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Weekly Wrapup & Links We Love!

  • Will you buy anything in October to support breast cancer research? Vix Swimwear has been tweeting all week about the benefits of breastfeeding in lowering the risk of breast cancer and is donating 15% of proceeds from their Pink Ikat Bikini to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Use the discount code VIP25 for 25% off any suit!
  • Cheers to the new Baby Cafe that opened in Texas this week! On the big pink bus tour we met the founder of the U.S.’s first Baby Cafe, in Melrose, Mass. and the many, many grateful moms who attend.
  • A pregnant BabyCenter blogger shares her anxiety about trying to breastfeed her new baby after not doing so with her first child. Cheers to all the moms who told her not to give up, to forgive herself, and never to feel like she failed.
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conmanstolemyheart:
Statue in Argentina

Beautiful. Breastfeeding appears in so many places throughout art and sculpture!

conmanstolemyheart:

Statue in Argentina

Beautiful. Breastfeeding appears in so many places throughout art and sculpture!

(Source: starlingcityhousewife)

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Buzz in the Blogoshpere: Marketing, New-Mommy Products & Breastfeeding

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On Monday, the FierceMamas blog posted an interesting piece by Arie Brentnall-Compton called "How the Breastfeeding Industry is Destroying Breastfeeding" that has sparked a lot of intelligent discussion in the blogosphere about consumerism and marketing when it comes to “helpful” products for breastfeeding moms.

"A very large, capital I Industry has built up around ‘breastfeeding.’ What started as a small group of committed, WHO Code supporting companies has morphed into thousands of companies marketing ‘feeding products.’ Previously Code compliant companies have shifted their focus to ‘Feeding,’ offering little or no breastfeeding imagery, or products directly known to interfere with the success of breastfeeding,” Brentnall-Compton states.

She goes on to call out companies such as Medela, Lansinoh and others for selling non-WHO-code compliant products, shifting their marketing imagery away from breastfeeding, and burying breastfeeding information deep in their websites.

She acknowledges: "It’s hard for women who have yet to develop a successful nursing relationship to sort out the useful from the useless, the harmless from the harmful. … That same mother expressing concern on social media today is likely to be sent to purchase a bag of lactation cookies marketed with dubious medical claims. Other products prey on the same fears: bracelets, charms & apps imply you may not remember to nurse on the ‘correct’ side; cookies, teas, supplements imply your supply may be inadequate without them."

And she is absolutely correct. Naturally, pregnant and new moms are full of worries and questions about birth, nursing and motherhood while being inundated with generally well-meaning but sometimes detrimental recommendations from all sides — friends, family and yes, the media.

We really enjoyed the comments from readers on this blog post, too. MayasGold makes a great point when she says, "In my experience as a breastfeeding mom of two, the most essential thing for a nursing mother is free but sadly, not broadly available: support from other nursing moms. A community of knowledgeable & caring women with children at various stages of life can provide information about what to expect, what is normal, what to do when trouble arises… plus can stave off the isolation one feels as life gets turned on its head with the arrival of an infant!" Exactly how we feel as we build MilkforThought.com! 

We also appreciated Ally's insight, who helps run a breastfeeding support group and sees real issues with breastfeeding gadgets being misused, such as mothers lubing up with a cream before nursing and wondering why baby can't get a good latch.

So how do moms figure out what they need, what they don’t, and how to have the best nursing experience possible? Connect with those credible, supportive resources, of course! From in-person mommy groups to meeting with an IBCLC, talking to someone who knows is so much more valuable than listening to the product recommendation blitz coming from the Internet, or even well-meaning friends.

It can be tough for new moms to cut through the clutter and determine what tips and products are really beneficial to helping her reach her personal breastfeeding goals. One of the reasons we at MFT saw a need for a super-credible but hip online platform for the breastfeeding community is that new parents often feel lost amid the tens of thousands of YouTube videos, Google search results, and forums full of moms giving anecdotes and advice — all of which may or may not be helpful.

So what does Milk for Thought take away from FierceMamas’ blog post? Amid the overload of products and recommendations, it can help new moms to remember that the 2 things they need to feed their baby are free and readily available: Love and support and breastmilk!

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WE ASKED OUR MOMS … Where did you feel most supported to breastfeed, and where did you feel least supported? NOW … The results!

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Yesterday, we asked MFT’s Facebook followers to tell us where they felt the most and least supported throughout their breastfeeding journeys. We received answers that ranged from hilarious to exciting to surprising (good and bad). We tallied them up, and here’s what we heard!

General themes that emerged …

  • Moms need more love from their in-laws. While several people cited their in-laws as very supportive, this was certainly the most common answer for where moms felt the least supported. When in-laws find breastfeeding “weird” or “unnecessary,” it just shows we need to work harder to educate them before the baby comes in hope they’ll understand that breastfeeding moms need their love and support, no matter what. Love and support from mom can make all the difference — check out the moms who won’t let their daughters give up in these two great videos.
  • Pediatricians & family physicians need breastfeeding education. We were saddened, although not super-surprised, to hear several moms say their doctors (or ex doctors!) told them they didn’t need to breastfeed or should wean after just a few months. In the past, we’ve also heard of doctors giving a mom formula and saying it is “easier,” or simply shrugging their shoulders when a pregnant mom asked about nursing. That sounds like pure misinformation  and lack of education and training to us! Luckily, we’re really focused on collaborating with the amazing supporters out there who want to get those medical professionals educated and onboard with empowering breastfeeding moms instead of dissuading them. We shot some awesome videos this summer — watch to see how the right training can change a nurse or doctor’s mindset!
  • Everyone needs to understand that breastfeeding a toddler is normal, natural and recommended. Plenty of moms in our poll mentioned strange looks or disapproval from in-laws or friends when they were nursing an older child. This is a common and recurring theme! It’s time to educate the public — and our loved ones — that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding "up to 2 years of age or beyond."

Other interesting tidbits …

  • Surprisingly, we didn’t hear much about breastfeeding in public! A few moms even gave shoutouts to breastfeeding-friendly businesses and staff in their communities! We think that’s progress!
  • Moms and friends are mostly super-supportive, even if they didn’t breastfeed their own children.

Thanks to everyone who participated and gave insightful responses!

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Good morning to our new followers!

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Thanks for joining us! If you enjoy breastfeeding, baby and parenting news, information, giveaways, store discounts and exclusives, or know a pregnant or new mom who does, share the love! And don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for even more insider info from Milk for Thought!