CBS News Gets Breastfeeding Right But You Won’t Read This

This CBS News video on the Challenges of Breastfeeding is wonderful in so many ways it is hard to know where to start.  Especially on the heels of our disappointment with ABC News, and more dirt on their ties with industry, I think it is really important to give a huge shout out to CBS for getting breastfeeding right, and giving moms a huge boost in beating the “Booby Traps.”  Below is what I like about the video; read to the end for the REAL punchline–I’m issuing a challenge!


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Here’s what I loved about the video right off the bat:

  • The breastfeeding depictions in the opening help normalize breastfeeding in our squeamish culture. 
  • Dr. Jennifer Ashton is attractive, sympathetic and articulate.   Her image can help give breastfeeding a makeover and make it mainstream.   Move over, Dr. Nancy Snyderman!    I love that Dr. Ashton shares that breastfeeding was challenging for her personally, and how she was much more successful with baby #2, just like most moms (but we hope that someday, baby #1 won’t get the short end of the breastfeeding stick any more, once the barriers are gone.)
  • Ashton notes that breastfeeding is important for the baby AND the mother!  Yes!  Too often the focus is just on the baby, but moms get huge health and emotional benefits from breastfeeding too, and they are worth it.  Personally I have no problem with any mom who breastfeeds because it’s good for HER. 
  • That delicious breastfeeding baby with all the hair!  Rooting away, sucking on Rosenfeld’s practiced finger, I was practically cheering that little babe on.
  • Watching a master at work.   Expert lactation consultant (IBCLC) Freda Rosenfeld is the kind of LC I wish all moms had PAID, INSURED access to instead of some of the imposters out there.   What a great role model to expose the mainstream public to, when not enough mothers know about ILCA.org and how to find the right A-team to support them through birth & breastfeeding!  Rosenfeld was wonderful on camera, and a joy to watch.  I absolutely worship the true “Boob Whisperers” out there, and delight in how they handle babies and mothers with supreme knowledge, skill, intuition and love.  
  • Lots of breastfeeding footage and even a little bit of nipple.   In the right context (think Salma Hayek or Angelina Jolie on the cover of W magazine); I have total faith that the American public can embrace breastfeeding in full view.
  • Highlighting the uniqueness of every mom-baby breastfeeding experience.  Moms need to know to have no expectations, but to have the mindset that  breastfeeding is an adventure; and that as long as you are not being booby-trapped or have medical contraindications you will probably get the hang of it just like riding a bike.   Helping moms understand that they need to get help right away if they are having difficulty. 

There are some things that annoyed me like the heavy-handed focus on pumps and featuring a product made by a company that is not WHO Code Compliant, but I am not going to nitpick.  Overall the story was fantastic.

However, I fear that this video clip will not spread like wildfire throughout the ‘net and blogosphere.  Let’s face it, media coverage or blogs that stir up the mommy wars and send everyone into a tweeting, commenting, posting, judging frenzy generate a lot more hits and a lot more attention than an informative, positive, supportive view of breastfeeding.  But how can we encourage huge media outlets like CBS to get awesome messages about breastfeeding under the nose (literally) of the mainstream public if we only focus on the negative?   Just like in parenting, we need to provide MORE positive reinforcement.  So I am issuing a challenge to you:

Please write CBS and tell them how much you appreciate the fantastic video and what a great service they provided for mothers and babies.  Then come back and comment that you did it; then tweet it and facebook it!    I bet we can get 100 people to send them a letter.   If enough of us flood them with gratitude for this feature, maybe other media outlets will follow suit.   Are you listening, ABC News? 



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76 Comments | Last revised on 04/21/2010


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