Breastfeeding women need support. Formula marketing is the opposite of support -- it's sabotage. Stay with me formula moms. This isn't an attack. I formula fed and I love my babies. I know you do, too. I also breastfed my twins all the milk that I could produce for a year and a half. This is about our terrible breastfeeding rates, not tearing each other down. This is about our obsession with using breasts to sell products. Our breasts should be respected as makers of food for our babies, not to sell cars or clothes.
A new documentary called The Milky Way featuring Alanis Morissette, Minnie Driver, and Carrie-Anne Moss addresses this and may just make a lactivist out of you. My friend Lauren who is still breastfeeding her daughter Ella who will be turning 3 saw the clip and felt inspired and empowered. She said, "After watching that, I was like eff it -- I'm going to breastfeed forever!" Check out the preview so you can be inspired, too. Maybe even a little activisty against formula.
Jennifer Davidson, RN, BSN, IBLCE, and producer of The Milky Way, is right. We have complicated breastfeeding. Dr. Jay Gordon is right. We have been overly influenced by the formula companies who see babies as a business not a passion. Dr. Gordon even admits how the American Academy of Pediatrics gets millions of dollars of support from formula companies. Not to mention MORE business. Formula fed kids are more at risk for obesity and health problems. We really do have 10-year-old kids with adult onset diabetes and we have the lowest breastfeeding rates. The so-called formula ban in hospitals is set up to help moms and babies.
We are also a nation obsessed with breasts -- not breastfeeding. Breasts are sexual. Breasts sell products, get men excited. Forget that they produce the single most nutritious thing a baby can eat. We should use them to sell that pick-up truck and greasy burgers! Babies? Who cares about babies! Boobs! Boobs! Sexy boobs!
Can we all agree that this is wrong? Can we all also agree that formula helps moms and some of us really need it to feed our babies because we can't breastfeed? We need it, yes. But only when we really need it. We also have to agree that there are so many negative notions surrounding breastfeeding that it scares women out of even trying. Breastfeeding saves lives. We aren't trusting our abilities (this goes for trusting our ability to birth as well) and that's because of what has been pushed into our brains over years and years of formula marketing and people who think breastfeeding is obscene. Yet it sure isn't obscene to use double Ds to sell bikinis and beer.
I love how Alanis Morissette talks about the bumps in the road she faced when nursing her baby but she preserved because it was imperative and organic. It nourishes life. Minnie Driver added how baby is at home on mother's breasts and that breastfeeding takes the drama out of being a new mother. It feeds you and the child, she said. I completely agree.
As Davidson said, breastfeeding is 10 percent is nutrition and 90 percent synapses of the brain -- it helps build our babies' brains! We cannot stop fighting this battle, and it is a battle. The message that women aren't capable of feeding their own babies is louder than the message that we can. WE CAN. It's not always easy, but most of us are made to do this. We cannot relinquish our power to the formula industry. We need more support, more acceptance, more light on the incredible benefits of breastfeeding.
If you are so inclined, The Milky Way is part of a Kickstarter campaign.
Let's change the negativity surrounding breastfeeding. Let's support moms who breastfeed. Let's try harder.
What do you think of The Milky Way documentary? Do you think the formula industry is sabotage? Why is America so accepting of marketing breasts to sell things but not supportive of breastfeeding?