Ad campaign sending the wrong message about breastfeeding?

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum

An advertising campaign that aims to spread awareness about the effects that expectant mothers' diets can have on the health of their children is doing a disservice to breastfeeding according to many nursing mums.  
 
 
The ‘your child is/eats what you eat’ ads, created for Brazil's Pediatric Society of Rio Grande (SPRS),  show babies suckling from breasts painted to look like unhealthy food and drinks to warn mothers about the dangers that their bad food habits could have on their children.
 
 This campaign follows on from a recent study that found that women with good nutrition are more likely to have babies born with a cancer-suppressing gene variant.
 
The ads, that warn: 'Your habits in the first thousand days of [your child's life] can prevent your child from developing serious diseases', are a startling reminder of the importance of a healthy diet during and after pregnancy.
  
 
Concerned mothers have expressed their outrage, saying the campaign could discourage breastfeeding as it suggests that what a mother consumes is passed directly onto her infant via breastmilk, which isn’t entirely accurate.
Feedback has included:
“I can't believe they would use breastfeeding shaming to make a point about pregnancy diets”.

“Stupid campaign gives the wrong message to breastfeeding mothers”.

“What a way to discourage breastfeeding”.

Let’s be clear.
As we all know, it is generally recommended that cigarettes, smoke, alcohol, and a variety of other chemicals  should be avoided for mums-to-be and breastfeeding mothers.


And, as the study by
Robert Waterland, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, found - healthy diets of pregnant mothers can result in babies developing a gene variant that suppresses tumors.

(If a pregnant mother does not have good nutrition, her baby's immune system is less likely to activate the cancer-fighting gene variant.)

However, such an ad campaign/illustration that suggests a lactating woman shouldn’t eat soft drink/cheeseburgers is ludicrous.



What the mother eats, and what goes into her stomach, doesn’t completely transfer to her baby via breast milk.
And this suggestion could have a variety of ramifications.

As one mother suggested, “Perhaps the illustrations could have showed a mother scoffing a burger with mini burgers going through the umbilical cord to a fetus/baby in utero? This would be a more accurate example.”
What are your thoughts?

Could this campaign put women off breastfeeding, or do you think it sends the right message that women should be more cautious about their diet and maintaining healthy eating habits during pregnancy and breastfeeding?


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1 comment

  1. Yes, i totally agree with you. Women need be more caution about the healthy diet. That's really hard

    ReplyDelete