Nursing, Ads, and a Handicap

25 Aug

I read an article a while back, and  I wish I could find it because it raised some really good points, mainly how/why advertisements for formula are handicapping new mothers. As a new mom, and really as a woman, I read magazines/websites/books/newspapers that are geared toward women (duh!) and I have seen ads for formula everywhere. Some are cute, some are serious, some are glossy and sexy and very appealing. However, I have never once seen an ad that promotes breastfeeding. The formula ads may say something along the lines of “breastmilk is best, but…” I find that grossly misleading and such a cop out.

Anyone that knows me or reads this blog knows that I am seriously pro-breastfeeding. Not the nursing nazi “you must breastfeed or your child will suffer serious consequences” kind but one who advocates heavily for openness, education and to at least give it the old “college try”. I mean – you stretch yourself to oblivion to have the baby, and your milk is going to come in regardless, so you might as well stick it out for a month or two. Any breastfeeding is better than none. (Please note, that is you are physically unable to breastfeed because of adoption, cancer, or any other reason that is completely different and this doesn’t apply [nor should it]).

So how is it that something that is is free, natural and “the best” for your baby something that comes under fire all time? The ads that I see make it so easy to just say, oh forget about breastfeeding, I can just buy formula and it does the same thing. No it doesn’t, and its so disheartening to see so many ads for formula and none for breastfeeding. I realize that marketing and advertising (the same industry that butters my bread I know) is paid by companies who produce formula, and its not like myself and a bunch of other breastfeeding mothers have the capital to advertise like formula companies do, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Breastfeeding should be promoted just as much, if not more (personally I vote for more) than formula.

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