In Mexico City, a new campaign to promote breastfeeding is doing a lot to raise eyebrows, but almost nothing else.
According to a story first reported by NPR, the message behind the city’s new campaign to promote breastfeeding among the urban population is confusing, to say the least. It features photographs of toned, topless female actresses, models, and other celebrities. There’s even one featuring a female boxer known as “La Barbie.”
The photos have a banner over each woman’s chest, with the slogan, “Don't turn your back on them ... Give them your breast." The campaign has elicited confusion and some anger from women’s groups. Regina Tames, spokesperson for a reproductive rights groups GIRE, told NPR, “We were very surprised once the campaign was launched."
The city launched the campaign because Mexico City has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding mothers in Latin America, with only 14% of moms choosing to nurse. There are many reasons cited for the low rate, including women in the workforce having long hours, with breastfeeding at work prohibited in many cases, and in others, discouraged.
Poverty and poor nutrition are other large factors impacting the low numbers. Mexico has not adopted guidelines put forth by the World Health Organization (WHO), which bans free formula that’s given out at hospitals. Meanwhile, Columbia and Brazil — who have recently followed the WHO guidelines —have seen a reversal in numbers of women choosing to nurse.
Mexico City’s health minister declined to comment on the NPR story, but an an official statement was released saying the city will be opening over 90 lactation rooms and several milk banks throughout the city.
As for the campaign featuring models and actresses? It has since been removed from the city’s website.
Do you think these campaigns were necessary? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!