In The News
Moms Push for More Breastfeeding on Sesame Street. Have “Lactivists” Gone Too Far??
Fresh off the heels of a successful national nurse-in at Target stores, a group of moms have now set their sights and collective mama-muscles on Sesame Street, petitioning the children's program to include more images of breastfeeding moms along with bottle feeding moms.
The group, Nursing in Public or NIP, has launched a petition now with 6,000 signatures and counting to ask Sesame Street to include more breastfeeding images, just as it did in back in the 1970s and 80s with a segment called “You’re My Baby” year. And the organizers insist they want more breastfeeding images along with the bottle feeding images that have become more frequent.
Now, everyone knows I'm a first food advocate, but I do think that, at times, some of the well-intentioned "lactivism" does more harm than good. It can make the movement look like a bunch of over-zealous hippies, which isn't true and is not very welcoming to other women thinking of breastfeeding.
Nobody wants to feel bullied or judged about their first food choices for their infant.
But I do think there is a point to be made here. Children learn all sorts of things on Sesame Street including how animals feed their babies and how to eat healthy. As kids learn about how other mammals naturally feed their young, they should learn how nature has provided for human mammals to feed their young.
And isn't Snuffleupagus an elephant monster? Elephants nurse their babies until age two. I know there's a bear family somewhere in the Sesame Street mix. Bears typically nurse their cubs for two to three years.
I'm just saying there are ways to naturally and age-appropriately educate kids on human infant feeding. And this should be done, not just on Sesame Street, but integrated into the school curricula on science, nutrition andbiology, for example.
And as children learn about good health and nutrition on Sesame Street, they should learn that breast milk is preventative medicine and the best nutrition for babies. They need to learn from an early age that breasts are not just sexual objects and that mothers take steps to make sure their babies are healthy.
These things can go a long way in normalizing (not mandating or judging others) breastfeeding for the next generation.
For all that Sesame Street has already done to educate our kids (thank you Count Dracula), this could be huge for the health and wellness of several generations of children and mothers.
This was one of the headlines the Lifetime Moms tackled in "Moms Get Real" with Juju Chang: