about going out and being carefree. You`re not carefree.
You`ve got to balance the issues of your child, of being a mother, of balancing a divorce and usually the hurts that came after the divorce.
So, it`s a whole different landscape. You`re bringing a heck of a lot more luggage into this.
PINSKY: I want to be sure I get this. So, you`re not just bringing your luggage, you`re bringing your kids` luggage with you.
DURVASULA: And your kids.
PINSKY: And, Tinzley, I`m going to ask you the same question. Is it about the kids? Is that the priority? And is that what makes dating as a single mom so difficult?
TINZLEY BRADFORD, SINGLE MOM RAISING TEEN DAUGHTER: Absolutely, Drew. I witnessed that myself and I do agree on that. I think the fact that it is a priority and the fear in some people`s mind the guy you may be dating of not getting that attention that people want especially in the beginning phase of the relationship. The moment you start -- well, I have to leave early because I got to pick up my child. I have to do this in regards to my child. It kind of makes some people go, you know, I`m not sure I want to move forward with this because of that.
PINSKY: Because I`m not number one.
DURVASULA: You`re not number one. It`s a bit of a buzz kill if you`re kissing a boy in the bar and you got to run home to your child.
PINSKY: Let`s go to calls. Judith in Pennsylvania -- Judith.
JUDITH, CALLER FROM PENNYSLVANIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hey, Judith.
JUDITH: Number one, I am a clinical -- will be a clinical psychologist. I`m a fourth year doctoral student.
JUDITH: Thank you. You`re one of my role models.
PINSKY: Goodness sakes. I`m an internist, addictionologist. So, Ramani is you want to be your role models. But go right ahead.
JUDITH: Yes. But, anyway, most men run the other way when they find out what I do.
DURVASULA: Yes, I`ll drink to that. Absolutely.
PINSKY: And you`re a mom?
JUDITH: I have two boys. One of whom I was told I should warehouse him. Fortunately, I didn`t believe the psychiatrist and psychologist. He`s now an honor student. He`s working on his MBA. My other son is a cancer survivor.
PINSKY: Oh my goodness!
JUDITH: What I find with the families I work with, so many mothers have no priorities when it comes to their children and they put their needs before their children`s needs. I don`t have to tell you about the abuse rate with children of people who are known to them.
PINSKY: OK. Let`s spell that out for people, when these moms that are not putting their kids ahead of the dating, they`re prone to bring men in that (INAUDIBLE) or at least abuse.
DURVASULA: Yes, they do. I mean, Judith raises an excellent point. Statistics are clear that a lot of that abuse is perpetrated by a man brought into a home against a girl or a boy in that home. It is -- I mean, for all single moms out there, your priority, your compass has to be your child and their safety. And if you have a moment of doubt or someone is raising doubt, it`s time to cut it.
PINSKY: Let`s go to Jodie in Florida -- Jodie.
JODIE, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Jodie.
JODIE: My daughter is 16. And I`m separated for three years. Not only does she get upset if I don`t wear my wedding and engagement rings, but she will jeopardize any chance I have to go out. If I am out, she will sick, the rebellion and not wanting to go out.
I know she`s my priority. Right now, I find that I`m totally unable to go out.
PINSKY: Jodie, it sounds like your daughter is having a very difficult time with this divorce and harbor a fantasy that you guys are going to get back together because she is very protective of you cheating on the dad which you`ve been separated for three years.
So, I say, one thing you said, Ramani, is that where the family and child is in the process of getting through the divorce is as important as anything else.
DURVASULA: Absolutely, because I think kids get confused. And I think she raises an excellent point because sometimes children do really maintain the fantasy that mom and dad are going to get together.
It speaks to a conversation that you may need to have with your children that this is not going to happen. When they see mom going out on a date, it can be more confusing. So, it`s important to have a series of conversations and also make sure that if you can, if it`s necessary, you bring your ex into that conversation so all of you are on the same page. In your own fashion, you`re still a family.
PINSKY: Tinzley, you have a 19 year old. Has your daughter ever sabotaged your dating?
BRADFORD: When she was younger. Thank you for having me on here. I love you.
PINSKY: Very sweet. Thank you.
BRADFORD: My daughter, yes. When she was younger I can remember times that you can kind of see the nudge, uncertainty of where mommy was going because how dare mommy go anywhere without taking me because I`m her child. Where is she going and is this strange person she`s going with?
I think that there are times when she might have acted out and, look at right here, you know, acted out, you know, did things just for attention. Not anything major but probably hoping that, you know, mom would change her mind. That`s when she was younger.
As she got older, she was rooting for me. I want my mama to go on a date and meet somebody. So, I think the younger they are, sometimes you can see that but when they get older and are dating themselves, they find themselves understanding more about the dating world.
PINSKY: Tinzley, I want to ask you something after the break about hookups. You told our producers that hooking up once in a while, no big deal. You`re still doing that. But you are much more serious about the kids and their relationship than the guys that you have a relationship with. So, we`re going to talk about hooking up as a single mom, too.
Next, also, a single dad who says men have it just as hard as women. I think that`s probably right. I ask guys if you agree. Call 855-DRDREW5.
And later, we got a woman who made headlines for breastfeeding her 3 year old. The picture showed up on a cover of a magazine. She`ll be here with us. She`s going to be on another magazine cover. You don`t want to miss it.
PINSKY: We are back with Tinzley Bradford and psychologist Ramani Durvasula, both single moms and dating.
Joining us is another regular contributor to our program, attorney Brian Claypool, who`s here tonight not as a contributor, but as a single dad.
So, Brian, what are the struggles of being a single dad out in the dating world?
BRIAN CLAYPOOL, ATTORNEY AND SINGLE DAD: Well, Drew, you as a man, I work hard to provide for my daughter. So, I have this drive in me, you know, pride that I want to be able to provide for my daughter. So I run a business. I run a law firm, and then I`m taking care of my daughter.
CLAYPOOL: And then there`s no time left.
CLAYPOOL: Exactly. Time is an issue for me. And then a little bit of time I do have, I then have to weigh it. I wonder is it really worth it?
I`ll be honest with you, I actually go through this thought process -- is the price that I`m going to pay by spending this evening with a woman who I may never develop a relationship with worth the time I could spend with my daughter at home that evening?
I`ll be honest you, it`s got me down lately. It really has been. I really don`t know whether it is worth me putting in this immense effort to try to get a woman to also understand that she may not be number one. My little girl is always going to be number one.
A lot of women I think out there, Dr. Drew, they want to be number one and I`m not sure they can grasp that they won`t be.
PINSKY: And if they`re not single moms and they haven`t had children, they may want to have children, too. I don`t know if you`re going down that path?
CLAYPOOL: Well, I would like to have another child, God willing, yes.
PINSKY: Do you ever become concerned you`ll just be alone?
CLAYPOOL: Absolutely. In the last couple weeks actually too I have woken up a couple times in the morning and said to myself, even with my little girl at night, I said, you know, this might be it. I never thought I would be in this position where I would say it may just be you and I and that`s OK. And that`s something that I`m really trying to wrap my arms around right now.
PINSKY: If you date a woman who has a child, will that work out better for you because she understands that your daughter comes first?
CLAYPOOL: I think the benefit of dating a woman with a child is she understands the responsibility that you need to give to your daughter and she can understand that if you are giving attention to your daughter, that doesn`t necessarily mean that she`s not number one. Hello. That`s not what it means.
PINSKY: I feel like you`ve had that conversation before.
Randi in New York -- Randi.
RANDI, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: What`s up?
RANDI: I want to say that I`m a single mother and a lot of my friends are single moms. I want to put it out there that just because you`re a single mom and you`re dating a lot of different people, that`s a good thing, it doesn`t mean you should bring these men home to see your children because it confuses the child.
So, in my opinion, go out there. Have a great time. Do what you got to do. I do it.
But unless I`m serious with somebody, Dr. Drew, I don`t bring these men home to my house to meet my children.
PINSKY: Totally get it, Randi. That`s what I was bringing up with Tinzley before the break.
You want to ring in on that, Tinzley?
BRADFORD: Oh, yes. That is a number one rule that I`ve been strict on the entire time that I`ve been dating as a single mom. I don`t think you should really bringing men home early in a relationship especially to meet your child. There`s times that the child is asleep and the mood is right and you think you can get away with having company because mama want to have fun too.
But as far as opening up the door, introducing this man that you just went on a date with two weeks ago and probably just met to your child is not appropriate. I had some really, really bad moments. I don`t think that`s appropriate. You have to wait until it`s at that point of possible marriage or long-term relationships or you`re discussing commitment before you think about bringing a man home to meet your child.
PINSKY: I`m beginning to think the single dad has it worse. I heard about Ramani making out with a guy at the bar, having to rush home and take care of a kid, Tinzley with a booty call -- Brian is along the whole time, I think it`s worse to be a single dad. I`m sorry. I just think so far, if I`m weighing the scales the justice, Brian, you got it worse. I`m just saying.
CLAYPOOL: I haven`t even made it to the bar to make out with Ramani. I`m staying in.
PINSKY: Let`s go to Jerry in Nebraska.
Jerry, what do you got?
JERRY, CALLER FROM NEBRASKA: Yes. I`ve been a single dad for going on four years. I`ve dated four girls since then. I`ve had a hard time because of my past issues from my really bad divorce and what I went through when I was married.
PINSKY: Jerry, I`m going to stop you, Jerry, because I really think that`s an important point.
And Ramani and I were talking a little bit about that off the air, which is dealing with the brutality of a breakup. Women and men deal with that in different ways. How have you had to deal with it, Jerry?
JERRY: It`s been hard. I mean, I think about the issues and my kids and I think about what they`ve gone through with what they watched me and their mom do to each other and I really want to find somebody to where my kids are young enough where they can learn and see what a real relationship between two people that care about each other is supposed to be like.
CLAYPOOL: Jerry --
JERRY: I have issues from my past that keep coming back to haunt me.
CLAYPOOL: Jerry, if it helps, if it`s any consolation. I have my daughter two weeks straight and then she goes with her mom. I can`t tell you every time there`s a transition day with my daughter and we`re crying in the car together as I drop her back off at her school, I start thinking to myself, gosh, did I create this situation? Am I responsible for creating a broken home?
I start personalizing the entire situation. I think we as men, we have to realize it`s not our fault. You`re in a situation that you think it`s a broken home.
It`s not your fault. It`s not my fault. We have to move on. We have to give the best we can to our kids and try to build a healthy relationship with somebody else.
JERRY: But there`s one thing you got to think about too with issues you had with your kids and your ex. Do you really want to bring all that baggage on in a new relationship?
PINSKY: Jerry, hold on now. And that`s exactly -- Ramani and I were talking about this. And men and women have slightly different way of dealing with that. You are out there thinking about at least contemplating finding that person, getting that relationship going again. Women tend to pull inside. And they what?
DURVASULA: I`ve seen a lot of women pull back or definitely not feel like they ever throw their hat into a ring with a committed relationship.
PINSKY: Do statistics bear that out?
DURVASULA: Absolutely. And even anecdotally, what I`m saying is I`m amazed that the number of single moms not throwing themselves back into second committed relationships or marriages.
PINSKY: Are we recommending that single moms get out there?
DURVASULA: I think single moms should get out there if that`s what they want to do, if that`s a comfortable space for them.
PINSKY: But I`m saying -- I would think if somebody had a brutal breakup to spend your life alone because of that is a mistake.
DURVASULA: No, absolutely. Do not carry that as a legacy of I`m never going to trust again. You can trust again. You`ll find that again. But it takes time and it takes work.
PINSKY: Another quick break. When we come back, single parents, give us a call with your dating issues. What has it been like to date as a single mom or single dad?
And then later on, a mom -- another mom, but this mom made headlines for breastfeeding a 3-year-old and having a picture on a magazine cover. She will be with us. Call us, 855-DRDREW5.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRADFORD: Even though I`m a single mom, it doesn`t mean I`m dead. I still want to have fun. Put on that cat suit and make it work. And if you don`t want to put on a cat suit, put on something sexy and turn him on. Trust me, he will appreciate it and you will too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: OK, mom. That was single mom and video blogger Tinzley encouraging moms everywhere to bring sexy back. I was giving her grief about booty calls, right, Tinzley?
BRADFORD: Yes. I know how people (INAUDIBLE). But I think in today`s world as long as you practice safe sex, everybody gets to that point where they just want to let their hair down, relax. Leave all that behind and just enjoy the moment.
I think that so many people get caught up and not try -- not everyone believes this. If you are spiritually inclined and not what you want to do, that`s understandable. But if you`re an adult person and you want to make that call and get that relief, it`s fine. I`m at a point in my life, where I`m not doing booty calls. But I`m just saying I think it`s OK for women to do that. I have no problem with it. I don`t see a problem.
PINSKY: And if people need advice in how to break it out, Tinzley`s video blogs can do just that.
Do we have a call up next here? I believe -- what`s the name of the caller? Gail in California -- Gail, what do we got?
GAIL, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi. My children are all grown now. But I deeply regret subjecting them to the men I dated. They have all told me that they resented it tremendously. I don`t think you should introduce them to anyone unless you`re really serious about --
PINSKY: Now, Gail, it sounds like this is still disturbing to you. How old are your kids now?
GAIL: My youngest is 37.
PINSKY: How old?
GAIL: My youngest is 37. They`re all grown. But I just regret it. I dated a lot.
PINSKY: And you still harbor guilt and anxiety years later.
DURVASULA: I think that`s very common. I mean, the maternal guilt is probably the strongest guilt we observe. I think moms can really carry that. That balance of wanting companionship but wanting to be a mom. I think Gail`s experience isn`t unique. I think years later you take stock.
Don`t be so hard on yourself, Gail.
PINSKY: Yes. I`m wondering, probably 20 years ago or so, Gail, was it?
PINSKY: I`m not sure people had conversations about the impact of this then. There wasn`t as much awareness certainly, would you say?
GAIL: I was purely on my own.
PINSKY: There wasn`t this kind of a conversation where people are aware their choices really had a profound effect on their kids.
GAIL: Never, never.
GAIL: It`s my children telling me now as adults.
PINSKY: Yes. Thanks, Gail, for the comment.
Harry in Iowa -- Harry.
HARRY, CALLER FROM IOWA: Yes, hi. I just want to say that I was on both sides of this. I dated a single woman and I`m a single dad. Daughter tried to sabotage it. Ex-husband is on the way.
I asked her to marry me twice and twice she said yes and then twice she said no. So, I mean, it`s kind of how it happens. But it was a struggle. Hope things work out better.
PINSKY: Harry, he ran the entire spectrum of issues we`re talking about which include one we haven`t gotten to yet, is what if one of the ex`s of the children has an issue with your dating, your ex-wife or ex- fiance or ex-husband can get in the way of this too. Can`t they?
CLAYPOOL: Right. And that can actually impact whether -- like for example for me whether a woman even wants to date me.
PINSKY: Because the other person can be such a problem.
PINSKY: Is that something you worry about?
DURVASULA: For women, in general?
DURVASULA: Personally? No, not at all.
PINSKY: You have good relationship.
Tinzley, has that been OK with you, or have you had to worry about that as well?
BRADFORD: I`m pretty good with my situation because my daughter had somewhat of an unavailable, invisible dad if you know what I mean.
PINSKY: Yes, listen, I want to point out about invisible dads, if you don`t want your daughters to do the same thing and go after invisible men, don`t be an invisible dad. It`s uncanny how much our children and particularly the daughters act out the parental relationship in their adult life if they had an abusive, unavailable, absent dad -- they only go for the bad boys unavailable and abandoning. That gets wired into us. You dads need to be aware of that.
If you are single, you got to be on it. Did you just naturally know to be this present as a dad or are you aware of the impact of this relationship?
CLAYPOOL: Yes, Drew, my dad wasn`t there for me. So, I vowed whenever I have a child, I will 100 percent be there for her. So I fight for my daughter. I enjoy every second I`m with my little girl.
PINSKY: You guys, thank you for this conversation. I appreciate it, Ramani, Brian.
Tinzley, thank you for joining us, my dear.
Next up, the woman who made national headlines for breastfeeding a 3- year-old or 3-year-old son. She`s back in the spotlight again and she will join us when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): She was on the cover of "TIME" magazine for breastfeeding a 3 year old. A year later, she`s still making headlines for nursing her son, now 4.
Is the media making too much of this or can this kind of parenting go too far?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: The woman on the cover of those magazines, Jamie Lynne Grumet is with us tonight, along with the Ginnie Ohm, editor of "Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine".
Jamie, it must have been intense to be in the middle of that media firestorm after being on the cover of the magazine. What motivated you to get in the middle of this again and go on another magazine?
JAMIE LYNNE GRUMET, ADVOCATES HEALTHY PARENTING CHOICES: We were selective on how we wanted to do it. We wanted to be able to explain our story to our community. So we ended up choosing a nonprofit magazine that really geared their audience -- it was more a holistic parenting magazine. So, that`s what we wanted to do, we wanted to tell our story just to this audience, and we`re kind of surprised by how much national attention this is getting again.
PINSKY: Well, why do you think it does get so much attention?
GRUMET: I think there`s a bigger issue here. It was polarizing was the main issue. The media generated mommy wars was the main problem. I think people really don`t understand breastfeeding past infancy and they are a little confused by it and uncomfortable with it.
PINSKY: What do you want people to know about it?
GRUMET: It`s normal. It`s really normal in other cultures. I was in Ethiopia two weeks ago and seeing women breastfeeding on the streets, breastfeeding their toddlers, breastfeeding their children of all ages. And, it was just a wonderful experience. We were working with, you know, children`s projects there and to know all of these children were breastfed up until even age seven or eight, it`s not uncommon.
PINSKY: Now, I`m looking at your picture on "Time" magazine. They just flashed it up here in the screen, and two things I`ve noticed -- I`ve heard. One is that, I think, this was sort of a candid shot. You didn`t expect this to be the shot that put on the cover? Is that accurate?
GRUMET: Yes. That was -- we knew going into it that they could use an outtake but were hoping they wouldn`t. We were being naive to think that they were going to use a more nurturing shot. And the (INAUDIBLE) and was beautiful. I heard that that was almost going to make the cover. I think that that image plus the tag line was the big issue, because it was very confrontational.
PINSKY: I`ve noticed that my producers use every chance they get to flash that picture up. So, it`s something about the picture, too. The people -- I mean, the picture itself is very provocative. How do you feel about that picture of you being up there?
GRUMET: I`m not offended by the picture. I just don`t -- I don`t think it`s the best representation especially because this is the first time some people were seeing breastfeeding past infancy and that was a very -- the shot was really disconnected. And my son`s arms are dropped because he was tired.
So, I don`t like the fact that we normally have our arms around each other and the photographer was lovely. He dropped his arms a couple times until we went to a different position and he realized he was tired.
PINSKY: All right.
GRUMET: I`m asked each time to put his arms around me.
PINSKY: All right. I have Jeanne be with you in a second. I`m going to take some calls. People have opinions about this. I want to hear them. Robert in California, you`ve got something to say?
ROBERT, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
ROBERT: The thing that we don`t understand about breastfeeding that people don`t recognize is that it`s beneficial for the health of the child and becoming smart as well, I mean, with good raising and everything. But I think the media gets titillated over this whole fiasco, but they forget that mother`s milk came long before Similac.
PINSKY: Let me go to Jeanne and let her be explicit about the health benefits, because I believe all the pediatric associations recommend breastfeeding up until age two. I think the issue here is beyond to and what the benefits are. It`s a little controversial, but go ahead, Jeanne.
JEANNE OHM, PATHWAYS TO FAMILY WELLNESS MAGAZINE: Hi, Dr. Drew. Great to be here. It is controversial. And, although the American Academy of Pediatrics talks to allow children to breastfeed until about two years, the World Health Organization says we really need to be doing that further. Four years is more applicable.
And there`s -- in our magazine, we have Kathryn Dettwyler (ph), and she talks about that really for humans, for human mammals, five, six years of age is appropriate. Biologically, physiologically, how it affects the child, the bonding and nurturing that they have with the mother. Sure the content of the milk, but it`s more than food, breastfeeding.
It`s an interaction. It`s a security that the child achieves that gives them strength to step forward and be stronger. The more of that loving strength they have at the beginning they can really step forward in life.
PINSKY: And I don`t think anyone disagrees with that. I mean, I think that`s absolutely -- it`s how long to maintain it, I think, the people have issues. I talked to a late adolescent male once who was breastfed until he was like six or something, and he was very disturbed by it. Do you think that`s because he lives in a culture where it`s not normative?
OHM: Yes. Absolutely. We don`t see that. It`s like births. We don`t see births. We don`t see women breastfeeding. So, it`s unusual. It`s odd. It`s out of the box. If we lived in other societies where we were experiencing this, this was a normal daily activity that everyone grew up with, yes, that would be quite easy.
PINSKY: Let`s talk to Cathy in Texas. I`m sorry to interrupt there - - Cathy.
CATHY, TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
CATHY: As a mother, I respect other mother`s choices, but once the child starts walking, talking, you know, has teeth, speaking in full sentences, they should be, you know, encouraged to grow and not to breastfeed. Breastfeeding a three to four-year-old or even a seven to eight-year-old to me is outrageous.
PINSKY: Jamie, how do you respond to that? Jamie.
CATHY: This for the kid is wrong.
GRUMET: Unfortunately, that`s our culture talking. I mean, that`s really -- that`s a common opinion here. And, it`s not true. I was breastfed until I was six years old. (INAUDIBLE). It was really -- I had a wonderful childhood, so I think it was really beneficial. I have wonderful memories of it.
I`m giving my children this. My sister wasn`t breastfed. She`s only breastfed for two weeks by my mother, and she saw how I was parented and wanted to be able to give her children that, too. So, all five of our children.
PINSKY: Why the difference? Why the difference between the two of you?
GRUMET: Well, my sister is 14 years older than me. And my mom had bad information and was pressured to wean. So, by the time I came around, she felt more confident in her choices to do what she felt was right for our family and for her children.
PINSKY: OK. Now, next stuff, I`ve got a mom who says was kicked out of her church for daring to breastfeed her child. This is another aspect of the story. We`re taking your calls still, 855-373-7395. Very interesting. Don`t go away.
PINSKY: Nirvana Jennette is a mom of four who says she was kicked out of church for breastfeeding her baby. Nirvana, tell us what happened.
NIRVANA JENNETTE, BREASTFEEDS HER THREE-YEAR-OLD SON: I was breastfeeding my baby. We are in a small area. And, I was asked to leave. When I tried to talk with the pastor -- mind you, this went over the span of about a year of trying to converse with him, tying to show them that scripture fully supports breastfeeding.
And, they wouldn`t listen, and then, we had a meeting with them, and my pastor compared me to a stripper. And, conversation was over after that.
PINSKY: Nirvana, I want to get that straight. I don`t understand. He accused you of wanting to be an exhibitionist or he said it -- I don`t - - what exactly did he say? That`s awful, by the way. I`m sorry.
JENNETTE: Thank you. Thank you. It was a hard time. It was just basically comparing the act of breastfeeding as a stripper would be like, you know, like you`re saying an exhibitionist. And, I wholeheartedly disagree. And I tried to -- before that, I had tried to say, you know, it was like, you know, Jesus was probably breastfed three to five years old.
And would anybody really go up to Mary and say something like that to her? So, we had -- after that conversation, it was just -- there was no point. I had tried numerous times to have conversations, and like I said, a highlight scriptures, go in depth, go into history, and it`s just -- nothing was open.
They weren`t listening. They didn`t even want to talk to me. In fact, I was ignored for a long time until I had to show up one day, and you know after -- (INAUDIBLE) anymore.
PINSKY: Your story is just so stunning. I`m just trying to imagine what it`d be like talking to the same gentleman that accused you of being like a stripper about anthropology of 2000 years with the human experience and trying to get them to be rationale. Jamie, I want to go to you. Are we just hung up on the breast? Is that what this is all about? Do we have a problem in America?
GRUMET: Yes. Definitely. I think it goes back to our parents and roots, and we`ve confused modesty, our cultural modesty with biblical modesty completely different than that and I don`t think a lot of people realize that. So, if we really look at the human body and really the breast in general, because it`s not -- it`s not a sex organ. It`s reproductive. This is what they`re for.
PINSKY: Oh, a bunch of men going to call in now. But anyway, let`s go to Barbara in California and keep this conversation going amongst women. Barbara, what do you got for us?
BARBARA, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. I`m a great grandmother who`s raised three generations of children and helped to raise some. And I believe breastfeeding is beautiful. I think that everyone should breastfeed their children when they can. But an infant is needing breastfeeding not a preschooler, not a child of three or four or five years old. That`s ridiculous.
When you think about it, the children around them are going to tease them. They`re going to be ridiculed. They`re supposed to be learning growing skills. They`re supposed to learn how to use a cup and a spoon and a fork. They`re not supposed to be at their mother`s breast at school age.
PINSKY: Yes, Barbara. You bring up an interesting point s that we do live in this culture, and there could be consequences for the kids. Nirvana, how late do you plan to breastfeed?
JENNETTE: After my third and my fourth, I`m going to be doing child- led weaning. I do a lot of research about it, reason being they have found like two or three types of stem cells in breast milk. And the World Health Organization, go back on that, they recommend a minimum of two years.
JENNETTE: So, if we, -- you know, children at a certain point, they`re not going to nurse forever. They physically lose the ability to latch on correctly and you can feel it and the child loses interest. That`s why it`s called weaning.
PINSKY: And I got to bring up here, too, because I`ve had patients over the years that have difficulty or can`t breastfeed a child for various reasons that women shouldn`t feel inadequate if they can`t. It doesn`t mean that your child is going to be impaired. We`re talking about what`s optimal here. There`s been some controversy thrown on this by this article and the magazine cover. Lee in Utah. Lee, what do you got?
LEE, UTAH: Hi. How are you?
LEE: I just wanted to say that I commend this mother and I respect her right to breastfeed as long as she wants to. I, myself, am a single mom who was not able to breastfeed. And, I have to say that I take offense to the idea that I`m not mom enough because I have a thriving, healthy intellectual daughter.
PINSKY: Listen, it`s funny you would call in. I didn`t know that was the content of your call, but I just made this comment that moms who have trouble -- and your reason for not breastfeeding is going to be something probably the most common today, which is you`re -- trying to make a living, right?
LEE: That`s part of it. Part of it was medical.
LEE: But also, there`s -- it`s almost like when -- there`s like this breastfeeding Nazis out there when you have a child.
PINSKY: Well, yes -- I`m going to go to Jeanne about that, because Jeanne I once just made a comment that it`s difficult to breastfeed for some women and (INAUDIBLE) attacked me for about 24 months. And listen, I`m a huge fan of breastfeeding. I -- minimum of two years. I agree with all you guys, but what about the people that get overzealous about this?
OHM: I think that people can get overzealous on either end. And that`s really not the issue. First off, it`s important to realize "Time" put that tag line there. That`s not Jamie`s perspective. That`s not most of our perspectives. There`s lots of choices that we can make, and the key is to become informed and make the choice that works for you as a mother.
What does your intuition tell you? What is best for you with your husband, with your children, what works best for your family? So, by bringing this out to the public, it`s giving people an option, wow! Anthropologist are saying, you can go four, five, six years until your molars come in, other mammals will still breastfeed, and that`s four or five.
And that`s, perhaps, the best for the child, but again moms, it`s about us and what works for our families. What are our conscious choices? But that`s the point. Make conscious choices. Let`s have the information so that we`re able to make those choices for ourselves. It`s not blame and guilt.
PINSKY: No, Jeanne, to that end, I want to keep this conversation going. I actually think you guys -- I hope you guys all three feel good about this conversation. You`re elevating. A lot of shaking of the head yes, because this is elevating a little bit. It`s easy to get salacious about this topic, but it is an important topic and one we want to continue.
But I also want to hear -- the callers have been great on this. Please stay with us on that.
But, quick sort of turn here for a second. I`ve got to do the HLN 2012 election coverage, "Our Country Votes."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Chicago`s teacher strike is resolved, but the question for both candidates is, what should a president do to support our teachers and schools? Got some Facebook responses.
Shojo on Facebook writes, "The strike is over, but the 80 percent of eighth graders that can`t read at an eighth grade level remain disappointed." I think there`s a lot packed into that little comment.
I think our presidents have been leading on this issue, but I think shojo, you`re saying, more. Fair enough.
PINSKY: All right. We`re back discussing the issue of breastfeeding beyond the two-year recommendation of the pediatric organizations. And, I mentioned repeatedly how brutal an environment Twitter can be, and of course, we`re getting some intense responses to this conversation.
Nirvana, I want to read you something from CAB (ph) and just get your response to it. It says breastfeeding a four-year-old is a form of sexual abuse. It is for the mother`s gratification thus perversion. How do you respond to that?
JENNETTE: That is very far from the truth. In fact, breastfeeding actually decreases sexual hormones. So, the whole mommy switch, and it really doesn`t anything to do about that. And it`s quite sad that in our culture, you know, we`re thinking that when moms, for example, like myself and there are a lot of closet nursers, and since I come out about this, I have been getting phone calls. I`ve been --
PINSKY: Wait, Nirvana, slow down a second. You mean, women feel ashamed of nursing. They have to hide it behind closed doors? That`s bizarre.
JENNETTE: Yes. And that`s what I didn`t understand either until my mommy bubble burst was, you know, women are ashamed to nurse in public even, you know, infants but once you get past like the little stage, they`re afraid to. I`m talking to moms that are like three, four, five years old, and it`s pretty common.
It`s gotten to the point that women are so ashamed to do it in general that they just don`t do it. And as a culture, we`re suffering for that. And additionally, the things like that happened to me, actually mine were some of the milder ones. I`ve heard a lot worse ones.
And it`s gotten so bad that best for babes with Michelle Hickman (ph) have even started -- they`re going to be launching it soon, toll free hotline for women to call in to get help, because we`re ashamed that much and that`s why I`m working so hard --
PINSKY: I don`t want to interrupt you. Is it men doing the shaming or women or both?
JENNETTE: Honestly, I`m finding it predominantly women.
PINSKY: OK. Interesting.
JENNETTE: I`m not sure exactly why.
PINSKY: We`re of time, so I want to get some calls in here. Jennifer in California. Jennifer, go right ahead.
JENNIFER, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
JENNIFER: With no respect for you, as far as -- there`s nothing wrong with America. There`s something wrong with these women. Give me a break. I`m a mother. I didn`t have to breastfeed. The woman breastfeeding in church, that`s ridiculous. What about the lady on the front cover of the magazine when her child gets older? I mean, it`s disgusting. Keep it to yourself. It`s personal.
Aren`t you going to do something better in your life like raise money for juvenile diabetes. That`s what my son has. You know, things like that. I mean, don`t you women have anything better to do in your life? I mean, it`s ridiculous. Look at you (ph).
PINSKY: There we go. But Nirvana, there is -- Nirvana, there is exactly what you were talking about that is shaming of you, right?
JENNETTE: Yes. You know, why don`t we go help with juvenile diabetes, well, that`s actually if you look into the research, that`s what we`re helping prevent.
JENNETTE: You know, it decreases leukemia, cancer, obesity, and as a turn, we`re helping our society and everybody else, you know, through health care, millions, millions of dollars are being saved, you know, when we breastfeed and all these conditions that we`re having. We are trying to help and we are trying to do these things as mothers for our babies.
And we don`t go -- I know for me, I don`t go up to a mom and say something about how she chooses to feed her baby. And that`s the wonderful thing about Georgia law, you know, when I`m trying to get this to change is we`re having --
PINSKY: I`ve got to interrupt you because I`ve got to take another break.
Real quick sort of Twitter shutout to HelloPoodle (ph) who says, "Holy crap! Breastfeeding makes people angry. Get over it, people." Interesting.
Jamie, Jeanne, they wanted to call attention to a website called AWASSA, AWASSA.org, is that right? AWASSA. It supports children`s nutrition in Ethiopia through breastfeeding. Check out that website. And again, we`ll be back in a second with more of your calls.
PINSKY: Well, Jamie, I want to finish with you. We started with you. You`ve been a great guest. I`ve been a bad host. I misspoke about that website. Please tell us what it actually is.
GRUMET: AWASSA.org, it`s AWASSA.org is an organization that houses aids orphans. And it`s (INAUDIBLE) facility. Wonderful, wonderful project. And then, I just wanted to talk about the woman who left that angry comment because she did state first that she didn`t breastfeed and didn`t need to.
And I think a lot it comes from -- a lot of the anger and animosity towards breastfeeding comes from the fact that they still -- like they need to defend their choice. And, I want to support mothers regardless of how they feed and nurse their child. We need to support each other. And there`s -- your child, regardless of how you feed them, the most important thing is that you`re making the best choice for your family.
And that you care for them and that`s really what we need to get through is that this is -- we need to relieve the stigmas of all healthy parenting choices.
PINSKY: And Jamie, let me put a little code on that and say, women -- you three are very supportive of one another, but women need to support one another as much as possible and not be attacking and shaming. That was the unhappy part of this story for me.
But Jeanne, Nirvana, Jamie, thank you so much for being a part of this. Jamie, real quickly, what`s the magazine we can find you on again?
GRUMET: Oh, it`s Pathways to Family Wellness.
PINSKY: Pathways to Family Wellness. We will look for you on that magazine and we hopefully have another opportunity to have this conversation. There it is. And Jamie, hopefully, you`ll join me in the studio next time. You`ve been a great guest, all three of you for that matter.
Thanks to all my guests tonight. And of course, thanks to all of you for watching. I will see you tomorrow night. Of course, good calls tonight, too. Thank you for calling in as well. And a reminder, Nancy Grace starts right now.