Whether you breastfed or not, whether you are a parent or not, increased breastfeeding rates benefit all of us, improving the health of mothers, babies, all of society and the planet. (See: 2011 State of Breastfeeding in the U.S.) Yet, at the same time that mothers are being urged to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months, they are being harassed, humiliated and discriminated against, and face unnecessary obstacles — we call them Booby Traps, and they are everywhere: at doctors offices, at in hospitals, at the workplace, in malls, stores, airplanes and restaurants.
Moms have had enough. Mothers are getting mad, and they are getting organized. On Monday, moms are gathering in Georgia for a statewide protest. We think it will be the first of many demanding enforcement of the law protecting mothers. Media interest is building, especially in the wake of an announcement by the American Academy of Pediatrics that breastfeeding is a public health issue, not just a lifestyle choice. (Of course, it is still a personal decision, and one that we defend to the teeth through our Credo–all moms deserve to make an informed decision on how to feed their babies, and deserve to achieve their personal goals, regardless of whether they breastfeed or not.) Another sign that the tide is turning?
News that Beyonce was spotted breastfeeding is being placed in the context of the barriers that moms face, especially African-American moms, by leading media outlets USAToday, The Huffington Post, and ABCNews, a huge step in the right direction. Reports on celebrities breastfeeding in public are no longer titillating, they are galvanizing and inspiring.
Riding on this high of new energy and change underway, we created our very first video to cheer on all the millions of moms who are doing their best to Beat the Booby Traps of misinformation, poor support, judgment and discrimination, whether they breastfeed for 2 days, 2 months, 2 years or not at all. We dedicate it to the millions of advocates who have been toiling in the trenches for decades, fighting for the rights of moms and babies to have better birth, breastfeeding and bonding experiences. We dedicate it to everyone (and that is almost all of us) who has a vested interest in seeing breastfeeding moms and babies thrive, flourish and succeed. We dedicate it to YOU.
Special thanks to Lani Michelle, one of the main moms behind “Bring Breastfeeding Back to Sesame Street” for turning our idea into reality. This was her first video and we think she did an awesome job!!