Things We Can Do

by LeaningLactivist on November 24, 2009

in General

Here I washed my hands of trying to engage in direct dialog with Nestlé. Don’t get me wrong – I believe that those dialogs can be instructive and eye-opening to people unfamiliar with the issues surrounding Nestlé’s behavior and of the level of disingenuousness evidenced by our Swiss friends. The conversations serve a very important purpose in that they serve to illuminate the dark corners of an unethical corporate citizen’s character and clearly outline why we should choose not to do business with it. I have decided to – finally – completely boycott Nestlé because if what I learned in the discussions at PhD in Parenting.

So why walk away when so many are fighting that good fight? Partly because it is covered so well by others. Partly because I think it would be soul-crushing for me to tilt that particular windmill full time. I’d rather focus my energies where I can see tangible evidence of progress.

Where might that be? Here are some possibilities I’ve identified for myself as areas for further investigation (this is really not as fleshed out as I’d like it to be but it’s 2:00 am and I wanted to get this up before I go to bed rather than having it sit in my draft posts bin indefinitely like so many others) -

  1. The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. I currently live in Mexico where hospital  maternity care and breastfeeding information has enormous room for improvement. It may be that I can go to work trying to get my local hospitals to see the value in this designation.
  2. Promoting Ban the Bags and Healthy Baby Bounty Bag (created by Cottonwood Kids).
  3. Work on the local, state and national level to encourage law-makers to draft and pass legislation that expands maternity and breastfeeding protections.
  4. Work on the local, state and national level to codify into law the WHO International Code Of Marketing Of Breast Milk Substitutes. I believe this is going to be the way that Nestlé will finally be forced to behave with basic human decency.
  5. Add my voice to those calling on local governments to enforce laws already on the books regarding advertising of Breast Milk Substitutes.
  6. Renew my involvement with La Leche League (I need to renew my membership which I’ve let lapse for the last several years),
  7. Investigate other organizations such as Best for Babes, The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and
    National Alliance for Breast-Feeding Advocacy (NABA) (the link isn’t loading for me right now but maybe in the morning it’ll behave properly)

Do you have a recommendation of an organization I should have a look at? Please share it with me in the comments.

{ 5 comments }

Rachel November 30, 2009 at 12:07 am

I recently attended the online launch of Bravado’s Breastfeeding Information Council. It was a great conversation about breastfeeding and work.

http://www.breastfeedinginformation.org/

LeaningLactivist November 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I poked around a bit over there and found it interesting. I’ll have to join to see the results in the ‘findings’ section. I do wonder what Bravado is trying to do with the use of the term ‘non-judgemental’. There is a lot of ‘non-judgemental’ scientific information already available in multiple outlets.

Bettina November 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I loved this post, and agree that we need to fight on both fronts–both to boycott Nestle/demand ethical corporate behavior, and to boost the breastfeeding movement which is being grossly out-marketed and has been woefully out of the loop on the power of social media. One organization that is super savvy with social media AND grassroots campaigning is http://www.momsrising.org . . . Best for Babes urges everyone to join them. Two other organizations that we think have great potential are the United States Breastfeeding Committee http://www.usbreastfeeding.org, and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, http://www.bfmed.org.

Thanks for helping us focus on positive action we can take and for starting such a great list!

Crystal Gold December 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm

My DH and I are constantly talking about how we can find a way to combat the advertising of formula. This is a great post and so important! Thanks for sharing!

LeaningLactivist December 6, 2009 at 9:23 pm

BFHI List of things we can do on an individual level to promote breastfeeding.

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