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What do you make of this? ~ breastfeeding PSA

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
The New York State Dept. of Health is running these public service announcements to try and encourage lower income women to breastfeed. They put the emphasis on weight loss and barely mention that it benefits the baby too.

video and article here

I'm just curious what others make of this. On the one hand, I think it's great they're making an effort to get more women to BF. And I do see where they're coming from that some women who would normally not want to BF may be more inclined to if they believe they're going to lose weight (which, BTW I have discovered is sort of a myth) but not because of the real benefits, sad as that may be. And I suppose women being "tricked" into BFing is better than those same women formula feeding. But I agree with the writer of the article that it just seems off somehow, and that the first video is downright embarrassing.
post #2 of 30
Honestly, I laughed a little bit when the woman held up a pair of maternity jeans. I think it's pretty clearly supposed to be a parody of the Jenny Craig-type commercials (which I dislike).

The ad wouldn't have convinced me to breastfeed, for sure, but I'm not really tuned into the mindset of all of the women who choose not to breastfeed (I'm not talking about those who try and lack support, or are sabotaged, or come up against crappy circumstances, or who have to go back to work at 3 weeks pp, etc. ect. -- I had a really hard time of it at first, and if not for excellent, excellent support and 10 weeks off work, I don't think I'd have made it either). So how do you "advertise" breastfeeding? (That's an honest question.) I do like that it stays away from the "breast is best" booby trap, and I like that it's not using fear tactics. I'm wondering if they thought about making one that parodies some of those get-rich-quick schemes? "How would you like to save $2,000 dollars??!!" "I did, by breastfeeding my baby!"

Probably what I'd like to see in a breastfeeding PSA are just images of real women breastfeeding, and then maybe sound bites asking several people why they breastfeed (and weight loss might come up ... who knows?)

Anyway, sorry about the rambling answer, and thanks for sharing.
post #3 of 30
Moving to Lactivism
post #4 of 30
nak

if they truly did their research and found that this is what 'sells' breastfeeding to moms who otherwise wouldn't, then more power to them. market what sells. i don't care why women breastfeed - i'd just like to see as many as possible doing it!
post #5 of 30
The problem is it's not evidence-based and moms may wean when breastfeeding doesn't prove to be the miracle diet they've been promised, YK? It's also just plain patronizing to provide public health information that's nothing but a marketing slogan, like women are too stupid to know the difference.
I agree we need to figure out why moms aren't breastfeeding - I understand that in some groups it's considered "lower class," for example - then target education and, yes, marketing, to addressing their specific concerns in a truthful way.
post #6 of 30
Breastfeeding helps with weight loss! Ha ha ha! Yeah, I used to think so too. Myth myth myth......

so basically, I don't feel they should lie to women.
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystal_buffaloe View Post
I'm wondering if they thought about making one that parodies some of those get-rich-quick schemes? "How would you like to save $2,000 dollars??!!" "I did, by breastfeeding my baby!"

Probably what I'd like to see in a breastfeeding PSA are just images of real women breastfeeding, and then maybe sound bites asking several people why they breastfeed (and weight loss might come up ... who knows?)

I was also thinking maybe coming from the financial perspective would help convince some women. Also and related would be the health perspective (have a healthier child = save $ on medical bills), especially since many lower income families are under- or uninsured.

Or if they could get some really happening celebrity mom who's into BFing to talk about it and/or show her BFing might up the "cool" factor.

But yeah I was kind of disappointed they didn't show a woman BFing in the ad.
post #8 of 30
I'm not sure if a white woman with a fake southern accent is going to really resonate with too many low-income New Yorkers...
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
I'm not sure if a white woman with a fake southern accent is going to really resonate with too many low-income New Yorkers...


Yeah, I am a bit skeptical as to if they actually did research this before making it...

These tv ads were made based on focus group info/feedback about breastfeeding in Nova Scotia, Canada. You can see the difference. Although here they are targeting women who start out breastfeeding but stop early because of bad advice or lack of support. http://www.first6weeks.ca/learning/l...#tvcommercials
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post


Yeah, I am a bit skeptical as to if they actually did research this before making it...

These tv ads were made based on focus group info/feedback about breastfeeding in Nova Scotia, Canada. You can see the difference. Although here they are targeting women who start out breastfeeding but stop early because of bad advice or lack of support. http://www.first6weeks.ca/learning/l...#tvcommercials
Wow, those were really good! I could've used that info...I honestly had no idea what a learning curve there was for BFing before I did it. Good thing I had support!
And yeah, I doubt they did much research before devising these PSAs.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post
Wow, those were really good! I could've used that info...I honestly had no idea what a learning curve there was for BFing before I did it. Good thing I had support!
And yeah, I doubt they did much research before devising these PSAs.
I love that they made it into the public consciousness in NS too - so friends and family understand that there is a learning curve too and hopefully will support mom and baby rather than suggesting formula.

sorry - thread hijack
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post

if they truly did their research and found that this is what 'sells' breastfeeding to moms who otherwise wouldn't, then more power to them. market what sells. i don't care why women breastfeed - i'd just like to see as many as possible doing it!
I find the ads really annoying, but I agree with the above poster. If they did their research and this is the way to target their audience then I hope it helps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah32 View Post
Breastfeeding helps with weight loss! Ha ha ha! Yeah, I used to think so too. Myth myth myth......

so basically, I don't feel they should lie to women.
Right there with you I just weaned a few months ago after nursing for the last 4.5 years, two kids tandem for almost a year. Never lost anything after the first ones 6 week post postpartum visit.
post #13 of 30
Like many here, I never lost an ounce of weight due to BFing (in fact, I seem to pack it on, adding more cushion for the duration...)

That being said, i do know many women for whom this is true.

I think there are 2 types of women. Those for whom BFing helped them shed the pounds, and those for whom it didn't help one bit...but there are loads of other benefits and reasons to BF. Why shouldn't we promote a "selfish" reason (just like we say "it's convenient! No heating or assembly required" - well, it's convenient, until you need to leave the baby...then you need to pump, which is a PITA...but we do it anyway because we know its good).
post #14 of 30
I can't view the ad, and never lost an ounce while bfeeding; I do think it's ok to play up teh benefits to mom in literature. Nursing does burn calories even if it doesnt equal automatic weight loss.

I think best for baby has been beat to death. I grudgingly agreed to bf for a year and DH's insistence (this was premarriage/pre pregnancy/pre mdc).

I was truly shocked after the baby came how many benefits were in it for me. Why shouldn't people educate mom's on how it benefits them? FF/bottle companies sure do their fair share of marketing in that regard.
post #15 of 30
Yeah, those ads are really obnoxious.


However, I do agree that the 'health benefits to baby' angle has been covered. And, unfortunately, the financial reasoning does matter to a lot of low-income moms because they can get free formula through WIC. For a lot of women, weight loss IS the only reason to nurse (I have a few friends and family members who freely admit that's why they did it). Ick.



Personally, I think a great marketing campaign would be a mom furiously washing bottle parts or running out of formula and having to run to the store (the more stressed, the better) while another mom peacefully nurses her baby.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosmomma View Post
Yeah, those ads are really obnoxious.


Personally, I think a great marketing campaign would be a mom furiously washing bottle parts or running out of formula and having to run to the store (the more stressed, the better) while another mom peacefully nurses her baby.
That's a great idea for an ad. You should pitch it to Best for Babes or another breastfeeding organization.
post #17 of 30
Oooh! I like milosmomma's idea too!

I don't know what they were thinking when they made those ads, perhaps it went along the lines of "Well, we couldn't get you to do it for your baby, but maybe we'll get you to do it for yourself/your own benefit..."
post #18 of 30
Just a gentle reminder of the forum guidelines-- let's stick to positive breastfeeding activism and stay away from negative characterizations of women who formula feed for whatever reason. Please feel free to PM me with any questions or concerns.
post #19 of 30
I'm a breastfeeding peer counselor with WIC. We get a lot of different types of moms in our clinic, but for a very large population of our moms, this commercial would grab their attention. I can see when mom's brains light up and when they start to tune me out when I speaking with them.

The first thing that works is very practical here and now benefits (its pretty hard to think about, say, osteoporosis when you're twenty, poor and pregnant by accident), but burning 500 cal... Yes, almost every woman starts listening to what I say when I say that. Now, I always explain that if you're eating an extra 500 cal that clearly won't translate to weight loss. But when I watch these commercials, I feel pretty sure that they *did* do some research. Either that or they actually worked in a WIC clinic and saw what works and what doesn't.

The other thing that seems to work (based on my experience) is talking about the *risks* of formula rather than the benefits of breastfeeding. When you are barely surviving there is no reason to feel bad about not giving your baby the best. You're barely getting by yourself. But when you are told that you could be harming your baby then it makes you think twice.

Of course the ad counsel tried to do risk of formula commercials and the formula companies just used their power to squash them. I doubt that WIC would get away with it if they didn't.

So I actually think these commercials are a good starting place. They are clearly meant to be funny and satirical while also getting a mom to think about breastfeeding. It might not work for a white suburban lactivist, but I think it would work for many of the women that I work with.

Its also worth noting that for the WIC population (and something like 1/2 of all babies born in the U.S. are serviced by WIC) the cost of formula is much less of a factor than for other people. WIC gives it out for free. I do tell moms that if they fully formula feed while on WIC they can still expect to spend as much as $600 on formula beyond what WIC provides.
post #20 of 30
Also, ads like this last 30 seconds. You can only make one point. So they chose a point. When the women come into the WIC office hopefully they can be further counseled on breastfeeding.
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