Did you all watch 20/20 last night? They had a segment on the breastfeeding commercials that will be showing on TV. Apparently they were supposed to start airing in December, but the government put a stop to it. The whole segment was basically about why the government put a stop to them. The government says they didn’t want them to air the way they were because they stated babies who were not breastfed had something like a 40% greater chance to get leukemia and a 30% more chance for diabetes and the government says there is no verifiable scientific evidence to back up those numbers. The group behind the ad campaign (which includes some doctors) refutes that and says there have been many studies that prove children need their mother’s breastmilk and the antibodies in that milk to protect them from these diseases. This group states the government blocked the ads because the big formula companies are forking over the money to the government.
I don’t know which group is right, the ad campaign group or the government, but that’s not what got my panties all in a bunch. They showed these ads as they were originally supposed to air. One of them has a pregnant woman riding a mechanical bull and she falls off when it gets up to a high speed. Another show pregnant women speed racing on roller blades, knocking in to each other and falling to the ground. There is a third one that shows two woman in a log rolling race and in the background it says something like “Janie on the left is in her 8 month of pregnancy” like the announcer is giving the background of the women in the log rolling pregnant race. It was just disgusting. Their point was “You wouldn’t put your baby at risk before it’s born, so don’t start afterwards.” or something to that effect.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all about breastfeeding. I strongly encourage every pregnant woman to breastfeed their children and the longer the better. If you can exclusively breastfeed for at least the first six months of your child’s life, I give you a big “WAY TO GO GIRL!” It absolutely will benefit your child and breastmilk is best. I breastfed Keaton until he was about 8 months old (although only exclusive breastmilk for the first month and then I slowing introduced formula) and I tried to breastfeed all of out other kids too, but my body was not in sync. But these commercials are ridiculous. I understand they are trying to go for the shock value. But they have seen one too many of JEL’s smoking commercials. Shock works for smoking commercials, but not for babies. I see a woman on a mechanical bull and I’m pissed. I’m so pissed off I’m not paying attention to the end of the commercial that’s telling me to breastfeed. And quite frankly, I just saw a woman on a mechanical bull so I’m thinking your crazy and I’m not sure I should listen to a word you say.
Then there is the whole pressure issue too. Any woman who has had a baby in the last 10 years knows exactly what I’m talking about. The Lacatation Consultants at the hospitals can be so pushy and bitchy. They can bring a grown woman to blubbering tears; let alone a young scared teenager who just had a baby. My milk did not come in for almost two weeks after Skyler & Spencer were born. I put them to the breast every two hours. I pumped for an hour and got maybe an ounce of milk. I was so stressed I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry. When I finally made the decision to give up and give them formula, they were happy cause finally they could fill their stomachs and I could finally relax and enjoy my babies. I was exhausted up to that point and my boobs hurt. I swear I was walking around with those little things flopping around all damn day cause I was either trying to feed or trying to pump. I strongly believe it is up to the mother to make that decision about whether or not to breastfeed or continue breastfeeding. And I think it’s important for her to know the risks of not breastfeeding and the benefits when you do breastfeed. But this bullying that has been happening in the last few years has got to stop. Did you hear about the teenager in New York that starved her baby to death. She was trying to breastfeed cause “that’s the right thing to do.” The Lacatation Consultants at the hospital where she gave birth were pressuring her so much she was afraid to give the baby formula. Give me a break. Starving a child, kills a child. Am I wrong here?
I know. There are some very good Lacation Consultants out there. The woman that helped me with Caleb was very nice and very patient. She really helped me look at my options and showed me how to help Caleb latch on. He was having some trouble because of his cleft lip plus my milk (once again) was late. And when I decided to stop trying and just give him formula she congratulated me on the effort I put forth for my son. She was wonderful. Why can’t they all be like that? I don’t need a damn Lacation Consultant making me feel like a loser becaue I can’t or choose not to breastfeed. Yes, help mothers understand and teach them how to do it, but stop being a playground bully. Yes, put adds on television to promote breastfeeding, but don’t be an asshole about it. Don’t try to make us feel like we are going to kill our child if we fail at breastfeeding. Many, many children grow up on formula and live to tell about it. Not breastfeeding is not the number one killer of children so stop acting like it is.
Ok, I’m stepping off the soap box. That’s just my two cents.