New Ad Campaign Shames Breastfeeding Moms for Eating Junk Food (PHOTOS)

breastfeeding adWill we never run out of ways to shame pregnant and breastfeeding moms? If a new ad campaign ostensibly promoting good prenatal nutrition is any indication, the answer is a big, fat NO. The ads show babies nursing from breasts painted to look like junk food, with the tagline "Your child is what you eat." Come on, really?!


Created for Brazil's Pediatric Society of Rio Grande, the campaign is apparently supposed to shock women into realizing the dangers of eating poorly while pregnant and/or breastfeeding. As the copy claims, "Your habits in the first thousand days of [your child's life] can prevent your child from developing serious diseases."

Here, a few (rather startling) examples. First, a baby eating a giant "cheeseburger":

breastfeeding ad

Next up? A baby sucking down a giant "soda":

breastfeeding ad

And finally, a baby chomping on an oversized "donut":

breastfeeding ad

Okay. Naturally I see what they're trying to do here -- promote good nutrition and discourage the consumption of junk food. Fine, that's great. But here's the problem: The tone is so condescending that the only message that comes across with these ads is that moms who eat donuts and cheeseburgers and drink sodas are somehow hurting their children. Yeah, that's a GREAT way to encourage moms to breastfeed!!

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Look, obviously pregnant and nursing moms should try to eat well, as should all human beings. But breastfeeding moms are already making a really smart choice, and breastfeeding comes with enough challenges. The last thing a struggling, exhausted nursing mom needs to hear is that having a freaking donut is gonna make her child sick -- particularly because it's not true. I'm no doctor, but I have breastfed three children, and from what I understand eating junk food is going to do moms more harm than their babies. And you know what? Sometimes a mom NEEDS a donut. 

When I had my first baby, I was extremely nutritionally diligent -- or paranoid, depending on how you look at it. Let's just say I took the "Best Odds Diet" recommendations in What to Expect When You're Expecting very, very seriously. And by the time my daughter was 6 months old, those odds had not worked in my favor -- I was underweight and exhausted. I went to a nutritionist, who said, and I quote: "Do you like cookies? Pizza? You should eat more cookies and pizza."

So while of course I'm not arguing that an all-junk-food diet is good for anyone, PLEASE let's not make moms feel horrible about themselves for having the occasional cheeseburger. Good Lord. Don't we have enough to feel bad about already?


Images via © SPRS

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