For a warmer, healthier home….

6 08 2008

People who aren’t that involved in breastfeeding support, often wonder why we who are, get so out of shape about the Government’s lack of support for breastfeeding.

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Or rather, they wonder why we say the UK Government isn’t that supportive of breastfeeding.
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After all, most of them have seen a breastfeeding poster, at least once. So, what are we wittering on about?
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Well, apart from not supporting Mums who are actually breastfeeding, by putting in place laws to protect them… apart from not funding proper lactation support so that all women who do want to breastfeed, manage to do so… apart from not having the intestinal fortitude required to tell Mums up front that formula feeding increases ill health in both babies and mothers… and that powdered infant formula is not sterile…
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Apart from all that…
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… there is things like this….

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Government sponsored.
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Fie, not just Government, sponsored by the Department of Health!

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A leaflet designed for, and aimed at, lower income families. A leaflet that probably went through several very high level committees, to make sure it was striking the right tone.
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And the tone is… bottle feed your baby for a warmer, healthier, life.
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No wonder Nestle likes to sponsor UK Gov events, with helping hands such as these at work.
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*throws hands in air* *throws mousemat across kitchen* *kicks the wall several times* *opens up a tub of ice cream*
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Somedays, you just feel like giving up….
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*sigh*
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Complaints to: Department of Health

*rummage rummage… has to be some emergency chocolate around here somewhere… rummage rummage..*

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Edit: It gets worse. Someone just emailed me and told me how this damned leaflet arrived in my home. I’d spotted it on the kitchen unit. What I hadn’t spotted, was that it came in my milk tokens envelope. From Healthy Start. So, the healthy start eating programme, run by the UK Gov, to encourage healthy eating in infants from lower income families… is sending an image of a bottle feeding young baby, into homes on lower incomes, that they are targeting for extra support in… raising breastfeeding rates. As this socio-economic group has the lowest breastfeeding rates in the UK.

Seriously, you couldn’t make this up.

The UK Government, shooting themselves in the foot, at you and your baby’s expense.
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Update: 13/08/08
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DoH sent the following out to those who complained:
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Thank you for your… [complaint] to the Department of Health about the distribution of the Warm Front team leaflet.
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Thank you for raising the issue regarding distribution of the Warm Front team leaflet, which incorrectly features an image of a mother bottle feeding her baby and the Department of Health’s logo. I would assure you that the Department fully appreciates your concern, especially as the Department is responsible for and committed to increasing breastfeeding rates. The Department takes such matters very seriously, especially as the leaflet does contravene its breastfeeding objectives.
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Following an internal investigation, this revealed that the leaflet was distributed in error. The Department can confirm that the team responsible have been informed, and the leaflet has been pulled with immediate effect.
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The Maternal and Child Nutrition policy team at the Department of Health make every effort to ensure that all appropriate imagery and content is featured in their materials. Unfortunately, in this instance, the team was not made aware of the leaflet before its production and subsequently the leaflet was distributed without their prior approval.
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The Department hopes this response sufficiently explains and reassures you that the Department is committed to making breastfeeding the norm and endeavours to promote the message in all its communications.
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Yours sincerely,
Edward Corbett
Customer Service Centre

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One response

13 08 2008
sophiedb

*breaks out the smelly cheese*Oh yes, it’s sooo good to be back in Blighty after a holiday *head!desk* That said, my rellies over in France are totally bemused by my lactivism. Even LLL only has a minute presence in their neck of the woods, and both a cousin’s partner and I were deemed weird for breastfeeding past 3 months (and not feeding our babies soup at that same age). In my case they blamed my English upbringing, in hers the fact that she’s Basque. *phhhhhbt* If l’allaitement, it certainly isn’t reaching everyone.

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