On May 25, the Best for Babes Foundation launched a clever and provocative new ad campaign designed to change the public perception of breastfeeding and expose the “booby traps”–the myriad cultural and institutional barriers that keep moms from succeeding. The ad debuted with an exclusive in the June/July issue of Fit Pregnancy. Best for Babes co-founders Bettina Forbes and Danielle Rigg aim to shift the focus off the “breast vs. bottle” debate and current backlash against breastfeeding, and on to the real issue: women are being urged to breastfeed but set up to fail. The CDC recently found that only 40% of new moms achieve their personal breastfeeding goals, and only 12% reach the minimum six months of exclusive breastfeeding recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Forbes and Rigg invite the media and the public to dig deeper into the reasons why women are throwing in the towel within days or weeks, and stop blaming mothers. “All moms deserve better information, and to be coached, cheered on and celebrated, without pressure, judgment or guilt,” says Forbes, who initially did not want to breastfeed. “We are too quick to judge women without respecting their circumstances or the obstacles they face.” The first ad in the campaign highlights both the personal and societal costs to not helping mothers succeed at breastfeeding. Frank About Women, a leading marketing-to-women communications firm, donated the six-figure ad campaign because they were captivated by the Best for Babes Foundation’s mainstream, positive vision and the opportunity to use their creative talents to empower women without making them feel guilty. “This was a chance to help millions of moms and contribute to an important cause we are all passionate about,” noted Diane Ridgway-Cross, managing partner at Frank About Women. The campaign is being backed by a growing corporate alliance, including Earth Mama Angel Baby, My Brest Friend and Hotslings, as well as health non-profits and leading breastfeeding groups. It has also been endorsed by Dr. Joan Meek, chair of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and celebrities Gabrielle Reece and Marilu Henner.
The Best for Babes Foundation was established in 2007 to give breastfeeding a makeover by using mainstream marketing and branding to inspire, prepare and empower moms and reveal and remove the barriers that keep moms from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals, despite their best intentions. The Best for Babes Web site, www.bestforbabes.org, offers breastfeeding inspiration, help for moms who don’t want to breastfeed, a ground-breaking checklist for expectant moms, important information about navigating the “booby traps,” as well as opportunities to become involved.