save us from breastfeeding nazis. please.

i belong to a list, dcurbanmoms, and i really, really enjoy the list. but every now and then, a mom posts something that makes me cringe. or cry. so today, i wrote in response to a posting, and i just wanted to put it here.

i know the poster has the best of intentions, and i know that the comments are to be provided to the folks listed in the original posting, but i had to respond to this press release. this is like a flame war waiting to happen, imho. i think most women, at least on this list, would agree that breastfeeding is best. i also think that there are many women who cannot breastfeed or for whom breastfeeding is a serious struggle. from this phrase:
The Campaign WILL encourage exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and the risks of NOT breastfeeding remain an integral focus.

this campaign is likely to alienate many, many women who would otherwise support such a campaign. i mean, please, tell me yet another reason why i am a bad mother because i was not able to breast feed my daughter until she was 6 months old – or better yet, tell me what horrible things will befall her because she was not breastfed until she was 6 months old.

i realize that the formula companies certainly have done many nasty things in the past to encourage mothers to ignore breastfeeding and use formula. but now, at least in more educated communities, most mothers give breastfeeding a serious try. i would be happy to see campaigns that encourage, not guilt, women into breastfeeding. i certainly hope, and trust, this one does the former and not the latter, and this is merely a poorly-worded press release.

ok, the rant stops here šŸ™‚

it’s all because of this posting, which pissed me off today
BABIES WERE BORN TO BE BREASTFED!!

Washington, DC: On Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 1:30 pm the Leadership
Team of the US Breastfeeding Committee met with Assistant Secretary Kevin
Keane of the Department of Health and Human Services to hear the decision of
DHHS in regards to the delayed National Breastfeeding Campaign sponsored by
DHS and the Ad Council. The Campaign was placed on a temporary hold awaiting
a decision based upon “concerns” received by DHHS from the formula industry
and consumers of their products, by the President of the American Academy of
Pediatrics, and some well respected researchers.
The National Breastfeeding Campaign WILL be launched this Spring with
minimal changes and with the integrity of the Campaign intact as reported by
Dr. Susanne Haynes, PhD, of the Office of Women’s Health to the
organizational members of the US Breastfeeding Committee meeting Friday,
January 23, 2004 in Washington, DC. The changes are in the best interest of
further research. Mention of childhood leukemia and diabetes have been
removed as has mention of disease related percentages. The Campaign WILL
encourage exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and the risks of NOT
breastfeeding remain an integral focus. An anticipated meeting with industry
will inform them of this decision; no further changes in the Campaign will
occur.
More information will follow as the approach of the Campaign launch
nears. Support of and reactions to the campaign will be appreciated by the
Office of Women’s Health via its website. Your letters to the Department of
Health and Human Services were integral to the preservation of this
Campaign. ILCA members need to be fully cognizant that the full success of
the National Breastfeeding Campaign rests with the education, management,
and support critically needed by each and every breastfeeding dyad and that
which comes with your lactation skills and research based practices to meet
these needs.

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