the assumption that being a lactivist means being anti-formula-feeding - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 8 Old 11-17-2010, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
elizaMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: rural midwest
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've been a mother, a breastfeeder, and a lactivist for over 2.5 years and I'm just now realizing that I need to make a point of declaring my support of a mother's decision to feed her baby formula. I'm really glad to have learned from you all that its best to focus on the lack of support for some moms, rather than the lack of breastfeeding. And its clear to me that stigma on the subject is the root of the problem and that going public with the topic (be it nursing in public, or talking about it) is the most effective route to solving the problem.

 

Over and over I've read in blog posts and forum posts: "I totally support a mother's right to feed her baby formula," and have only now realized that I feel the same way and must say the same thing. I realized even my closest friends thought I was a bit too militant.

 

So this is what I put together for my Facebook status update:

 

__________

[Eliza] wants to go on record as 100% in support of any mother's decision to feed her baby formula...

 

I just want that decision to be made with:
 

  1. plenty of accurate information and
     
  2. confidence on the part of the mother and everyone (partner, lactation consultant, mother-in-law, employer, colleague, friend, child care provider, physician, massage therapist, bus driver, idol, etc.) around her in the decency--the BEAUTY even--of the act and sight of a woman's breast being suckled by a human child-- anywhere, any time.

___________

 

Can anyone improve upon it? Is there a better word than "beauty" that is less likely to be associated with sexuality? (I want to assuage even the most ignorant critics.)

 

I think its important for people to realize how such an important decision can be influenced by so many people. From people who we EXPECT to be totally behind it (partner, lactation consultant) to people who we wouldn't think would matter at all (child care provider, massage therapist, bus driver), the whole society needs to have the right attitude.

 

And really, I think #1 would naturally come from #2, but I thought it important to say anyway--to highlight the fact that there is plenty of INaccurate information that gets in the way.

 

 

 

Eeyore35 likes this.
elizaMM is offline  
#2 of 8 Old 11-18-2010, 06:10 PM
 
Chavelamomela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 780
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think its great that you're trying to come up with a way to express support for women to feed their babies in any way they choose, and to also show that as lactivists, we DON'T BLAME THE WOMAN when she fails to breastfeed.  I blame the formula companies for preying on vulnerable women and marketing to pregnant and new mothers, ill-informed doctors who give bad advice, nurses who interfere, hospitals whose standard policies affect establishing proper milk supply, family members who don't support women and a culture that makes women feel like they have to hide to nurse their babies. 

 

 

I am not sure that #2 says what you are trying to express, b/c formula -feeding moms still want to feel like they shouldn't get the blame, kwim?  So lets focus on shifting the blame on a system that sabotages breastfeeding!

 

 

 

Eeyore35 likes this.
Chavelamomela is offline  
#3 of 8 Old 11-18-2010, 06:33 PM
 
katelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,871
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)

Instead of beauty - normalcy, rightness, perfection?


Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

katelove is online now  
#4 of 8 Old 11-18-2010, 06:51 PM
 
zinemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: from the fire roads to the interstate
Posts: 6,569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I understand what you are trying to say. But still...it comes across as you stating to the world that you are in a position to approve (conditionally) of another woman's decision re formula. And that rubs me the wrong way. No one needs your approval or permission. Being supportive to an actual woman who's giving her baby formula, in a face-to-face conversation would be the way to go on this one, in my opinion. Or speaking up when so-called "lactivists" blame women who use formula. Your position definitely needs to be heard there!
zinemama is offline  
#5 of 8 Old 11-20-2010, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
elizaMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: rural midwest
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

oh, darn. I hope I didn't offend anyone. I agree, declaring approval, by itself, seems arrogant. But I want to eliminate assumptions of DISapproval, without offending. Oh, dear.

 

and I see what you mean about #2 still being construable as blaming the woman. Focusing on the aggressive formula companies is good. What can we do about hospitals whose standard policies affect establishing proper milk supply? The rest of the problem seams to stem from attitudes, that can best be changed by nursing in public (which I rarely have the opportunity to do, and soon will never have again) and being outwardly pro-breastfeeding. But that gets interpreted as anti-formula-feeding-moms. :-(

elizaMM is offline  
#6 of 8 Old 11-22-2010, 01:58 PM
 
erin23kate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavelamomela View Post

I think its great that you're trying to come up with a way to express support for women to feed their babies in any way they choose, and to also show that as lactivists, we DON'T BLAME THE WOMAN when she fails to breastfeed.  I blame the formula companies for preying on vulnerable women and marketing to pregnant and new mothers, ill-informed doctors who give bad advice, nurses who interfere, hospitals whose standard policies affect establishing proper milk supply, family members who don't support women and a culture that makes women feel like they have to hide to nurse their babies. 

 

 

I am not sure that #2 says what you are trying to express, b/c formula -feeding moms still want to feel like they shouldn't get the blame, kwim?  So lets focus on shifting the blame on a system that sabotages breastfeeding!

 

 

 


Sometimes, you can't even blame those.  =)  I FF because I'm on category X medications.  Without them, I'll die.  Living > Boobs.  But I absolutely and totally agree; 9/10 times, the mom wanted to breastfeed and other stuff got in the way.  I'm so happy to see the Eats on Feets pages springing up everywhere on Facebook.  I posted on one today; maybe there's breast milk in a freezer somewhere with my baby's name on them.

 

By demonizing formula-feeding moms, some lactivists are losing what could be their greatest allies.  A mother who failed at breastfeeding can tell you what could have been done differently, and can help another mom overcome that.   When you know better, you do better - and learning from our mistakes is part of what makes humans so amazing. 

 

Demonizing formula or formula-feeding alienates as much or more than it informs.  An example: some folks would like to see WIC subsidies for formula phased out, or require that formula be available only by prescription.   On the flip side, I want to see WIC subsidies expanded to include breast pumps and lactation consultants.  I'd like to see insurance companies cover these things with a prescription.  Positive support of breastfeeding, rather than negative attacks on formula. 

sonrisaa29 likes this.
erin23kate is offline  
#7 of 8 Old 11-22-2010, 05:02 PM
 
PatioGardener's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 5,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

This is why I love Baby Milk Action (http://info.babymilkaction.org/).  They exist to protect breastfeeding, and to protect babies fed formula.  That's good lactivism.

 

Quote:

Protecting babies fed on formula

Breastmilk substitutes are legitimate products for when a child is not breastfed and does not have access to expressed or donor breastmilk. Companies should comply with composition and labelling requirements and other Code requirements to reduce risks - independently of government measures. Parents have a right to accurate, independent information.

Baby Milk Action is not anti-baby milk. Our work protects all mothers and infants from irresponsible marketing.

PatioGardener is offline  
#8 of 8 Old 12-09-2010, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
elizaMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: rural midwest
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

So I changed it (not in my facebook status, but in my declaration of principles) to:

 

I just want that decision to be made with:

 

  1. plenty of accurate information and
     
  2. the availability of support from all of society (partner, lactation consultant, mother-in-law, employer, colleague, friend, child care provider, physician, massage therapist, bus driver, idol, etc.) around her in the decency--the BEAUTY even--of the act and sight of a woman's breast being suckled by a human child-- anywhere, any time.

 

Any problems there?

 

(support, support, support...)

elizaMM is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off