Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What Can We Do Right NOW to Make Breastfeeding Easier for Moms?

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Best for Babes Foundation is a non-profit organization that is raising awareness of the "Booby Traps"(TM) facing breastfeeding moms. They are committed to "giving breastfeeding a makeover," and sharing critical information with the public; and supporting moms so that they can make informed feeding choices and receive support whether they choose to breastfeed, formula feed or both.

Their work requires financial support. Without donating any money yourself, you can help them meet their financial goals. Right now Best for Babes is in the running to receive a $20,000 donation from the Chase Community giving campaign on Facebook. They only need to be in the top 200 to win. Voting ends July 12th, and winners are announced on July 13th! You can vote for them HERE. You have to be a member of Facebook to vote. Don't be confused by all the voting options (ie., receiving gift votes for voting for other charities); the priority is getting each person to vote one time for Best for Babes (http://www.bestforbabes.org/; Facebook: www.facebook.com/bestforbabes). If you are not a Facebook member, please share this information with those who are.

Here is a short video that provides a quick view of the "Booby Traps"(TM) Best for Babes is committed to minimizing to help moms overcome barriers to breastfeeding.

For a short video highlighting the people and organizations involved with Best for Babes in helping breastfeeding moms, view Best for Babes breastfeeding nonprofit for Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" Obesity Campaign.

I believe removing our culture's squeamishness around breastfeeding is one of the most important actions Best for Babes is taking. They share information and positive breastfeeding images and stories, including those of celebrities, bringing these into the mainstream. Mothers, their friends and families, community members, AND their health care providers are commonly uncomfortable around breastfeeding.

Discomfort around breastfeeding is a huge cultural barrier and personal barrier for many moms. Minimizing it is a crucial first step to helping moms breastfeed with ease. Sharing vivid breastfeeding images that evoke positive emotions has been central to the success of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy in helping moms prevent and solve breastfeeding problems. Sharing positive images, "giving breastfeeding a makeover" is central to the work of Best for Babes.

Removing our society's discomfort around breastfeeding could be incredibly helpful for the learning curve of breastfeeding because as Robert Schiller, MD says in his foreword to Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy learning to breastfeed is like learning to ride a bike. Children often find success in learning to ride a bike because they and those around them have SEEN the joy bike riding brings and that it works! The child and teacher are both comfortable with the learning process required for successful bike riding. The child is comfortable getting on the bike for multiple attempts; because he trusts the process, believes in himself and feels the support of those around him.

This learning process ideally unfolds at birth as is noted in one Best for Babes "Booby Traps"(TM) regarding the impact of birth on breastfeeding. For more information about breastfeeding and birth, see the previous post here Mothers Yearn for Their Babies at Birth.

When our image driven culture is immersed in positive breastfeeding images, it will help our culture more easily embrace breastfeeding. This will give mothers the clear message that breastfeeding their babies is fully supported, not just by data on its benefits but by a societal comfort zone that is consistent with what moms are being told about breastfeeding's importance in their health and their babies' health.

Check out Best for Babes recent full page ad in USA Today (see p. 23 of this document) putting out that much needed positive breastfeeding image and message for the public to embrace! "The miracle isn't the bra. The miracle is ....."


  1. I think the words went by too fast. Otherwise, thumb's up!

  2. Thank you for your feedback! I was trying to fit all those "Booby Traps"(TM)in under 2 minutes! Please share to allow the video to reach the huge numbers it has the potential to. Best for Babes is still in the running for the $20,000 donation, but their place can't be taken for granted! They have to stay in the top 200 through July 12th!

  3. My daughter was preemie, born at only 24w2d. Once when I brought her back to the hospital for a follow up, we stopped to nurse in the open space area near the entrance. I did not cover her head while nursing, she was on oxygen and needed all the air she could get. There wasn't much to see as her head and my shirt blocked the view. I was asked by hospital staff to cover up. I did not comply. Health care workers have a lot to learn.

  4. Hi there, I'm a fan of yours on Facebook. I just wanted to point you in the way of an issue regarding breastfeeding in public that, given your interests, you may wish to participate in. Lisa Rollins, co-host of a radio show on WORD 106.3 in Greenville, SC, went on a on-air rant last week about how offensive and inappropriate she finds nursing in public. She went on to suggest that nursing moms resort to breastfeeding in a public bathroom, remaining in their cars, or simply remaining at HOME, rather than subject the public to the sight of a baby tucked under a woman's shirt. The Facebook group linked below is organizing nurse-ins around the country to peacefully protest her comments. Thanks for your time! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Peaceful-Protest-for-the-Russ-Lisa-Morning-Show-Nurse-In/128252343883790?v=info&ref=mf

  5. Kathleen and Liana,

    I'm sorry that I didn't see your comments earlier. Yes! these common "instructions" to breastfeeding mothers are typical of the very real cultural barriers that make breastfeeding so difficult for so many women. We encourage women to breastfeed their babies... but then give them disapproving looks, tell/ask them to cover up, or go to a bathroom when they *do* breastfeed. Not only is this a mixed message, but it also prevents young girls and women from seeing breastfeeding in action, and from seeing it as the normal thing to do. Then, when women start to breastfeed, they often have seen it only a little or not at all, but have seen lots of babies being fed bottles. They then automatically hold their breasts as they would bottles, and hold their babies as if to bottle-feed, which ends up making breastfeeding more difficult and more likely to cause pain for the mom and frustration for the baby.