Fight The Good Fight… send money to Baby Milk Action asap.

22 02 2008
This message is really about propagation, and you helping send this message on.
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Most of you who read this, are in a position to pass on information throughout your other lactation networks and internet forums, and your contacts are needed.
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The UK is embroiled in a horrible, and costly, fight in the courts. The UK formula manufacturers, in a ghostly manifestation of what went on in the Philippines, are ‘in court’ trying to have restrictions on formula promotion removed, and the UK 2007 update of controls has currently been suspended in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, as a result of their filing court actions.
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Scotland has stood alone in refusing to suspend the 2007 regulations in deference to the legal bids by the formula companies.
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The old chestnut about free market and free enterprise, is being used hard, and the Conservative party is trumpeting their support under a banner of supporting business.
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Currently, Baby Milk Action are fighting hard to prepare for court, and to defend these attacks on behalf of us all. But the sheer scope of the attack by the formula makers, is soaking up their resources. They need help and support: they need money.
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Baby Milk Action are also limited on what they can discuss in public, as they are involved directly in the court battle.
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As excellent debate took place in the House of Lords this week, with many of our peers pointing out the dangers to babies from formula not being made up with the correct water temp etc, and how there needs to be stronger regulation, not less. But such work is not high on the agenda for media coverage, and much of this battle is going on unseen and unheard.
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So if you have a chance to propagate awareness of this struggle, to suggest to people that they send money and aid to Baby Milk Action, to make connection or comment in your own area, about the dire situation going on here – please do so.
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You could propagate Mike Brady’s blogspot URL, which gives details on the legal challenges etc. You could ask others to give money to Baby Milk Action – it can be donated online via Mike’s blogspot.
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Baby Milk Action have many lactation supportive gifts that can be bought online, and they’re selling off their 2008 calenders at the moment.
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If you’re in the UK, you can write to your MP and demand an answer of what they are doing about it and ask they sign Early Day Motion 608. If you are in a Conservative area, you can demand the party rethink their stance and if you are a member fo the Conservative party you can ask why your views are being ignored by your own leadership.
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If you’ve worked, or are working, in resource poor areas as part of your job, you can write to the UK Government and let them know about your opinion on the matter of relaxing formula marketing restrictions.
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You can write to the Peers who spoke this week, applauding them and giving your weight to their opinion.
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You can write in your own blogs and posts in other forums, on the matter, and spread the word and the awareness of the need for donations.
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If you know others who are passionate about babies’ rights to breastfeed, who may not know about this situation – send them the URL for this post.
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If there is one thing the internet is good for – IT’S MAKING A FUSS!! We need a real big fuss, about now: please shout on the UK’s behalf. Let your voice carry into other places.
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If they win here….
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Morgan
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(Nothing whatsoever to do with Baby Milk Action and acting entirely under the auspices of her own fury)
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Well Done Bedfordshire Social Services!

9 02 2008

One of the problems with a media driven world, is that only bad news makes headlines. Celebrating good news doesn’t have a very high agenda. So, please allow me to fill your day with some good news, about an excellent social services department, and their Very Good Work.

Mr B is an older father, with multiple disabilites. He’s been severely phsycially restricted for over two decades, and hase been suffering mental health problems due to the physical disability. His 2 and a half year old year old son Child D, is still breastfeeding vigorously, and is a happy and settled child. However, the past year has seen some very stressfull times for the family as a whole, in relation to Mr B’s mental and physical state, and social services and medical services have been heavily involved.

Mrs B took the decision, to fill in a special form, that is circulated among all care professionals concerned with children, stating that the family needed extra support for Child D.

This was a scary thing for her to do, as she was approaching Children’s Services herself, and stating she had a two plus year old still actively breastfeeding and bed sharing.

So, she spent a long time with her Health Visitor, making sure the right message was being sent, and making sure of the research, so that if any objections came up, the HV would be the one to answer them. Mrs B was adament that she would not be put in a position to lie to Children’s Services about her child breastfeeding, neither would she defend herself. If comment was made, the HV, as the professional, must respond. The HV agreed.

After much trepidation, the form was submitted, and a Children’s Social Worker visited the family home, to assess their extra needs. The social worker listened carefully and agreed that Child D did need extra funding to allow him to be outside the home when Mr B returned from gruelling physical therepy sessions at the local hospital, which took place twice weekly. Mr B needed calm on his return, to recover. Child D did not need to see his traumatised father crying in pain as he was unloaded from the ambulance.

The breastfeeding was not mentioned.

The social worker phoned back that afternoon, and asked Mrs B to find a suitable Nursery, and get back to her with the costs.

The breastfeeding was not mentioned.

The next week, the social worker phoned to say the team had decided to fund the Nursery place until Child D was 3 (and got normal funding) out of budget, which meant it would not be going to panel. If it went to panel, it would mean Child D would have to be in the system, have a permament social worker and lots of reports and visits. This was a huge waste of resources for a happy and well adjusted child, just needing a bit of support for a few months.

The breastfeeding was not mentioned.

Two weeks later, with Child D settled in a Nursery of Mrs B’s chosing, and a lump sum to pay for the care in advance so there was no hassle over bills etc, Bedfordshire Children’s Services signed off the case, and bowed out, with the understadning that if the family needed anymore support, to phone them immediately.

The breastfeeding was not mentioned.

I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be able to report all this. ironically, of course, because eveything went so well, there’s no one to write to and congratulate! Asking you to write to the appropriate people, would only cause confusion, as how would they track down a perfectly smooth case, which had run like clockwork, and eveyone was happy? Says something, about our world, doesn’t it?

It also says something about fear, and not acting appropriately, from fear. And that although there may be pockets of social work departments, under resourced, badly managed, stressed, who are making inappropriate decisions and then refusing the accept they have been hasty… there are also well resourced, well run, excellent social service departments doing exactly what they should be doing – taking extra care of our vulnerable children.

So take a bow, Bedfordshire Social Services! *round of applause*

Never been happier in my life, that no one mentioned breastfeeding. 🙂

If you know of any other Good News stories, let me know. Only by empowering those who do their job well, can we help support those trapped into doing their job badly.