About a month ago I learned about a new online reality series called, "A Parent Is Born." Sponsored by Pampers, Similac and Beechnut, the show follows three young families on their journey to parenthood. In the first episode we are introduced to everyone in the Favela, Smolinski, and Barston families. It's quite obvious that the Favela's are the "crunchy" family. Mom Bella went drug-free during labor and is shown reaching down to help catch the baby during the birth. She is also briefly shown breastfeeding in the introduction.
There are 14 episodes total in the series that cover topics ranging from discipline to sleep, potty training and babyproofing. This week's episode is entitled, "Feeding Baby" and is billed as a breastfeeding video. Naturally I didn't have high expectations going in, and Similac didn't disappoint.
If you can't see the 5 minute video, it begins with us seeing Bella nursing her daughter first thing in the morning. She talks about how nice it is to have that time with her baby, when it's still slightly dark outside and the house is quiet and it's just the two of them, bonding. She's a very beautiful and glamorous woman and the footage of the two them together is very sweet.
But then we see the three sets of families, sitting together outside, discussing breastfeeding and formula feeding.
Here is the transcript from the conversation. It's long but definitely worth reading if you can't see the video. Bolded parts are emphasis mine.
Subtle. This is what we want new mothers or moms-to-be to know about breastfeeding? That 2 out of 3 moms won't be able to breastfeed because not only might your baby never be able to breastfeed, but he'll probably be allergic to your milk and be miserable anyway. Isn't it something that both of these moms had babies who needed to be on the twice-as-expensive hypoallergenic formula? And how about Lauren who, when she calls her pediatrician for breastfeeding advice, is told to switch to formula. Did anyone explain to her that evening fussiness is totally normal, as is clusterfeeding. Was she trying to schedule the baby's feeds? Did she meet with a lactation consultant? Talk about getting "booby trapped" by a health care professional!
If you think that these messages aren't damaging, think again. Bella, the mom who is enjoying the beautiful breastfeeding relationship with her 5-month-old daughter, sat looking somber during this discussion but didn't say anything. You may be thinking that as a breastfeeding mom she was probably wise to stay quiet because anything she would've said would have been misconstrued as being judgmental. But look at how quickly she internalized the message from these two women. The next time we hear from Bella she says:
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