thinking outside the hashtag

I fully support what Annie at PHD in Parenting had to say about this #NestleFamily shitstorm on Twitter. The issue isn’t about Twitter drama. The issue isn’t about Mommy Bloggers. The issue is global.

I found this quote from the World Health Organization (PDF) that Annie shared particularly compelling.

The protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding rank among the most effective interventions to improve child survival. It is estimated that high coverage of optimal breastfeeding practices could avert 13% of the 10.6 million deaths of children under five years occurring globally every year.”

If everyone had to put up with a bunch of snark, misplaced breast vs. bottle debates and nasty behavior, at least many were exposed to something outside of our wanky social sphere.

Here’s how I feel:

  • I believe that breast is best for my children.
  • I believe that breastfeeding is a personal choice.
  • I believe that many women begin formula feeding without being given the educated choice to try breastfeeding. And I believe that formula companies sometimes contribute to that chain of events. Other times, it’s a social thing.
  • I believe that those who cannot breastfeed are not given proper support either.
  • I believe that formula is sickeningly expensive.
  • I don’t believe in attacking bloggers for attending an event. Bloggers aren’t the problem.
  • I believe bloggers should retain their voices and do their homework when working with corporations.
  • I don’t trust a massive corporation to reach out to those who are suffering.
  • I don’t think that an individual’s boycott is going to hurt anyone. I think it’s rude and silly to criticize someone for choosing not to purchase a corporations products for whatever reason. Blood diamonds, chocolate, animal rights issues. It’s okay to stick to your beliefs.
  • Yes, we can and should approach companies we don’t agree with. But dude. Do you expect honest responses from multi-billion-dollar corporations every time you disagree or sense injustice?
  • I don’t think that today’s discussions were critical of formula feeding in general.
  • I believe everyone who spoke up criticizing Nestle (not the bloggers) had every right to and I’m not trying to downplay that.
  • I look forward to seeing how Nestle handles all of this on Twitter.

But our arguments on Twitter today? Will change nothing.

Action can change something.

I don’t know where to start, so I’m starting somewhere simple. A few months ago I bought one of these bracelets for my son and that got me thinking today. I encourage people who are upset to research ways they can help, whether it’s through positive activism and awareness, donating time, or donating money.

Because people are so touchy and defensive about the formula part of this issue, I’m choosing to focus on water. Though I’d love to find some ways to help support breastfeeding education for new moms who don’t have any medical contraindications to breastfeeding. Please share them if you know of any.

These are just a few resources I found. Please feel free to share others you are aware of. I encourage people to research the organizations they support to ensure that those organization’s’ agendas align to their beliefs.

I’ve found some great information at the World Health Organization.

Charities you can look into:

The Water Project

Millions from One

Charity: Water

A Child’s Right

Do you have others you recommend or support?

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