I have written about my love affair with The Best for Babes Foundation here, here, here and here. Bettina and Danielle work tirelessly to help moms like you "beat the booby traps" - the cultural and institutional barriers that prevent moms from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. Today, however, I am asking YOU to help THEM.
They are currently "sitting pretty" to receive a donation of $20,000 from the Chase Community Giving Program to support their cause, but NEED YOUR VOTE to maintain their position in the top 200 until the contest closes at midnight EDT on Monday, July 12, 2010! This will take no more than two minutes of your time and will benefit moms and babies everywhere today and in the future.
So if you are on Facebook, please add the Chase app so you can vote for them, share the link on your profile and rally your friends any way you can so they will vote too! (I know, I don't like adding apps either, but after voting I just went to Account, Application settings (top right of your FB page) and clicked on the "X" beside the Chase app to remove it - EASY PEASY!)
Why did I vote for Best for Babes? Well aside from the aforementioned love affair, they got my vote (and should get yours too) because they:
- inspire, prepare & empower moms - to give breastfeeding a makeover and give moms the solutions they need to make it work!
- believe ALL moms deserve to make an informed feeding decision, & to be cheered on, coached and celebrated without pressure, judgment or guilt, whether they breastfeed for 2 days, 2 months 2 years, or not at all.
- put pressure on the booby traps, not moms, so that they can achieve their personal breastfeeding goals!
- are raising awareness of the WHO Code and how violations hurt both breastfeeding and formula-feeding moms
- interview breastfeeding celebrities like Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford to help bring breastfeeding back into the mainstream
- attract moms on the fence about breastfeeding with positive images (see above), information and resources
- boost & complement the efforts of the entire breastfeeding movement, including the United States Breastfeeding Committee, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, Baby-Friendly Hospitals, and many more
- are funded entirely by WHO Code compliant sponsors with all individual donations going directly towards education & outreach
- educate & influence the media
- are building the “mother of all causes” through grassroots and social media such as Facebook and Twitter to restore breastfeeding to its rightful place among highly visible disease foundations like Komen, American Heart Association and the Juvenile Diabetes foundation because breastfeeding lowers the risk of all these diseases and many more, plus it reduces the burden on the environment!
- are the only non-profit that is running a modern and innovative ad campaign that has the potential to reach millions of moms. With the CHASE community giving grant, they can leverage donated media space and run the campaign on billboards across the country for a fraction of the regular cost AND get more celebrity interviews that will put this issue on the map of the media and the mainstream in a positive and game-changing way.
Now GO VOTE! Thank you. :-)
Tags: breastfeeding, 'chase community', 'best for babes', 'who code', 'breastfeeding celebrities'
Mark Friday, June 25, 2010 on your calendars. Why? Because years from now we will be looking back at this date as THE turning point for breastfeeding in our culture.
Last Friday, the USA Today Pregnancy & Wellness Report, produced by Media Planet, will reach 2.2 million readers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. It will be distributed to ob/gyn offices and physicians through the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will be carried in all Destination Maternity stores, will be distributed at March of Dimes events, will be circulated to 25,000 members of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and all member organizations, and to all physician members of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
The ad was the brainchild of The Best for Babes Foundation, whom I am extremely proud to be a sponsor of at the Silver level.
Why is this ad different from others? Why did I support this unique, groundbreaking ad?
Bettina Forbes, co-founder of Best for Babes explains:
No scare tactics: There are no pregnant moms riding mechanical bulls or participating in log-rolling contests, unlike the government's ad campaign, which was criticized for a whole lot of things, including succumbing to formula lobbyists and making moms feel guilty if they couldn't breastfeed. Breastfeeding rates actually went down after that campaign. (Too bad we don't have the $3 million to spend on our campaign!)
It has mass-market appeal: Unlike the Ohio billboards that got flak for showing a black baby drooling breast milk that looked really unappealing, the ad urges all moms to find the right support, whether they breastfeed or not! THAT is truly a first. We're taking the pressure OFF moms and putting it on the "Booby Traps".
Highlights donor milk: Most moms don't know that donor milk is the 2nd best choice to breastfeeding, and don't have access to it. Formula is 3rd.
Raises awareness of the WHO Code: The WHO Code was designed to protect moms who WANT to nurse from being derailed by aggressive formula marketing (like doctors giving mom free samples, which have been shown to decrease breastfeeding duration) but which NOBODY in the mainstream knows about. There is NOT ONE formula ad in the issue, unlike practically every high-circulation, mainstream pregnancy & parenting magazine and website, which we worked very hard to persuade Media Planet to uphold. All of the sponsors in our ad are WHO Code compliant, including Evenflo, the only WHO Code compliant bottle maker (and parent company of stellar breast pump Ameda) - we think they deserve kudos for that!
It's positive! Just like with parenting, we have to be careful not to only react to bad behavior but to recognize and reinforce good behavior. We need to create as much media attention and buzz for ads or marketing campaigns that get it right as we do for those that get it wrong.
While Best for Babes has already experienced tremendous support and kudos including feedback from actress Alysia Reiner...
"The ad is so fantastic, so hip but informative, warm but also sassy & smart, LOVE IT! So proud to be involved with you guys." ~ Alysia
I'd like to appeal to you to help them raise further funding to roll-out this campaign on billboards, bus stations and doctors' offices around the country. Please help to spread the word about it via Facebook, Twitter, email and by simply talking to others. (To make it easy for you, there are quick links to share on Facebook and Twitter at the top of this post... click away!)
So did you get your copy of USA Today on Friday? If not, you can download the Pregnancy & Wellness Report here. Tell us what you think of the ad, the report and let us know if we can count on your for support of this very important initiative.
Tags: 'best for babes', 'breastfeeding versus formula', USA Today
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The United States Breastfeeding Committee issued the below updated press release today. Please donate milk via an HMBANA milk bank (and that includes our milk bank here in Vancouver, BC) and/or continue to donate funds to HELP HAITI! Here at Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear we are proud to donate $2.00 from every PumpEase sold to Doctors Without Borders until February 14th (which will then be matched dollar for dollar by the Canadian Government).
January 27, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Breastfeeding is the First Line of Defense in a Disaster
Washington, DC--The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) strongly affirm the importance of breastfeeding in emergency situations, and call on relief workers and health care providers serving victims of disasters to protect, promote, and support mothers to breastfeed their babies. During an emergency, breastfeeding mothers provide their infants with safe food and water and disease protection that maximize their chances of survival.
This week, the International Milk Bank Project and Quick International Courier coordinated a shipment of milk from the HMBANA member banks to supplement a mother's own milk for the premature, medically fragile, and orphaned infants aboard the U.S. Navy ship Comfort stationed off the coast of Haiti. This milk will help this small group of infants. In this highly unusual circumstance the infrastructure associated with the Comfort's resources allows U.S. sourced donor milk to help fragile Haitian babies.
Donor milk, however, is not a solution for the large number of infants and young children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Members of the public who wish to promote the survival of mothers and babies in Haiti can donate money to the following organizations: UNICEF, Save the Children Alliance, World Vision, and Action Against Hunger. These organizations are using best practice to aid both breastfed and non-breastfed infants. Members of the public can be confident that donations to these organizations will support breastfeeding and help save the lives of babies.
Interventions to protect infants include supporting mothers to initiate and continue exclusive breastfeeding, relactation for mothers who have ceased breastfeeding, and finding wet nurses for motherless or separated babies. Every effort should be made to minimize the number of infants and young children who do not have access to breastfeeding. Artificially fed infants require intensive support from aid organizations including infant formula, clean water, soap, a stove, fuel, education, and medical support. This is not an easy endeavor. Formula feeding is extremely risky in emergency conditions and artificially fed infants are vulnerable to the biggest killers of children in emergencies: diarrhea and pneumonia.
As stated by UNICEF and WHO, no donations of infant formula or powdered milk should be sent to the Haiti emergency. Such donations are difficult to manage logistically, actively detract from the aid effort, and put infant's lives at risk. Distribution of infant formula should only occur in a strictly controlled manner. Stress does not prevent women from making milk for their babies, and breastfeeding women should not be given any infant formula or powdered milk.
There are ongoing needs in the U.S. for human milk for premature and other extremely ill infants because of the protection it provides from diseases and infections. If a mother is unable to provide her own milk to her premature or sick infant, donor human milk is often requested from a human milk bank. American mothers can help their compatriots who find themselves in need of breast milk for their sick baby by donating to a milk bank that is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
For more information about donating milk to a milk bank, contact HMBANA at www.hmbana.org. Additional information for relief workers and health care professionals can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at www.usbreastfeeding.org, ILCA/USLCA at www.ilca.org or www.uslca.org, or La Leche League International at www.llli.org. A list of regional milk banks is available on the HMBANA Web site at www.hmbana.org/index/locations.
USBC is an organization of organizations. Opinions expressed by USBC are not necessarily the position of all member organizations and opinions expressed by USBC member organization representatives are not necessarily the position of USBC.
United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)
The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is an independent nonprofit coalition of 41 nationally influential professional, educational, and governmental organizations. Representing over half a million concerned professionals and the families they serve, USBC and its member organizations share a common mission to improve the Nation's health by working collaboratively to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. For more information about USBC, visit www.usbreastfeeding.org.
United States Breastfeeding Committee
2025 M Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
Have you donated to the relief effort in Haiti? If so, tell us to which organization you donated and why you chose that particular one. If you have any other thoughts about what is happening in Haiti, please share.
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I was reading the Motherwear Breastfeeding blog the other day, as you know I so often do, when I followed a link in one of Tanya's posts and ended up on this site. I have to say that I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! The concept behind Best for Babes has lived in my head for some time now. I always thought that I would find the time to start something like this (I know my friends and family are rolling on the floor laughing right now). Having said that I am absolutely thrilled that it has already been brought to fruition!
The attitude, the approach, the images, the sass and their slogan - "Giving Breastfeeding a Makeover" totally resonated with me. I immediately emailed the founders, Bettina and Danielle, and we scheduled a conference call to discuss how I could get involved!
To start we are proud to announce that $1 from the online sale of every PumpEase™ will be donated to the Best for Babes Foundation to help moms achieve their personal breastfeeding goals.
Here is a glimpse of the Best for Babes Mission Statement...
To give breastfeeding a makeover - to market, brand and mainstream it, acting as a catalyst to elevate this cause on par with Komen, Juvenile Diabetes, (Red)™ and others.
To shift the focus and pressure off moms and onto the “booby traps” - the cultural and institutional barriers to breastfeeding successfully - and to helping to remove those barriers through positive social pressure.
To harness the power of celebrities, corporations, foundations, fashion, advertising, the medical community and the media to bring about a cultural change that embraces, celebrates and supports breastfeeding moms.
I encourage you to visit their site and find out how you can get involved. Donate, follow them on Twitter, join their Facebook Group and tell everyone you know about them! Anything and everything you do will help. It is an especially vital time with the recent introduction of the Breastfeeding Promotion Act in both houses of Congress as well as the Breastfeeding Petition to President Obama to make breastfeeding a high priority in his adminstration - to promote it as preventative care to save lives, reduce disease and save the US Health Care system billions if not trillions of dollars.
"Hey!" you say, "Are you not Canadian?" Yes I am, born and raised. However, it has to start somewhere and like it or lump it, we all look to the US for direction sometimes. The situation in the US is critical with the skyrocketing Caesarian rates, the plummeting breastfeeding rates after moms and their babes leave the hospital and the lack of education and support for the breastfeeding mom.
Besides, I love my US customers and Best for Babes will help women worldwide, not just in the good ole USA.
So please visit the Best for Babes site and then come back here and tell me what you think!
Did you know in the 1970’s there were as many as 23 milk banks in Canada? In the 80’s however, fears of HIV transmissions led to the closure of all but the Vancouver bank, located at BC Women’s Hospital.
Breast milk banks - there are currently 10 in the United States as well - provide supplies to mothers who cannot produce enough milk or are not able to produce their own due to illness or being on medication. Banks are also used by parents of adopted and foster children.
Many Canadian communities are pleading for more milk banks to be opened, however few hospitals are willing to supply the required funding and resources and the government isn’t stepping up to the plate to help (surprise, surprise).
Here at Mike & Toni’s™, we are committed to raising awareness around the need for donations (both breast milk and monetary) through our website, blog J and promotional materials. And of course we will talk about it with everyone we meet!
We will also donate at least 1% of our profits to the BC Women’s Milk Bank to assist mothers and babies in need.
How can you help? If you are nursing and have an abundance of milk, please consider donating! If you are in the Greater Vancouver area, they will even come to pick it up. Then they pasteurize, test, freeze and ship it out to those in need. Of course, you can use your Mike & Toni’s™ hands-free pumping support while collecting the milk!
If you can’t help with a milk donation, you can help by donating monetarily. Currently the milk bank cannot pay for the inward shipping of donations outside of their cachement. A donation could help to change this!
For more information, you can visit the Human Milk Banking Association of North America at www.hmbana.org. Our very own Frances Jones, Coordinator of the Vancouver Bank, is the Chairperson of the Board. It is actually a pretty interesting read!
You can also find information about the Vancouver Bank here.
Thank you for your support (pun most definitely intended)!