Today I came home from Dessa’s tykes class to find a package waiting on my doorstep. Usually I get excited for deliveries of any kind; it usually means something fun and exciting. Well, when I got in the house and around to finally opening it up, I was pissed to find two sample containers of infant formula from Similac. It’s part of their “Strong Moms” campaign with snazzy new designs, cool new containers and Ty Pennington smiling and being all BFF with moms. I didn’t even bother reading anything they sent and fumed off to make dinner.
Now I’m a breastfeeding mami and I can’t sing its praises enough; it’s been an amazing experience I would never give up. I feel strongly that all moms should make an effort to breastfeed. Please note that I didn’t say all moms should breastfeed, but they should give it at least a fair shot. I’m a firm believer and practitioner of attachment parenting and I also adopt their philosophy that each family needs to create a parenting style that works for them. In that light, I believe each parent needs to make the choices that will allow them to be the best parents possible. So for breastfeeding, I believe every mother should give it a fair shot then make the decision that will allow her to be the best mother possible. For some it will mean exclusively breastfeeding while others will supplement with formula and still others will use breastmilk exclusively but integrate the use of a bottle.
So why does getting formula samples piss me off? Well because I feel like women aren’t being given a fair shot at breastfeeding. How are they going to believe that breastfeeding really is best if our culture continues to spend it’s marketing dollars on formula? Well, as I started to cook dinner I was brainstorming ideas for a breastfeeding campaign to get the word to moms-to-be on breastfeeding practices. I thought for sure the Similac pamphlet would give me plenty of formula favoring info so I went to check it out.
I sat down with their formula loving pamphlet and started reading. The first section of their Strong Moms “The Art of Feeding” guide is about…breastfeeding! Even though I saw the title of the section, I was super skeptical. I thought for sure they’d give crappy advice and point women to supplement with formula. But, um, I was wrong. They offered up sound advice and never once suggested the use of formula. By the time I finished, I was actually really happy about the Strong Moms campaign.
Without a lot of money available to organizations that advocate for breastfeeding, it’s refreshing to see a mainstream formula company stepping up to the plate and spreading the word about breastfeeding. Their pamphlet is set up to guide new moms and moms to be through the various options that are available to them for feeding their little ones. While I don’t think this is the perfect solution to making breastfeeding a normal part of our culture, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.