Archive for the 'Videos' Category

There’s a reason why I don’t watch television (not about lactation, but worth reading anyway)

September 20th, 2007 by MamaBear

I don’t watch television like a normal person. I’m not aware of schedules, or of trendy shows that come out, unless I read about it somewhere (usually online) or if a close friend recommends it. This doesn’t mean I don’t watch. I love television shows: I pick and choose which ones to watch, and then I watch them when I want to, without commercials. I do this through the magic of the internet, awesome computer geekery, dvds, and dvrs (which are one of the best inventions ever).

The average child is exposed to 20,000 television commercials in a year. While I cannot eliminate all television commercials and their influence from my family’s life (sporting events are usually viewed live and, unfortunately, with commercials, though often muted), I think we do pretty well. This is a pretty insular existence, but one I’m happy to have (and one which I wouldn’t trade for the alternative). When I try to watch television with commercials, I am very quickly annoyed with (a) the constant, unceasing interruptions to the plot of whatever show I’m watching and (b) the sheer volume of crap I’m forced to watch of someone trying to sell me something I don’t need. It could be anything: a burger, some new gizmo that’ll promise to make my life easier, room deodorizer (probably the most useless product on the market today)… It doesn’t matter what the product is; years of living virtually commercial-free make going back to the banality of commercialized television insufferable.

This is all a preface to the video below.

So I am aware that there’s this show called America’s Next Top Model. I know, I know, this is the sort of statement that makes people say, “Well, duh,” because it’s been around for a while. It’s not one of the shows I watch. I watch a lot of shows, but this one doesn’t pass muster. Not that ANTM would have had much of a chance anyway at making it onto my (really long) short list of shows that I watch, but this video seals the deal for me. The video, in my opinion, is NOT appropriate for watching in front of children, and I don’t consider it safe for work either. It depicts battered models playing dead, complete with blood spatter and sexy poses. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, the sexualizing of violence, and I don’t consider this “art.” Obviously “art” is in the eye of the beholder, and if this were to be found exclusively in a modern art museum, I’d think, “It’s distasteful, but it is in a museum, after all.” When you go to a museum, you expect to get shocked sometimes.

These pictures are NOT in a museum; they’re on a television show, a show which is probably watched by millions of little girls all over the country, aspiring models or merely fans of them. Normalizing these images only serves to perpetuate violence against women, with the added “bonus” that the women-to-be victims of the future might think the abuse is to be expected. After all, they’ve already become desensitized to seeing bloodied half-naked women in lingerie. Even when you’re getting beaten half to death you should look your very sexy best, don’t you know… Anything less would be criminal.

For more information, including how to take action, read “America’s Next Top Rape Victim.”

And while we’re on the subject of television, don’t even get me started about Kid Nation.

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Bill Maher = Woman-Hating, Child-Hating Idiot

September 15th, 2007 by MamaBear

I’ve seen his stand-up. I’ve watched his show, “Politically Incorrect.” I never was much impressed with either. Sure, he was funny at times — who isn’t if given enough airtime? — But for the most part, he always struck me as a misogynistic ass.

I was not wrong, apparently. Last night, Bill Maher spoke out on breastfeeding and lactivism, making fun of the latter and criticizing the former. Apparently, in Bill Maher’s world, it’s totally okay to show tits if they’re being used ornamentally, but start feeding a baby and suddenly that’s totally inappropriate. He compares public nursing to masturbation… because…Well, because he’s an idiot. I’ll break it down into more digestible pieces for the idiots out there, like Bill Maher, that compare breastfeeding to masturbation because they are both “natural” acts.

Breastfeeding is compared to masturbation, defecation, urination, spitting, and a whole slew of unappetizing but ultimately natural acts by morons everywhere. Here’s a newsflash for you: breastfeeding is natural, yes, and those other things are also natural. Death is also natural, but lactivists are not advocating for public death. “Because it’s natural” is not the only reason to breastfeed. It’s a minor one, not sufficient to fully explain why breastfeeding is better than formula feeding for the infant, just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, breastfeeding is natural, but that’s not why most people choose to do it. Women choose it for their babies, and work so hard to make it a reality for themselves, because it’s the best, most healthful feeding choice available to them. Many women who breastfeed successfully cannot pump enough milk to make a full bottle for their babies, a fact that is completely ignored by these (usually men) who criticize women who breastfeed in public by saying they “don’t plan ahead” or are “lazy.” Additionally, a lot of breastfed babies would refuse to drink from a bottle even if their moms did manage to squeeze out enough milk to feed them. You cannot force a baby to eat, either at the breast or from a bottle. What are these women expected to do? Stay at home for two years plus? Never go anywhere, because Bill Maher and others like him deem breastfeeding moms a “nuisance?” (Post-partum depression due to isolation…? Nah… Just tell those ‘whiny’ post-partum women to pop a pill to ‘deal with it,’ right, Bill?) Oh wait, I know what you really want… You want these mothers to wean their babies prematurely so that you don’t have to bother with averting your gaze when you see their babies eating in public. That’s more like it, right? (Remember, many babies refuse to nurse if you cover them with a blanket, so that’s not an option either.)

So, Bill, our cause isn’t “important” enough? This is a public health crisis, as far as I’m concerned, apparently a much bigger one than I initially thought with influential people like you poisoning the minds of your audience members with this dreck, yet you don’t think it’s “important” because you can’t appreciate the effect it has on society? At least tell me you received a check from the IFC, or that you have shares in formula stock, so that the selling of your soul actually made you some money. I wouldn’t be surprised either way, actually. Your stand-up has always had misogynistic overtones, so you probably did this (and gave the formula companies a foothold, probably without even intending to) for free.

Look, I’m all for global warming awareness. There’s definitely enough evidence to indicate that’s a real problem. This awareness of global warming and other salient issues does not preclude me from also being aware of the importance of getting more mothers to breastfeed, and for fighting for the rights of these same mothers to be openly accepted in society when they take their children out in public. How does one negate the other?! I don’t follow your line of (completely irrational) thinking…

Here’s video of Bill Maher making a complete ass of himself. The anti-lactivism segment starts when the YouTube counter reads 2:51. (Those of you in the know will notice Bill Maher is extra clueless since he states that the Applebee’s nurse-out was the “world’s first.” My previous post dispels that bit of fiction definitively.)

Update: The blog response has been overwhelming regarding Bill Maher’s anti-breastfeeding-in-public stance. Salon featured an article about it (in which this blog, as well as others, were linked) entitled “Bill Maher: ‘Don’t Show me Your Tits!’” So, is the next step a nurse-in at the “Real Time with Bill Maher” studio?  This ought to be interesting…

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Nurse-In Video Montage

September 14th, 2007 by MamaBear

Just discovered this inspiring video montage made by fellow lactivist Janice Reynolds. It features pictures taken at older nurse-ins/outs for Delta Airlines and “The View.” Enjoy! :)

ETA: I just found another fabulous video montage, made by It features pictures from the recent Applebee’s nurse-outs, which included over 2,000 participants and was held all over the country. (Awesome activist reggae music in the background… Yeah, mon!  Note:  It’s not Bob Marley, as much as it sounds like it.  It’s a guy named Ben Harper.)

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Just for fun

August 9th, 2007 by MamaBear

Here’s a video to teach you how to fold an International Breastfeeding Symbol T-shirt pretty professionally in under ten seconds. Get your own International Breastfeeding Symbol tee in the store. You can also find onesies, bumper stickers, patches, and toddler T-shirts. Donations for this month go to La Leche League.

Video contains no audio, so please don’t turn your volume up all the way. :)

Inspired by this video (contains audio in Japanese):

Sorry it’s incomplete; it’s the longest version I could find on YouTube.

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ABC World News Gets it Right

August 6th, 2007 by MamaBear

Bravo, ABC World News! I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw the televised report tonight (entitled “Breast Milk Battle”) that I felt like I had to not only share a link to the video, but commend ABC World News for being the first news outlet I’ve seen to get this story right. It makes Meredith Viera and Dr. Nancy Snyderman from The Today Show (and Elisabeth Hasselbeck from The View) look like a trio of irresponsible, greedy alarmists in comparison, and rightfully so.

Watch ABC World News’ “Breast Milk Battle” and judge for yourself.

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The New York City Formula Media Lies

August 4th, 2007 by MamaBear

It’s amazing what happens when you get a really good policy change, one that will actually make a positive difference in the lives of so many babies and their mothers, and you mix it up with a bunch of sponsorship money, influential television shows, and biased health “professionals.” Well, what you get is the public believing that New York City has banned formula and baby bottles from NYC hospitals altogether.

If I were to hear that, I would be completely outraged, too! I would protest! I would demand justice! How dare Michael Bloomberg take away our womanly freedom of feeding choices! That man, he’s just a man, and what does he know about what women want or need anyway? And the government! What right does the government have to infringe upon women’s freedoms like this?! This is completely absurd!

It is absurd, because all of that is a big fat LIE.

Nobody is taking formula out of hospitals. Nobody is taking bottles out of hospitals. If a woman gives birth in a New York City hospital, she can ask for a bottle full of formula and it will be given to her. There is no infringement on anybody’s rights, and anybody that reports on this new policy change in that way is knowingly reporting inaccurate information. The official New York City press release makes the new policy abundantly clear.

Furthermore, it is not an inalienable right to have a free goodie bag full of formula when you leave the hospital. The fact that New York City is still handing out goodie bags with breastfeeding support information, and pumps to mothers who qualify, is a BONUS to the new policy change, yet another incentive to help new moms continue with breastfeeding (which, as everyone knows and even the formula companies acknowledge, is the BEST way to feed one’s baby). Nobody is saying formula-feeding is bad, only that breastfeeding is better (a well-established and scientifically proven fact, admitted even by the formula companies). Not only is breastfeeding better, it is the biological norm. In order to better set up NYC mothers to succeed at the way infants were meant to be fed, New York City hospitals are now finally taking the action all hospitals everywhere should.

There is no gestapo; there is no controversy. The controversy you are hearing about on the news is artificially created based on lies and deception and motivated primarily by money. Don’t think for a second that any powerful, influential person arguing against the formula sample ban cares about the welfare of women’s “rights” or babies. They will only do so as long as they have a stake in making some money off people believing they care.

I want to share with you a video segment from The Today Show in which a guest, Dr. (?) Nancy Snyderman shares her thoughts on the new policy change. I don’t know what world Nancy Snyderman is living in, but the alternate universe in which the government! and! men! are! making! feeding! choices! for! new! mothers! and! not! letting! them! decide! for! themselves! is not in accordance with reality.

An amazing reader of this blog and researcher, Melissa from Richmond, Virginia, Tivoed that show the day it aired and wrote down a list of all the commercials in between segments (she also located for me the link for the video below — Thank you, Melissa!). Not surprisingly, among the sponsors for The Today Show that day were: Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise, Purina Cat Chow, Purina Kitten Chow, and Lean Cuisine. Who owns these companies? Nestle, one of the biggest formula manufacturers in the world. Oh, but there’s more. There were also commercials for Ensure (made by Abbot Labs, maker of Similac infant formula), Centrum, Preparation H, and Caltrate (all three owned by Wyeth, maker of infant formula). There could be more, but if there are, they were harder to find. From just the aforementioned sponsors, the ones I was able to spot (with a little help from another blog reader and mom who wishes to remain anonymous) that’s eight commercials paid for by companies that have a stake in how well formula sells.

Based on what was discussed, the negative slant toward breastfeeding, the obvious denouncement by MSNBC’s own Chief Medical Editor (Nancy Snyderman) of the formula sample ban, and the evidence of conflict-of-interest presented by the parent companies of many of that show’s sponsors, I would NOT say The Today Show from the morning of August 2, 2007 was reporting on the NYC formula ban fairly and without bias.

My point in all this is, don’t let yourself be swayed by all the pretty window dressing. In the end, if you find controversy about any subject, look closer and you’ll find out all you need to know. The real controversy here is that most hospitals in the United States aren’t baby-friendly. Most babies born in hospitals in the United States are forcibly separated from their mothers immediately after birth and fed formula as part of the hospital routine. In order for a woman to try breastfeeding after giving birth in a hospital, she has to make special requests for her baby NOT to be fed with a bottle. How crazy is it that women have to fight to feed their babies the way they were meant to be fed and feeding them artificially is considered “normal?” How come no news anchors are protesting that?

Watch the formula segment on The Today Show yourself (there’s a random commercial at the beginning; wait it out and you’ll get to see the segment). Share your thoughts below.

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Posts Brewing…

July 27th, 2007 by MamaBear

In the meantime, I want to share this UNICEF documentary I found on YouTube. It’s about formula marketing in the Phillippines. This is similar to the practices that led to the scandal in the 1970’s with Nestle, only now there are more companies at it than just Nestle. I’m beginning to think that the allure of money is just too seductive for big companies (and sometimes even small businesses, like some of the unscrupulous midwives shown in the documentary) to ignore. I suppose it can become easy for individuals with already shaky ethics to be swayed completely when confronted with the opportunity to make extra cash. I’m not saying I don’t understand that this is part of human nature. I just wish so many big businesses in the baby-nutrition industry would stop disappointing me with their questionable marketing campaigns.

As you watch this documentary (which is broken up into five parts that pick up one after another after you push the “play” button on each), note that what it portrays in the Phillippines with regard to formula is analogous to the situation here in the USA with Prolacta and the methods they employ to recruit breast milk donors (complete with midwifery/birth center recruitment as well). I guess one thing Prolacta has going for them is at least they’re not recommending that people formula-feed. It’s actually to Prolacta’s benefit that more women lactate, so that they can provide them with the raw material for their human milk fortifier. There are a lot of problems with the Prolacta-midwifery/birth center arrangement, though, which I’ll get to in later posts.

I hope you learn as you watch the video, entitled “Formula for Disaster.” (The beginning was a bit hard for me to watch, with the baby crying for sooooo long without getting picked up, but once you get past it, the information conveyed is very compelling.) Duration: about 30 minutes for all five parts together. If you can’t watch the whole thing, one part is better than nothing, and they all teach something valuable. :)

What can you do about this?  You can visit the Baby Milk Action “Campaign for Ethical Marketing” page and learn more about how you can write to the formula companies who are doing this.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, too. Comment below or contact me privately.

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La Leche League Founders

July 25th, 2007 by MamaBear

This video is so inspiring that I cried throughout it. A friend of mine shared it with me, and I’d love to share it with you so that you may feel inspired too. It chronicles the history of La Leche League International. It tells how LLLI, originally LLL, was founded by seven women who breastfed their babies in 1956, a time when breastfeeding rates were abysmally low in the U.S.A. Over a few decades, their influence has had enough of an impact to change attitudes about breastfeeding for the better. They still need help, though, which is why donations for the month of August will go to La Leche League International. Enjoy the video.

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Breast Crawl Video

July 22nd, 2007 by MamaBear

I found this video and had to share. It shows a newly born infant crawling on her mother’s chest, all on her own, to initiate breastfeeding. This is probably what would happen with most infants at birth if it were only allowed. Unfortunately the norm in hospitals in the U.S. is to whisk away the infant shortly after delivery, even when there is no medical reason to, separating it from its mother and coming between crucial mama-baby learning and bonding. This leads to unnecessary breastfeeding challenges, I’m sorry to say. It’s always good to see evidence of people making an effort to change that foolish practice, even if it’s not in my own country.

The only reservation I have about this video is that this poor woman who has just given birth is surrounded by a bunch of people (a lot of them men) in a brightly lit room. I think it’s a bit disconcerting, but she doesn’t seem to mind too much, and they seem to be protective of her and her baby while allowing the two to get to know each other without intervening, so I’m willing to let it pass. Other than that, I think it’s wonderful that she and her baby were allowed what every mother and child should be allowed: to bond in peace shortly after birth.

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Extended Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting Report on 60 Minutes Australia

July 18th, 2007 by MamaBear

The following is a clip in two parts of a 60 Minutes Australia report on Attachment Parenting. A transcript of the report can be found on Australia’s 60 Minutes transcript page.

A warning about the video before you play it: it does contain images of children (the eldest five) nursing on their mother’s exposed breasts. If this sort of thing offends you (it doesn’t offend me), please don’t watch it.

The video cuts off during a quote by Dr. John Irvine, child psychologist, but picks right up where he leaves off in the second part.

Continuation of the clip:

I’ve watched this clip about three times now, and what I noticed is that there are many glaring inaccuracies. For starters, Attachment Parenting is definitely about having a strong parent-child bond, but it does NOT mean that you are disallowed from using pacifiers, cribs, diapers, vibrating baby chairs (”Neglect-O-Matics,” as one AP mom called them in the video), baby bottles, or other tools to aid you in raising your child. It is often preferable that these items are not used most of the time, but if you need to use them to maintain your sanity, or to keep your marriage from falling apart, or to not feel so touched-out or burned-out, then as an Attachment Parent (or any other type of parent), you should use them. One of the eight defining principles of Attachment Parenting is “Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life.” If you need to take a shower and the baby is happy to sit in a bouncy chair outside the shower stall for ten minutes while you take care of your personal hygiene, then using a “Neglect-O-Matic” is perfectly reasonable. Some people shower/bathe with their babies, and that is also perfectly reasonable, but not everybody feels that they can keep their baby safe in the shower with them. Likewise, as a breastfeeding mother, if you’re burned out on breastfeeding after two years (or seven years, or three months, whatever), part of “taking care of yourself” means that you can say “no” to your child. It is not a requirement of Attachment Parenting to be obliged to breastfeed if it’s taking its toll on you psychologically, mentally, physically, or in any other way.

Another obvious error in reporting was when the reporter claimed that Attachment Parenting meant “no discipline.” This is completely untrue. Attachment Parenting professes practicing Positive Discipline. Positive discipline means addressing the needs of the child and conscientiously teaching and learning with the child the best way to interact with the world and others. It takes a lot of patience, dedication, and self-discipline on behalf of the parent, but the work put into raising one’s child to be a responsible adult is certainly worth it. I loved the quote of the Aussie mum, Janet Fraser, who said, “…I’m caretaking a future adult.” Brilliant! Yes! Exactly! She also had another quote which was great, “You can’t force a child to breastfeed.” Truer words were never spoken. I know that all-too-well from my own breastfeeding experience with my daughter.

The reporter did raise some good questions, but I feel her slant against Attachment Parenting and all things even remotely AP was pretty negative. I also felt like Dr. John Irvine, the child psychologist, was not even-handed in his assessment of Attachment Parenting. He seems to be confusing Attachment Parenting with permissiveness, which is not accurate. He vaguely refers to having seen “the kids” in his office — He says, “I’ve got the evidence here in the clinic. I see the kids,” but what kids? What percentage of the kids he sees are being raised truly AP and what percent are being raised punitively or permissively? I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of the kids he sees are being raised traditionally, with a lot of punitive discipline and neglect.

On a personal note:

PapaBear, my husband (about to turn 30 years old next month), was raised by very progressive parents. His mother, a psychotherapist, breastfed him until he was almost five and his father quit his job when he was a baby to take care of him until he was four. During the day, his father spent every waking moment with him, building a geodesic dome and letting him experiment with his power tools whenever he wanted. At night, his mother would come home from work and breastfeed him. They all occasionally co-slept. His parents believed in positive discipline, and never used corporal punishment to discipline him, not once. Though his parents divorced and remarried other people, they still treated him as the most important person in their lives. He is now an exceptionally well-adjusted, mature, and compassionate adult of superb intelligence. The way they raised him didn’t have a name yet, but nowadays it would be called Attachment Parenting. FWIW, I believe Attachment Parenting works. My husband is living proof of it.

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