Guidelines for Successful Breastfeeding Advocacy

The Best for Babes Credo

ALL moms deserve to make a truly informed feeding decision and to be cheered on, coached and celebrated without pressure, judgment or guilt.

ALL breastfeeding moms deserve to achieve their personal breastfeeding goals without being undermined by cultural & institutional “Booby Traps“.

We at Best for Babes believe that moms always make the best decisions for their own families when they’re given access to evidence-based research, helpful medical professionals and true support groups that cheer them on.  Unfortunately, too many moms don’t have that experience.

If you find your back up against the breastfeeding wall from members of the public, businesses you frequent, fellow employees or bosses, and you want to reclaim your right to breastfeed without any guff –which you are entitled to to do!– it’s important keep Activism and Advocacy in the right context.  You don’t want to estrange people from the breastfeeding cause by being harsh or judgmental, or telling them what we think they should or should not do. After all, no one knows what it’s like to walk in anyone elses’ shoes! Not to mention, if one person gets a mother’s defenses up, it makes it that much harder for anyone else who may try to talk to her about the same topic.  Don’t be your own worst enemy!

With that in mind, there are lots of ways you can be a supportive breastfeeding activist and do a lot of good for mothers and babies on a larger scale than just nursing your own children or supporting those who do.

When you get involved in breastfeeding advocacy, remember that sounding calm, well-informed, and personable is incredibly important. The media and naysayers love to try to paint breastfeeding advocates as crazed hippies who have no lives outside their children and who are obsessed with forcing others to breastfeed and condemn those who formula feed. We know this isn’t true, and when you’re put in a position to advocate for breastfeeding, make sure you’re not giving them any ammo against you or the cause either.

Nurse-Ins are a good example of breastfeeding activism that gets lots of attention, but that attention can easily backfire in ways that aren’t necessarily beneficial for breastfeeding moms. Check out our What Exactly Is a Nurse-In? page not only for help setting one up, but also for understanding of when they’re appropriate and how to keep it a positive and beneficial event.

The Media is a powerful thing. Breastfeeding events, discrimination stories and responses to negative press often make the news, TV shows and beyond. Knowing how to speak to the media is important, as well as knowing what may end up stabbing you in the back. Make sure you’ve looked over our Media Talking Points for Moms to get prepared for speaking out on behalf of breastfeeding.

The United States Breastfeeding Committee has a whole page dedicated to Tools for Breastfeeding Advocates, especially for those dealing with policy, systems, and environmental” change.

Make sure you keep your sense of humor in any situation. It not only makes you more personable but also will help you laugh off any negative questions, opposition or comments. But also make sure you’re being respectful of others, even if you don’t feel like you’re being respected. Watch your language, and make sure you don’t offend others by not being empathetic.

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