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  • ittasteslikelove

Mama, Never Mind The B*ll*cks

World Breastfeeding Week is a wonderful rallying point in the year - helping to get breastfeeding into the press and talked about by businesses, brands and broader society.

It is of course important to have this focus, to really talk about how we can help more families breastfeed, and what society - employers, communities, businesses can do to empower parents and ensure there are plenty of safe spaces.

Our #Ittasteslikelove campaign is rooted in the idea that it is a shared responsibility, that we cannot expect mothers to shoulder this alone ('shared responsibility is also this year's theme from WABA).

But let's be blunt, for many brands #WorldBreastfeedingWeek is a gimmick, a marketing ploy, a chance to offer discounts to get more footfall in stores or eyeballs on websites.

They don't really care, they just know it might help market share.

There's an argument though, that this mass interest, however insincere, is for the greater good. Where it gets trickier is with media coverage around breastfeeding - and this includes brand blogs.

It is well known that breastfeeding is a divisive topic. And some media fuel that fire for their own ends.

Reductive terms such as "fed is best" and "breast is best" have led to entrenched divisions and media companies know that how we nurture our

children is an emotive topic.

For such organisations, the end goal is not to independently inform - it's shares, clicks, and "going viral".

Because that's where the advertising revenue comes from.

Recently Tommee Tippee caused controversy when its blog featured inaccurate information about breastfeeding - suggesting that using formula would effectively be time-saving and a better lifestyle choice. It benefitted from a huge amount of shares on social media, and then a second round of coverage when it issued a half-hearted apology.

It felt a very cynical move.

And it wouldn't be the first time. Other media brands simply get someone to write about the downsides of breastfeeding, how fed is best, or

how breastfeeding is a challenge without discussing what you can do to overcome such challenges, and then simply wait for the furore to go viral.

It's disingenuous but proponents of breastfeeding often respond with predictability.

People share stories in a fury without realising that this is exactly what the brand or media company wants. They don't care if you're unhappy, they care about advertising revenue. They don't care about normalising breastfeeding, they care that keyboard warriors will come out in force, keeping eyeballs on the page.

So how can you flag content that's inaccurate, inappropriate, or inane without giving the brand the clicks?

1) Screenshot the inaccurate post or info and share that instead of the web link

2) Contact the media organisation and complain about sensationalist, or one-sided content

3) Direct your friends and followers to accurate information

4) Do not engage in a way that will help the post/link/video go viral

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