We presented our work at the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s Annual Conference on Sunday and were humbled and overjoyed at the enthusiastic response. Over 325 physicians, MDs, PhDs, and IBCLC—the true breastfeeding rock stars who are cheering on moms and babies—heard and embraced our message, and are ready to roll with Best for Babes!
Since our founding two years ago, the Best for Babes Foundation is the first independent, trusted non-profit to re-brand the breastfeeding movement, create a positive, inspiring and empowering message, change the conversation and develop innovative social marketing tools that are igniting change and bringing together respected celebrities, the best corporations, leading foundations, fashion, the media, the medical community, and advertising around a common cause. We’ve acted as a powerful catalyst in the breastfeeding movement and industry, and are seeing the ripple effect and echoes of our vision and clarion call everywhere, and we are very happy about that! We have volunteered tirelessly through great personal adversity (including Danielle’s breast cancer) and the incredible support and love we have gotten from you all, our friends and fans on Facebook and on Twitter has made all the personal sacrifices worth it!
Specifically, we shared with the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine:
- It is time to change the conversation about breastfeeding and shift the pressure off moms and on to the barriers–what we call the “booby traps”–that are keeping moms from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. We charged the crowd to join us in “cheering on, coaching, and celebrating” ALL moms, helping them to make an informed feeding decision without pressure, judgment or guilt. (See our CREDO!) Why? Because moms who want to breastfeed are having a negative breastfeeding experience, they and their babies are suffering, and it is creating a backlash against breastfeeding. When we remove the “booby traps”, we allow moms to have a positive breastfeeding experience and share it with their families, friends, and peers, allowing breastfeeding rates to rise naturally. Most moms want to breastfeed, and deserve to succeed!
- It is time to make breastfeeding the “mother of all causes” and to elevate it on par with Susan G. Komen and other successful campaigns that have won the following of millions. Breastfeeding has a positive impact on almost every single cause we care about—-whether it’s breast cancer, infant mortality, premature birth, life-threatening allergies, heart disease, education or the environment, to name just a few, and it deserves the same attention and resources that all these causes enjoy.
- Marketing, the Media and Creating Consumer Demand: We need the true Rock Stars of Breastfeeding–the doctors, board-certified lactation counselors and health providers–to help us share the stories of moms who are struggling, get evidence-based, accurate, positive and inspiring messages into the media, and to put positive social marketing pressure on the barriers by recognizing and rewarding those who are truly champions for moms. For example, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is one of the most powerful tools to put pressure on all the hospitals—70%, according to the Centers for Disease Control—that continue to undermine moms who WANT TO BREASTFEED!!! Yet, so few mothers have even heard of the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation, and don’t know to demand that their hospital meet the baby-friendly (and mom-friendly) criteria!! We need your help to market what works and cheer moms on.
- This cause needs more collaboration, not less. There is much work to be done, and the barriers to breastfeeding are formidable and are costing our society billions and billions of dollars. Mothers and babies can not afford splintered efforts; they need synergy and a united front among the leadership. This cause is woefully underfunded and our dollars and our resources of time and energy need to be spent where they truly matter most and can have the biggest impact. We need to bring everyone together under an independent, trusted umbrella whose sole purpose is to help mothers and babies, without any other agenda.
We will be sharing more of what came out of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s Conference and what this incredible organization is doing to help moms. We would also be happy to share our presentation with those that want to be part of THE SOLUTION! We wanted to leave you with two wonderful comments:
I am a physician and Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine who just attended and tremendously enjoyed your presentation about “Best for Babes.” My experience in trying to help mothers and their children to breastfeed has included just about every situation your excellent website identifies as “booby-traps.” I love that concept and I applaud your foundation’s approach towards moving mothers away from blaming themselves, breastfeeding advocates and other mothers for their breastfeeding problems, towards identifying the real barriers that cause so many mothers to wean long before their personal breastfeeding goals are met.
The booby traps to successful breastfeeding abound and one of the biggest is the medical system. How is it that I trained to become a pediatrician for 8 years and graduated with ZERO training about breastfeeding? Then I set out to work in a highly respected hospital that was accepting their formula for free. 92% of maternity facilities in the US are doing that TODAY. How about that for a dirty little secret? Arent we suppose to market health, and not be a middle man for a pharmaceutical industry? Then we had hospital policies that separated the brand new perfectly healthy baby from the perfectly healthy mom. Why? So we could get our paper work done. Unless your nipples and breasts are 80 yards long and can go under locked doors and up and over warmers, going to that nursery is a monstrous obstacle to breastfeeding. Then the nurse helping you out, well she probably had zero minutes of training on breastfeeding as well. You can’t keep it going if you don’t get it started. The problem is not you new moms, WE are the problem. Do the best you can. You are doing a great job!! MD from Boston
Thank you again, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, for inviting us to speak. We were invigorated by meeting many of our heroes, and by the amazing work you are doing to help mothers and babies. We are proud and honored to partner with you on upcoming initiatives . . . stay tuned!