Lactivism: What’s the Fuss?

In my post Oh My Gosh… I’m a LACTIVIST! I took a humorous look at my discovery that I am, in fact, a lactivist. Today I share a more serious look at lactivism in a guest post from Krista, lactivist, mom to 4, photographer, WAHM behind Katie’s Closet, a bouncer (moderator) on TLB forums and so much more. Normalizing breastfeeding is worth the fuss.

These days I find myself scoring magazines for formula ads and grocery isles for pictures of babies on formula cans. I have vowed not to renew a subscription to a favored magazine , sent emails and written letters. I have reported violators of the WHO Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes to Infact, a company that lobbies for change. I know I have friends and family who think I take the whole topic too seriously, but I can’t help it.

In Grade 11 economics class my teacher explained that social change is brought about through a pendulum of ideals. You have the people on one side who are opposed to change, those in the middle who would like to see some change, agree with it in theory, but don’t want to rock the boat and the people on the far side who are passionate about bringing forth change at whatever cost. These are the women who burned their bras, lobbied government for the right to vote and refused to take the backseat on the bus. The status quo in such an issue has the pendulum to the far right, where it has always been. An object at rest stays at rest. It takes the force of those who are passionate to swing that pendulum as far left as they can so that eventually it will land in the middle.

Do I believe that formula should be by prescription only? Not really. I think formula serves a roll and there are babies who have benefited from it. But I don’t mind hearing the idea tossed around. It gets people thinking. The same with the celebrity who was quoted as saying breastfeeding should be law. Such a law isn’t practical and it certainly isn’t desirable, but go ahead and make the statement. It might start a discussion. Nursing in public? Oh yeah. Let’s get women out there flashing so much booby that eventually no one blinks an eye.

So I stand up and I make a fuss. If everyone were to stand by silently and hope that one day all babies will have the opportunity to be breastfed, then we would be standing for a long time. I want to be one of the people who helps pull, push and drag that pendulum to the middle. Where breastfeeding is normal, acceptable and no one ever, ever considers it gross.


  1. September Love says:

    Good post! I love thinking of change as a pendulum. What a great visual!

  2. Good one! Love it, thank you 🙂

    Also, I think Bundchen got a hard time over that unnecessarily… English is not her first language and there is a different culture in Brazil… Maybe she didn't mean the word "law" as we would understand it.

    I sometimes wonder if the sensationalism doesn't turn people off to bf, but as you say, standing around quietly won't affect change!

    Most women want to bf. I believe that wholeheartedly. Most women start out bf! To help them bf longer we need to push for better pre natal and ante natal support, more baby friendly practises in more hospitals, more education on how empowering and bf-enabling a natural birth can be, better, longer maternity pay, TOTAL acceptance if NIP and nursing in general and NO ff ads. That's what I think.

    We need to be squeaky wheels!

  3. Great post