Saturday, 19 March 2016

Adverts Work... but give me credit

Adverts Work, opal fruits are still made to make your mouth water in my mind. Kia ora is too orangey for crows and Breast is Best. These are all facts, and companies spend more money than they should on peddling their brands (it'd be better spent on paying taxes, donating to cancer research).

Coco pops and McDonald's advertise, but that doesn't mean I feed them to my kids more than is healthy.

But when I chose to formula feed my babies? The adverts with the fuzzy focus, women living in tidy homes, with giggling bundles were far from my mind.

I needed to feed E. My colostrum wasn't enough and when I had to be taken to theatre and allowed to recover during my 15 minute obs, he was given formula by a midwife. Not because she had seen adverts but because he was 12 hours old and was ready for a meal.

E couldn't latch. I turned myself inside out, desperate to find help to get it all to work. For it to be as easy as the woman in Parent craft said (and unquote, 'there is not a single reason why a woman cannot breastfeed'). I called local charities, I hired a pump direct from medela. I was desperate not to use formula. Because the Breast is Best message was so powerful. Waaaaay more powerful than any subtle follow-on milk ads.

I am not alone in this feeling. The story is echoed from many mums who tried their hardest to provide the best start for their baby. I pumped for 8 weeks to avoid the shame of formula feeding. 8 weeks, of pumping while E still had eczema, colic, cradle cap and got a cold. I was brilliant at producing milk by the way. My proudest time!

After having N, he latched on and had read the book. He was amazing at breastfeeding. Sadly, I couldn't hack it; night 4, after 2 hours feeding, I started to cry and MrB made up a bottle and took over. He didn't do it because of adverts, he did it because he loved us, and wanted to protect me. I'm crying as I write this.

It is insulting to women, to insinuate that formula advertising affects the actions of women feeding their babies.

Feeding your baby is the most primal feeling I have ever experienced. Nothing matters more than them having the best. The absolute best. If if involves hours in the dark, allowing a health professional to manhandle your boob to help latching, hours of hoping, wondering why you failed.

It isn't adverts. It's making sure that baby gets fed. Regardless of oher circumstances, pnd, lack of milk, poor latching and of course ZERO support.

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