Friday, December 24, 2010

Parenting Magazines Without Formula Advertisements

The other day someone emailed me to ask whether or not there were any magazines for parents that don't advertise formula. As you've probably noticed, most of the mainstream parenting magazines are financed in large part by the formula companies. In fact, the breastfeeding articles in these mags are so poorly written, I've often wondered if this isn't part of the advertising deal, too. "Don't write anything that makes breastfeeding sound too good, or we'll pull our ads!"

Anyway, I live in the US and when I started to think about this question, here is what I came up with.

Brain, Child

Brain, Child bills itself as the "thinking mothers" magazine and there couldn't be a more apt description. This quarterly magazine features articles on topics like co-sleeping, weaning after a cancer diagnosis, adoption interruption, non-custodial mothers, abortion and politics that are smart and engaging. You may even notice some of your favorite bloggers featured within its pages. The ads are for things like boutique clothing stores, wooden toys, gluten-free food products, etc. There is nothing specific in their advertising requirements that prohibits formula ads, but my guess is you'll never see one in Brain, Child.

Mothering Magazine

I always think of Mothering as the original "crunchy mom"'s magazine. I discovered the online forums before I started reading the magazine. Mothering has all of your granola needs covered and in the magazine you'll find articles on everything from breastfeeding and natural childbirth to green living, babywearing, vaccines and homeschooling. Digital subscriptions are an inexpensive way to access the magazine, which I find sells out quickly at Whole Foods. I've never seen an ad for formula in Mothering and my guess is I never will.

Kiwi Magazine

Kiwi magazine's tagline is "Growing families the natural and organic way," and their focus is on healthy parenting. In Kiwi you will find articles on raising kids to be socially responsible and to care about the environment. It's also full of eco-friendly craft projects and healthy recipes. I've only been reading Kiwi for a short time, and so far no formula ads (although this month's issue did have an ad for an organic cleaning product that featured a cartoon mom holding her baby in a nursery and feeding him a bottle). So far I am enjoying the magazine. Kiwi is also currently looking for members of a new Parent's Advisory Board that will help them shape the magazine in the future.

These are the only 3 parenting magazines I've ever found that aren't covered in ads for formula and bottles. I enjoy all of them, although they are not perfect. Diversity is a problem for all of these magazines, both in photographs and articles tackling topics that are of interest to parents of color. Although there have been a lot of articles on race and parenting in Brain, Child, they have typically been from the point of view of white parents who are raising biracial children or who have adopted children of color. This problem is not unique to Kiwi, Mothering and Brain, Child, though. The mainstream parenting magazines don't tackle race and have very few pictures of people of color in them. And there isn't a parenting equivalent of Essence or Latina so our choices are severely limited. If I had to pick, I'd much rather read a magazine where breastfeeding is the norm.

Are there any other parenting magazines you read and enjoy that would appeal to natural and attachment parents?

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