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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>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.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>So this is what I put together for my Facebook status update:</p>
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<p>__________</p>
<div class="text_exposed_root text_exposed" id="user_id_4ce3b8da62dfc3093219871">
<p><span class="messageBody">[Eliza] wants to go on record as 100% in support of any mother's decision to feed her baby formula...</span></p>
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<p><span>I just want that decision to be made with:</span><br>
 </p>
<ol><li><span>plenty of accurate information and</span><br>
 </li>
<li><span>confidence on the part of the mother and everyone (partner, lactation consultant, mother-in-law, employer, colleague, friend, child care provider, physicia<span class="text_exposed_show">n, 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.</span></span></li>
</ol><p>___________</p>
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<p>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.)</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>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. </p>
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<p>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!</p>
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<p>Instead of beauty - normalcy, rightness, perfection?</p>
 

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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!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<p>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.</p>
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<p>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. :-(</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Chavelamomela</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279957/the-assumption-that-being-a-lactivist-means-being-anti-formula-feeding#post_16057626"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>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. </p>
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<p>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!</p>
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<p><br>
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.</p>
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<p>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. </p>
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<p>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. </p>
 

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<p>This is why I love Baby Milk Action (<a href="http://info.babymilkaction.org/" target="_blank">http://info.babymilkaction.org/</a>).  They exist to protect breastfeeding, and to protect babies fed formula.  That's good lactivism.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<p><strong>Protecting babies fed on formula</strong></p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>Baby Milk Action is not anti-baby milk. Our work protects all mothers and infants from irresponsible marketing.</p>
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>So I changed it (not in my facebook status, but in my declaration of principles) to:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><span>I just want that decision to be made with:</span></p>
<p> </p>
<ol><li><span>plenty of accurate information and</span><br>
 </li>
<li><span>the availability of support from all of society (partner, lactation consultant, mother-in-law, employer, colleague, friend, child care provider, physicia<span class="text_exposed_show">n, 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.</span></span></li>
</ol><p> </p>
<p><span><span class="text_exposed_show">Any problems there?</span></span></p>
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<p><span><span class="text_exposed_show">(support, support, support...)</span></span></p>
 
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