Breastfeeding Bullies

ALL ABOUT ME 118 JULY 2018 Final

It was my first big buy meeting after having my baby and I went in unprepared. Not on the work side. Nope, I had all the sell-thru history and assortment plans ready to present to the (male) buyer. It was on the personal side where things fell apart. My (male) Regional Manager and I were halfway to a town outside of Milwaukee when I realized I’d left my breast pump at home. How bad could it be? I mean, I’m only going to be gone four or so hours….

We got to the buying office with half an hour to spare so I stopped in the women’s bathroom to freshen up after the hour long ride. For anyone who’s never been a breastfeeding mom, your body adjusts to your baby’s schedule. So when that baby is ready to eat… well, let’s just say you’re ready to feed it. We hadn’t even begun the meeting and I knew I’d made a big mistake not bringing that pump.

I proceeded into the meeting room filled with all men: the buyer, his assistant and my manager. We were covering the last season’s sell thru and I was doing my best to ignore the pain in my chest when the buyer stopped and pointed at my silk blouse (what was I thinking??) and said, “Germaine do you want to take care of that?”

I looked down and saw what looked like two leaky faucets dripping breast milk right onto the conference table. I was mortified and as I headed back to the bathroom to see what I could do to cease the endless dripping, I heard them laughing and making inappropriate comments.

This was 22 years ago and I remember hoping life will be easier for my daughter if and when she has a baby. More people will be educated cause breastfeeding is bound to get more popular. They’ll understand we’re all born with mammary glands to feed our children. Breastfeeding gives them the best start at a healthy life and nursing will be more accepted, right?

12-9902_The Margo PJ_Maplewood_Lifestyle 3_Small.jpgWell here we are and the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly is gathered in Geneva. Decades of research has shown that breastfeeding is the absolute best form of nutrition to give new born babies and all delegates are expected to endorse a “resolution [that] says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.” (Read More HERE)

But low and behold, the United States says “NO”. They say no to endorsing decades of research that could save over 823,000 babies and instead, they embrace the interests of infant formula makers.

At first, the U.S. asked the other delegates to “water down” the resolution but when that attempt failed, they decided to threaten Ecuador who was prepared to introduce the resolution, by threatening to enforce punishing trade measures and withhold military support. What’s worse is other small, poor countries in Africa and Latin America backed off on supporting the measure too because they feared if they did, our government would unleash multiple forms of retaliation.

Are you getting this? The U.S. delegates who are supposed to be advocating health and wellness around the world are bullying other countries so they can protect formula manufacturers. They’re sacrificing the health not only of their own people, but of thousands of others around the world so infant formula companies CAN MAKE MONEY!

The Organic Sleepy Dress_Black_Lifestyle 1_Small.jpgEcuador and these other small countries knew their own people would’ve benefited by advocating breast feeding in their countries.

Breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight off viruses and bacteria. Breast feeding actually lowers the risk of babies getting allergies or asthma. Actually, babies fed exclusively breast milk without any formula for the first 6 months have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses and bouts of diarrhea which honestly, is a huge plus right there! (Read More HERE)

Endorsing this measure would mean thousands of babies would get a healthier stab at life and more women would be supported in their decision to nurse. Yet, due to the bullying of our own United States health delegates, these babies and women will suffer so formula companies can profit. Wow! Talk about the ugly Americans!

Putting major corporations over the health of babies around the world is a blatant illustration of this administration’s selfish greed.

This all brings me right back to that day in the conference room. Yeah, I was stupid not to have brought my breast pump that day and yeah, I set myself up for embarrassment by not being prepared but if the other people in that room had been more educated and accepting of breast feeding, I bet I wouldn’t have left feeling utterly (ahem) defeated.

So how do Ecuador and those other tiny countries feel? How do YOU feel knowing your own health delegation chooses profit over your own well being? I don’t know about you, but it kind of makes me sick and unfortunately, their actions will literally make a lot of babies sick too.

What can you do? Be informed and spread awareness to everyone you know (yes, the men too!) so that we are all aware of how healthy breastfeeding can be. For more info on how you can help, click here.

– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer

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Do you think breast is best?

Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below! Your comment may even win you a free MAJAMAS garment this week!

6 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Bullies

  1. Hey, Germaine…you know I breast fed my twins, that was fun; it really was once they got on the same feeding schedule. Our country has become an embarrassment; with all the research, it is unthinkable the US is not supporting breastfeeding.

    1. I was horrified to read this as well. But 10 mins. later I saw an article which disputes the information given here. The fake news business is really getting out of hand. Read the article at thefederalist.com2018/07/10/no-the-trump-administration-didn’t-oppose-breastfeeding-at-the-world-health-organization . Please let’s not bring politics into the breastfeeding world. Even mothers who love to breastfeed and promote breastfeeding can have different opinions.

      1. Thanks for reading. Our point is to emphasize that education is the most important key to ensuring breastfeeding is presented to not only new mothers, but our entire society as the absolute healthiest way to feed a baby. We did not bring politics into the breastfeeding world. The US delegation not backing this measure did that all on their own.

        On a side note, we don’t consider the New York Times or other legitimate news organizations as “fake news”. As David Cameron elegantly put it “fake news is not broadcasters criticizing you. It’s Russian bots and trolls targeting your democracy.”” Using the term “fake news” against legitimate news organizations is dangerous not only to our democracy but to all the journalists working for the organizations our president calls out. They’re receiving death threats and have to have special guards just to cover stories. I respect your comment but encourage you to be careful when using that term.

  2. I know this post is old, but I only just now discovered Majamas and stumbled across it when I was looking for other info on the site. I’d like to offer a different point of view.

    There is an unbelievable amount of pressure to exclusively breastfeed from the moment you get pregnant and even more once the baby is born. Even supplementing with formula is looked down on by some. Both camps in the breastfeeding discussion continue to do and say insensitive things and none of it is helpful to mothers or babies. A bit like the way we often take the ability to conceive, carry, and birth a live and healthy child, the ability and ease of producing breast milk and successfully nursing a child are often taken quite for granted by those who have never struggled with it, or have not yet struggled.

    I struggled with low supply and vicious PPD with both kids. I had been excited to nurse my first and desperately wanted to go EBF. I was crushed when even after months of dedicated work with a lactation consultant trying just about every trick up her sleevetried I still couldn’t fully feed my babies by myself. I felt like such a failure.

    I didn’t want to have to use formula but neither child slept, gained weight, or grew (at least not enough to satisfy the doctor or the lactation consultant) until I began supplementing with formula after feedings. I felt like I was some kind of criminal when I had to go buy formula. I cried all the time. It was one more thing on the long list of things about motherhood that I felt like I was completely failing at.

    I learned later that my mother had had low supply as well ( she passed before my first child was born). I think it’s a thing that’s not talked about – it gets swept under the rug and discounted as “all in your head” and “being lazy” and “not trying hard enough” and also as being due to our society not understanding how miraculous breastfeeding is. (And breastfeeding IS miraculous. It’s amazing.)

    Low supply might be rare, but it is real, and so are other circumstances that prevent breastfeeding, including adoption, and maternal death. Donor milk is not always easy to find or reliably available. In my opinion it’s insensitive and unhelpful not to acknowledge that these situations exist and to contribute to making mothers/ caregivers in these situations feel more guilty, inadequate, and overwhelmed than they already do.

    No one should be discouraged or prevented from breastfeeding. It’s a wonderful miracle to be able to exclusively nurse a child and no one should be shamed for it or discouraged from it. Not everyone is blessed with this amazing ability though. It is a great disservice to deny that population education about and or access to formula and clean water or to disparage them for using it.

    I’m not saying you did any of those things, but I have heard others who have similar views on this topic do all of those things. This is a very sore subject for me and I could not hold myself back from telling my story and sharing my opinion. Thank you for reading and for making wonderful products.

    1. Thank you for your comment. This article has nothing to do with a mom choosing or not to choose to breastfeed. That was never the intention of this article.

      Regarding your experience, there are many women out there like you who wanted to rely solely on nursing their baby but due to issues out of their control, could not. My motto for new moms has always been “whatever works” and regardless of whether we nurse or not, a mom should be allowed to do whatever is best for her and her baby. If your baby wasn’t thriving, you had absolutely no choice but to supplement and even if your baby were thriving, you should never feel shamed or pressure to breastfeed if that wasn’t best for you and your baby.

      I’d like to believe strangers and outsiders have the best intentions when making recommendations to new moms who get bombarded with their opinions but sometimes that advice can be hurtful and insensitive. Sometimes it’s best to leave our thoughts to ourselves, especially when a new mom is exhausted and dealing with so many issues completely out of her control.

      I’m sorry for your experience. The world is a rough place lately but I believe if we all come from a place of love and kindness, we can help and encourage each other instead of offending and isolating them.

      Stay well and thank you for your support and input on this topic.

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