Lactivism Pay-Off!

Proud to say I breastfed Xander for 14 1/2 months!

I’m a Lactivist. I’m proud to stand up and be counted as a Mum who breastfed her baby and who will campaign to further education and support for those who also wish to do so, as well as promoting breastfeeding as the “normal and natural thing to do”. That’s not to say I have anything against those who bottle feed their babies – far from it, I really do believe it’s all down to personal choice – but I do believe in promoting breastfeeding, in trying to raise awareness and make breastfeeding more “socially acceptable”, and in fighting all promotion of formula feeding as being “the norm”.

Today my first ever overt act of lactivism paid off.

Netmums is a website that helps parents and provides information, support and an online community for them. Under their Featured Articles section, they had this picture:

When you clicked on the Breastfeeding section, it showed a breastfeeding baby, but the overall picture here showed a bottle fed one. So I sent the following, non-threatening email to them:

Can I ask why on the “Featured Articles” section, you feature a picture of a bottlefeeding baby rather than a breastfeeding one for the “Feeding Your Baby” section? I know that when you click on the link for breastfeeding, it then shows a breastfeeding baby, but why show bottle feeding as the norm rather than grabbing the opportunity to show breastfeeding as the norm instead?

Sincerely…

Within the hour, they had replied:

Hello and thank you for getting in touch.

We appreciate your concerns and the image has now been replaced with a more breastfeeding friendly one.

Kind Regards

Donna

The Netmums Helpdesk Team

Now they show this picture instead:

Isn’t that a beautiful picture?

I am SO pleased my first proper act of lactivism has paid off!

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10 responses to “Lactivism Pay-Off!

  1. I’m all for breastfeeding too, but it’s not always possible. My son was premature by 6 weeks and was in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit for 2 weeks. I tried to breastfeed but I found it impossible to get him to latch on.

    The midwives in the unit were far too busy so I was advised to try nipple shields. I persevered for another 10 days when we got home but he became dehydrated and my midwife told me to give up and give him a bottle. I didn’t realise how little of my milk he was getting – he must have been starving and I’m certain the guilt contributed to my PND.

    (Also, I expressed when in hospital so he had an adequate amount of breastmilk for the first 2 weeks of his life – apart from when the hospital threw some away in error – which I was very upset about – he had to have formula then as there was nothing to feed him with).

    I’m pleased to say that breastfeeding my daughter was a whole different ball-game, and I continued until she was 11 months – far longer than I felt comfortable with, actually.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I agree with you that breast is best – and I agree that bottle-feeding is the correct decision for some people – but that breastfeeding isn’t all plain sailing. I wish I’d had more help with my son and it might have been different.

    I’m glad Mumsnet listened to you and changed their picture. 🙂

  2. I know some mothers cannot, for one reason or another, breastfeed, and that others choose not to – and I do not have any problem with that at all (and have no intention of ever trying to make a formula-feeding baby’s Mum feel guilty).

    My prime concern is with getting the message out, and making sure women have the support and information that is so important if they decide to breastfeed their baby.

    Thanks for your comment, Janet. Much appreciated. 🙂

    • I’m sure things have changed for the better since I had Luke (he’s 15 now).

      I wasn’t referred to the NCT or the LaLeche League (I think that’s what they were called) – they just told me they hadn’t got time to sit with me (of course they hadn’t – intensive care is a busy place!) and left me to my own devices.

      I wasn’t meaning to imply that you would make people feel guilty -just trying to (inadequately!) explain my story and why I felt guilty. 🙂

      I would encourage any new Mum (or mum-to-be) to try to breastfeed – not only is it best, it’s also free and so, so convenient – especially at three o’clock in the morning! 🙂

  3. I know you weren’t implying that, I was just stating that for anyone else. 🙂 *hugs* In fact, I’m about to add a page to this blog relating to Lactivism. 🙂

  4. Very well done! I am glad it worked for you!

  5. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  6. I totally agree and support all breastfeeding mothers! I, too, breastfed my daughter, now 24, and although I did get an infected nipple, I got over it. My DD, besides having an intolorance to fat, never had porblems with allergies or asthma of any kind. It’s sad when a mother thinks it’s better or “cool” to bottle-feed. (IMO).
    well done!

  7. As far as getting the word out and guilt and people thinking one is better than the other…

    The issue is that many people make breastfeeding out to be as natural as breathing…and it isn’t. While yes…we produce milk for our young…sometimes it is a pain in the patootie to get it to work properly. And it can be painful for some of us. And frustrating. And on top of potentially having issues with PPD, sometimes women get the wrong info or wrong kind of support.

    Sometimes it isn’t about you “doing it wrong” sometimes it just doesn’t work. Sometimes babies are allergic. Sometimes moms don’t make enough. I tried to bf my son…I was told it was “impossible” to not produce enough…even though my mother never produced…even though my milk NEVER came in (either time I might add). I was told that it was “impossible” for a baby to be allergic to the milk…though I know someone personally who was allergic to his mom’s milk. The drs at the children’s hospital tested him and found that yes…he was allergic. It wasn’t something she was eating…it was her. Another friend’s babies were lactose intolerant and had to be put an special soy formula…

    I think the important thing is that your kid is fed and healthy. just like it isn’t important how they got here…it isn’t important how they are nourished.

    /soapbox

    With that said…if they are advertising an artcle on breastfeeding…then it needs to have a pic of someone breastfeeding. LOL Though keep in mind that a lot of people find pictures of nursing children “vulgar” and “obscene”. I know here in the States a nursing mom has rights to bf in public and there are those crass enough to ask her to cover up or go into a (nasty) public restroom.

    People need to get over BF being gross/bad/obscene/vulgar/etc. They are JUST BOOBS. Most underwear commercials show more than a BFing mother and infant show!!

    Sorry Kell…I get passionate about a lot of things. I will shut up now. 😛

  8. You can stand on as big a soap box as you like, Sandy. 🙂

  9. I just didn’t want you to think I was flaming anyone or anything! 🙂 I just know what it is like for people to beat you over the head with the breastfeeding thing…so I always like to put out my experience so people might understand it isn’t always just being lazy…sometimes there are real reasons for not BFing. And in the long run, if it is what makes life easier for mom…it will ultimately make life easier for baby too. A happy mom means a happy family!