Lactivism (portmanteau of “lactation” and “activism”) is a term used to describe the advocacy of breastfeeding.Supporters, referred to as “lactivists“, seek to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding over formula-feeding and to ensure that nursing mothers are not discriminated against.
One form that lactivism can take is the staging of a “nurse-in” (a play on “sit-in”), which involves women gathering in public to breastfeed their children, usually to protest incidents in which a nursing mother was asked to cover up or leave a location because she was breastfeeding.
Often during nurse-ins, breastfeeding mothers will sometimes wear clothing with the International Breastfeeding Symbol on it, to show their solidarity.
Another form of lactivism is simply acting as support for mothers that wish to breastfeed. Some mothers may not have the information necessary to succeed, and some have been provided incomplete or misleading information by the medical establishment, friends, family members, and others that have no experience with breastfeeding. This support often also includes help for mothers who initially had a hospital lactation consultant that opted for formula at the first sign of difficulties with feeding.
My own Lactivism:
- I am passionate on the subject of breastfeeding. I breastfed Xander till he stopped of his own accord aged 14 1/2 months, and would have continued for longer if he had indicated that he wanted to.
- I am committed to promoting awareness of breastfeeding and providing help, support and information to those who want/need it.
- I am committed to the promotion of breastfeeding as a natural and beautiful way to feed babies, and to making it “the norm”, thus helping mothers feel more comfortable about breastfeeding in public.
- I am committed to campaigning against promotion of formula and bottle feeding in the media and in the general public.
- I am NOT against anyone formula feeding their babies in any way.
- I do NOT want to make any mother feel guilty for formula feeding their baby.
Please note that I am aware that some women cannot breastfeed their babies (there is a very small percentage of women who physically cannot breastfeed their babies), and that others chose not to. I have no problem with any of this and do not intend to make anyone feel guilty for not breastfeeding. It is simply my hope that one day all women will have the information, help and support they need to breastfeed successfully and for them to feel comfortable doing so.
Helpful and Interesting Links:
- La Leche League – great advice and support for breastfeeding
- The Breastfeeding Network – independent source of support and information for breastfeeding women
- Breastfeeding Support Network – information on business and venues that cater to the needs of breastfeeding women and their babies
- NHS Breastfeeding Page – info on breastfeeding from the NHS
- The Feedgood Factor – NHS Scotland breastfeeding site
- Breastfeeding Manifesto – information about where you can go to get Breastfeeding support and advice and links to parliamentary and local authority contacts
- Lactivist Facebook Group – a group dedicated to Lactivism
- The Mothers Milk Marketing Board – promoting breastfeeding through funky slogan t-shirts and other items
- Be A Star – campaign aimed at increasing the number of young mums who choose to breastfeed
- Mama Is – a blog with great breastfeeding cartoons
NHS Breastfeeding Awareness advert