ALL parents deserve to make a truly informed feeding decision and to be cheered on, coached and celebrated. All parents deserve to carry out their infant feeding decision without pressure, judgment or guilt.
ALL breastfeeding parents deserve to achieve their personal breastfeeding goals without being undermined by cultural & institutional Booby Traps.
In forming Best for Babes, we spoke to hundreds of families, and listened to their stories. Because of what you told us, one of our primary objectives with Best for Babes is to act as a catalyst in the breastfeeding and mainstream media community, and shift the focus OFF parents and on to the barriers that are keeping them from making educated decisions.
Families don’t need to be harassed or made to feel bad! We know parents who were made to feel bad for breastfeeding (or for breastfeeding in public), and we know parents who were made to feel bad for feeding formula. We are moms who struggled with breastfeeding (unnecessarily, because of the booby traps); one of us used formula. We know parents who were made to feel bad for going back to work, for not going back to work, or for using pumps and bottles. (That last one is rather silly, isn’t it? As our beloved Dr. Ruth Lawrence likes to say, “what are moms who can’t breastfeed or have to pump supposed to use to feed their babies, their shoe?)
The bottom line is that parents are prone to feeling guilty tand they don’t need help piling it on. So we are really eager to find a way to make mothers feel GOOD–inspired, prepared and empowered–and express our support for ALL parents, because parenthood is not easy!
If you have done evidence-based research, weighed your options, and understand how you are being influenced by marketing and cultural norms, and you decide not to breastfeed, we support you whole-heartedly. We will defend your decision and will point you in the direction of resources to support you, such as our Babe’s Guide to Bottle-Feeding which is useful if you decide to breastfeed and bottle-feed, feed your expressed milk, feed donor milk, or feed infant formula, or some combination thereof. We will tell you that It’s Not Just About Breastfeeding and that you are a great mom as long as you love your baby.
It also means that if you DO decide to breastfeed, and you have set a goal, we will support you to achieve that goal, no matter if it is to breastfeed for two days, two weeks, two months, two years or beyond. We will encourage you to work with compassionate, qualified lactation professionals–many of whom are well versed in all infant feeding methods–to set a goal that works for you and your family. We will also continue to educate people how their decisions are influenced by marketing and cultural norms.
We will defend your decision and help to fight the cultural barriers (disapproval, etc.) and the institutional barriers (hospitals, physicians, employers, insurers, stores, restaurants and companies) that give lip service to supporting breastfeeding but are undermining or discriminating against breastfeeding parents.
If you are making decisions based on popular myths and misinformation, or are not aware as to how your decision is being influenced by our culture and institutions, we may give you a gentle nudge, like any coach or best friend would do. Parents who make a truly informed decision tend to feel positive and not guilty, and we want to empower all parents to step into parenthood feeling confident and good about their decisions! We respect YOU!
We are excited about our Credo, because it is quite unique in the breastfeeding community. We may get some flack for saying this, but we hope that more breastfeeding organizations and activists will do a little less “promoting, protecting and supporting” of breastfeeding and a lot more “promoting, protecting and supporting” of parents. Perhaps the “promote, protect, support breastfeeding” slogan was necessary in the past, but with evidence in favor of breastfeeding constantly pouring in, it is time to shift gear and change the message!
Most parents—77%—already want to breastfeed. When we lead by example, give expecting and new parents the love, acceptance, compassion they need to be empowered, and break down the cultural and institutional barriers, we are confident that more moms will make healthy decisions and be better equipped to the best parents they can be. None of us is perfect, we are all on this parenthood journey together, and we need each other more than ever!
Finally, thank you for telling us what you wanted in a breastfeeding non-profit. We hope we’ve shown you that we listened. You have trusted us to lead the way, and we hope you are happy with our credo, and will make it your credo, too!
Best for Babes was founded in 2007 with this credo in mind. This page was first published in April of 2010 and has been revised and updated since to link to current content and provide more resources to moms, their caregivers, family and friends.