Monday 21st July, 2008, 12pm – 2pm
“MUMS and babies are invited to join in a picnic in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens to highlight the campaign to give them the right to breastfeed in public places. The event, from 12 noon to 4pm on Monday July 21 will coincide with similar picnics elsewhere in the country, including Parliament Square in London, Birmingham and Durham.”
This link to the full story is worth checking out for the comments – including
“Sorry but I dont want to see women getting their breasts out in public
There are some brilliant replies to this comment, and I especially like the reply from Sophie McInnes, from Upton Bosom Buddies
“Too few mums reach the NHS recommended 6 months’ breastfeeding already, without staring at a big, bouncy 4 month old as if to ask whether (s)he’s “over-age”, or glaring at a 12 month old because shock!horror (s)he’s still breastfeeding?! Just let mums get on with it, because chances are you won’t notice a thing other than a happy, smiling, full baby.”
Nicely put Sophie!
Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from Gently Baby Care (McGraw-Hill 2003).
Just as your baby is an important part of your life, he is also important to others. People who care about your baby are bonded to you and your child in a special way that invites their counsel. Knowing this may give you a reason to handle the interference gently, in a way that leaves everyone’s feelings intact.
Regardless of the advice, it is your baby, and in the end, you will raise your child the way that you think best. So it’s rarely worth creating a war over a well-meaning person’s comments. You can respond to unwanted advice in a variety of ways:
Pick your battles
Steer clear of the topic
Educate the other person
Quote a doctor
Ask for advice!
Memorize a standard response
Find a mediator
Search out like-minded friends
We have just launched our new site, www.breastfeedinginmedway.org.uk to make information about our local drop-in groups, lactation-consultants and peer supporters available to everybody. The site is new and there are great plans for it, limited more by time than ideas, so please bear with us while we get it all together. Members of all the different groups have been working together to offer the best support to local families, resulting in an enthusiastic network of health professionals, breastfeeding counsellors, lactation consultants, peer supporters and mother helpers
Please visit the site for details of our local groups and do join us if you are nearby.
The Be a Star campaign is dedicated to increasing the number of young mums in Lancashire who choose to breastfeed. They hope to do this by showcasing the beauty, confidence and pride that comes with breastfeeding, as well as providing breastfeeding information and support and highlighting the unique health benefits that it brings to both baby and mum.
A baby humpback whale drinks up to 130 gallons of milk each day.
A human baby drinks up to a quarter of a gallon of breast milk a day.
“The Vatican has called for worshippers to be less prudish about seeing the Virgin Mary breast-feeding Jesus.
A vast number of paintings depicting the bare breasts of the Madonna have been “censored by the modern age” because they were too “unseemly”, according to L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Holy See.
Lucetta Scaraffia, a church historian, has called for the image of Mary as an human, tender and loving mother to be rehabilitated. She said: “Jesus was a baby like all others. His divinity does not exclude his humanity”.
Since the 17th century, artists have been covering up Mary because of criticism about the “carnality and unbecoming nature of many sacred images”.”
Idea by Ruth Moss, can you win by getting all the comments on the postcard? Bingo!
For sale at www.lactivist.co.uk on glossy postcards with plain backs or you can print them off yourself.
If you’re planning to come to our family-friendly Breastfeeding Rally in London on Friday, July 18th, please note we are now meeting directly in Parliament Square (NOT Hyde Park) [spread the message to your friends!!!!]…and after presenting the petition, we can gather informally at Victoria Tower Gardens behind parliament to continue eating, drinking and, of course, chatting!
Meeting at parliament squ. will make it accessible for people with the ‘littlest’ walkers among them. Don’t forget to bring food, drinks, hats/shading and whatever else you and your family need to be comfortable while there.
I’d love to hear of the placards you and your family are making, and what messages you’re putting on them. My girls (now aged 12 and 10.5) are busy coming up with all sorts of things!
The nearest tubes are Westminster and St James’s Park. If you and your family are coming along, please drop me a note in the comments section or by email ~ so I can get a ‘rough’ idea of numbers in order to co-ordinate my stewards.
A Breastfeeding Picnic at Parliament Square
And A Regional Centre Near You!
Monday July 21st, Noon Onwards.
“Protect My Baby, Protect Me”
Possibly the best thing I have bought this year – The Reusable Sandwich Wrap is a wrapper for sandwiches that unfolds into a plate – no more plastic bags needed!
Fab and brill, and if you know me you may well be getting one for your birthday! Mooboy has the pirate one and all the kids at school are jealous.
How very refreshing and what hope for the future these dolls bring!
“I wanted to give something back to breastfeeding as It has given us so much over the years, and alter the way some people perceive breastfeeding, to help the future generations learn, through role playing with my doll sets that there is an alternative to bottles, that there is another way to feed babies & toddlers. Naturally! Role playing with my dolls will open up discussion and learning in a fun way, whilst still getting that all important message about breastfeeding across.
After much research I found that dolls = bottles, whilst watching Our youngest son pushing his toys up his top to nurse them I decided I did not want to offer a bottle with a doll, as it did not fit in with our family ethics, so I designed and registered my “Boobie Buddies Educational Magnetic Breastfeeding Doll sets”. Boobie Buddies was born !”
Pip Wheelwright – designer of Boobie Buddies breastfeeding dolls.
www.lactivist.co.uk is the home of Lactivist t-shirts for babies and toddlers that promote breastfeeding and gentle parenting with witty slogans.
If you don’t fancy a t-shirt there is a range of accessories, badges, keyrings, stickers and postcards all with positive breastfeeding messages.
What started your breastfeeding campaigning career?
I am very privileged to work for Baby Milk Action as Campaigns and Networking Coordinator. It is one of the best jobs in the world, and one of the worst. The best because knowing what companies do on the ground and
What is Baby Milk Action?
Baby Milk Action is a non-profit organisation which aims to save lives and to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant feeding. Baby Milk Action works within a global network to strengthen independent, transparent and effective controls on the marketing of the baby feeding industry.
The global network is called IBFAN (the International Baby Food Action Network) a network of over 200 citizens groups in more than 100 countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. Where water is unsafe a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea than a breastfed child. That is why a marketing code was introduced in 1981 to regulate the marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Companies continue to violate its provisions.
Baby Milk Action is not anti-baby milk. Our work protects all mothers and infants from irresponsbile marketing.
What do you mean by “irresponsible marketing?”
Company promotion exploits the difficulties some mothers have with breastfeeding, presenting formula as the solution for ‘lack of milk’ or ‘hungrier babies’ when in reality very few mothers are physically unable to breastfeed, if they receive support when they experience problems. However, too often that support is lacking and the very real difficulties some mothers experience are not overcome. For example, if the infant is not correctly positioned, milk production is not stimulated, nipples can become cracked and mastitis can develop. Health workers need training and the patience to help, but themselves are the target of aggressive marketing by baby food companies.
This is what we are working for, but it is not the situation in many countries. During National Breastfeeding Awareness Week in the UK in 2004 the Department of Health published the results of its own survey with the title ‘Myths that stop mothers giving their infants the best start in life’ highlighting that 34% of mothers falsely believe that formula is the same or nearly the same as breastmilk. You have only to look at company materials and product labels to see how this and other ‘myths’ are propogated.
Tell me about the Nestlé Boycott
Our best known campaign is probably the Nestlé boycott. Nestlé is singled out for special attention because evidence shows it is the worst of the baby food companies. We monitor what is happening on the ground with our partners in the International Baby Food Action Network. You can see monitoring reports on our website.
The boycott is a great campaign. If you want to do something to stop this malpractice, you can. Stop buying Nestlé products. We focus on Nescafé, so if you cant give up the chocolate and cereals concentrate on that. But the more we can hit Nestlé profits the more likely it is to stop its aggressive marketing. Were not asking it to stop selling formula, just to market it responsibly. That means in accordance with marketing requirements adopted by the World Health Assembly, which is a United Nations organisation responsible for setting health policy. It is made up of the health ministries of the worlds governments.
How can I find out more?
How can I help?
Become a member! Baby Milk Action is an independent non-profit organisation which aims to save infant lives and to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant feeding. Without members they would not be able to operate. You can become a member of send a donation via the on-line Virtual Shop (the shop also gives details of how to join by mail, phone or fax).
Who we are
We are Jo and Amie, two ambitious mothers equally passionate about the strong need to reclaim a breastfeeding culture within our society.
Why we are taking the step?
To take Infant nutrition to another level!
Information supplied by Physicians, Health Professionals and also the Government supporting breastfeeding and therefore infant nutrition is highly informative but unless you have a science degree behind you like Jo and myself, and even then, this information can at times be daunting, confusing and even tedious to take in, particularly for busy mums and the young mums. Hardly bedtime reading. We feel they are missing out on the information-based support they need to encourage them to breastfeed, and that support has got to come from everyday sources. Once upon a time it would have been handed down through generations of mothers, but now it is alarming that most people wouldn’t even question whether ‘formula’ is any good or not. Blinded by some ‘science’ and in desperate need of real information we as a society have dumbly and routinely accepted a bum deal when it comes to feeding our babies. We need to take and disseminate the right bits of info in the right way to reach the people who would most benefit. Are we going to change society overnight? No, but at least we can apply some creative thinking to the problem and fight back with some of those very insights the formula giants have exploited for so very long.
To challenge the current media portrayal of breastfeeding!
Have any of you ever noticed a TV ad or campaign [in England or Wales - Scotland is way ahead in this respect] in the past or present promoting breastfeeding; the goodness of human milk and the essential nutrients it provides for an infant’s development and growth? No! Neither have we! Many TV ads choose to focus on the goodness of cow’s milk instead – how is it that milk from a cow – an entirely different species – achieves honour over human milk with regards to human infant nutrition? This misconception by society, combined with wily and heavyweight advertising by artificial baby milk manufacturers, is what has greatly inspired us to take action and make a change. Breastfeeding has a naff image. The Government isn’t doing much above-the-line work to change that either, so someone has to.
How we propose to make a change
We are in the process of creating a bespoke and cutting edge media-lab-resource centre. Collaborating with the information and media that are already out there and make the pro breastfeeding message more attractive, friendly, creative and fun!
We hope that it targets every day mums, young mums and their families and build a bridge between them and the professionals too, as well as all the long established support organisations made up of volunteers and concerned parties who struggle on limited resources and zero marketing budget. Who’s got time to sell the concept of good infant nutrition to the very people who need it when they are themselves in the front line of providing support? We ourselves could have trained to become breastfeeding counsellors, for instance, but we feel strongly that it would be smarter to use our skills and passions to their best advantage; to support those on the front line with our own business, media, creative and science backgrounds, and of course breastfeeding and parenting insight.
Stella Onions with her children speaking to David Kidney
Where are you from?
Manchester & Shropshire
Why are you passionate about breastfeeding?
I always assumed that because breastfeeding was natural, it would be easy. How wrong I was! After giving birth to my daughter I came home and apart from the community midwife and my husband, after work, had no support at all. No family living in the UK. I really struggled to breastfeed, but I was fiercely determined. Although the midwife assured me my latch was fine, my daughter started losing weight and my nipples were shredded! I was advised that my daughter was using me as a dummy and that she was starving!
With blood pouring down the front of my T-shirt I relented and gave her a bottle of formula and a dummy. However, it didn’t feel right to me and I started expressing when I could. After a few days, I was able to give her a bottle of ebm and able to tip the formula into the bin where it belonged!
Hindsight, of course, is a wonderful thing and now that I know a little more about breastfeeding, it is obvious that the latch was not fine and just a simple adjustment would probably have sorted it out. Although it was only a few weeks at times you imagine it will always be like that. I subsequently nursed my daughter right through my next pregnancy and have been tandem nursing for nearly 2 ½ years now.
Best moment of breastfeeding campaigning
Breastfeeding my son live on air on the Lorraine Kelly show
What makes you happy?
Chocolate, breastfeeding, chocolate, playing with my children, chocolate,
What makes you angry?
People who make assumptions and label people / things without knowing anything about them / the subject and lack of chocolate!
What are you working on right now?
I’d been having this quite painful twingy feeling deep inside the boob that got mastitis a while back and I thought it was a blocked duct that would sort it self out when the Moo weaned. A month later it was still just as bad so I mailed the fantastic LLL who said that it might be deep tissue thrush. All the symptoms fitted, it felt like mastitis but without the redness or lumps, there was nothing to express to relieve it and I am constantly knackered so just a waiting victim for the thrush fairy.
I have a lovely doctor who is quite tolerant of self diagnosis so she prescribed me some fluconazole and it is a whole load better.
I think 4 weeks without mummy milk means we have weaned now. The last time he asked for some he kept coming off and asking for more, then signing that he was thirsty. I explained to him that when he was smaller he needed much more milk but now he is a bigger boy he doesn’t need so much, and one day he won’t need any. He hasn’t asked for it since. I very carefully didn’t have a ceremonial last breastfeed because I knew I would cry my eyes out. He was not feeding for a few days at a time towards the end and even then just once at bedtime and on one side. It has been a slow and gradual self weaning.
So, there’s an era over.
I think this might be the end of my breastfeeding career.I stopped nursing on one side because the Moo never seemed to drain it properly (no matter what position I tried) and nursing on it made it feel sligtly mastitisy. It feels better left alone. The other boob is fine.
If I offer mummy milk to the Moo he rarely says yes until I have asked a few times so I have stopped offering now. He asked for it yesterday but kept coming off and saying ‘more’ and signing ‘thirsty’ so I don’t think there is much there anyway. I can squeeze a drop out but my milk goddess days are over.
I feel sad about this in lots of ways, but if this is weaning it’s been really easy, and he has led the way for most of it. I have very carefully not had a ‘last breastfeed’ as I think that will make me very sad. He can still have some milk if he aks for it.
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