Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Avoid the "Booby Traps"

A new ad campaign launched yesterday, which aims to increase breastfeeding rates. The ad, created by the Best for Babes Foundation, wants to take the focus off the breast v. bottle debate and tackle the real issue at hand: moms are being urged to breastfeed, but are set up to fail. Our entire system makes it so difficult for moms to reach the gold standards of 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding and nursing to one year and beyond. We have almost no paid parental leave, almost no on-site daycare, zero government subsidized daycare, very few women have a place and time to pump and store breast milk during the work day, and on and on. We know that breastfeeding is more than a personal choice you make for your family, it's a public health issue as well. Think about all of the money that is spent on hospital and doctors' visits each year for babies who aren't breastfed. And what about the preventive protection breastfeeding provides for moms, too?

Best for Babes co-founders Bettina Forbes and Danielle Riggs say, "We are ignoring 'the cure' literally right under our noses. Especially in this economy, we all need to be more strategic. Boosting breastfeeding continuation rates is an incredibly cost-effective way to improve public health, and positively impact education, the economy and the environment across the board."

The above ad will debut in the June/July issue of Fit Pregnancy magazine and the campaign has been endorsed by Dr. Joan Meek, Chair of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, and celebrities Gabrielle Reece and Marilu Henner.

Best for Babes wants to help women avoid the "booby traps" that keep them from breastfeeding or reaching their breastfeeding goals. They hope to get more hospitals certified as "Baby Friendly," to get physicians trained in lactation, to get insurance providers to cover pump rentals and visits with lactation consultants, and get employers on board and supporting their employees who choose to breastfeed after returning to work. All lofty goals that we can all get behind.

If you can't see the text at the bottom of the ad, it reads:
Breastfeeding boosts your bank account and your baby's immune system, saving you on hospital bills, doctors' visits, medicine, and missed days of work. It could also save billions on health care costs. Are your hospital, physician, employer, and insurer doing their part to help you succeed? Let us help you find out at bestforbabes.org.

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