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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4 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.

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