The “Fearless Formula Feeder” and World Breastfeeding Week
The “Fearless Formula Feeder” has chosen World Breastfeeding week to announce an “I Support You” movement aimed at supporting all mothers, not just those who choose to breastfeed. Like most pseudoscience, FFF’s movement fails in its premise. While WHO’s strategy for this year is to honor breastfeeding supporters (a group FFF clearly views as her enemy) – the purpose of World Breastfeeding Week – like all good public health initiatives is about improving outcomes. The outcome the WHO wishes to improve is increasing the number of mothers who succeed at breastfeeding for a full two years. We can debate science behind their policy if you want – I welcome it.
So let’s get back to that failed premise – show me your data FFF. Where is the mother who failed at formula feeding because a hospital gave her free breastfeeding supplies? Where is the mother who failed at formula feeding because a maternity nurse introduced a rubber nipple? Where is the mother who failed at formula feeding because her employer didn’t give her enough time or space to keep up her formula supply? What obstacle has society put in place that is causing mothers who choose to formula feed to fail at formula feeding? The outcome is not about how you felt while doing it, or how you feel about it now, but about whether you succeeded or failed.
While WHO has chosen a strategy of honoring breastfeeding supporters, World Breastfeeding Week is really about changing the outcome for the many mothers who try to breastfeed and fail due to lack of support.