Breast Is Best vs. Fed Is Best

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There are many movements that surround infant feeding, but the most commonly used phrases are Breast Is Best and Fed Is Best. Blog posts and articles abound, but what's really going on here?

Breast Is Best focuses on breast milk and breastfeeding as normal and the biologically superior way to feed an infant. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that,

Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.

To those who hold this belief, Breast Is Best is not up for debate.

It is presented as a simple fact that must be acknowledged, even if a family is unable to breastfeed or chooses not to do so. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was developed based on this belief of breast milk as superior and encourages hospitals to create an environment that encourages breastfeeding for as many women as possible.

The Fed Is Best movement, on the other hand, puts the Breast Is Best movement under scrutiny and believes that breastfeeding protocols should not come at the expense of safety for mothers and babies.

The Fed Is Best Foundation website states:

The Fed Is Best Foundation is here to represent and advocate for the millions of families whose babies have experienced complications under current breastfeeding protocols or who have been shamed for choosing any number of clinically approved and safe feeding options for their babies.  We hope to educate mothers to be informed about the quantity and quality of milk their infants receive in order to prevent these complications because the brain will not wait for food.  We hope to support mothers feeding choices devoid of external feeding agendas.

Our motto above all else is Fed is Best.

While the Breast Is Best movement seeks to make breastfeeding as accessible as possible to all who choose, Fed Is Best seeks to ensure that those good intentions are not taken too far.

It is easy to subscribe to an "Us vs. Them" mentality, but the truth is that it's not a contest. At the heart of each movement is the desire for safe, healthy babies and mothers who feel supported in their choices.

We can celebrate how women choose to breastfeed without discounting the experiences of others.

In today's world, breastfeeding isn't one size fits all, and it certainly doesn't have to be all or nothing.

To the moms who exclusively breastfeed, to the moms who supplement, to the moms who exclusively pump, to the working moms, to the moms who breastfeed for a short time, to the moms who breastfeed for a long time, and the moms who choose not to breastfeed at all...

We support you. You're a good mom.

 

#worldbreastfeedingweek

International Women's Day: How Doulas of Memphis is #PledgingForParity

Today is International Women's Day, and this year's theme is #PledgeForParity. Parity is the state of being equal, particularly in status or pay. It's a cause that matters to us at Doulas of Memphis. Here's what the International Women's Day website has to say about it:

Everyone - men and women - can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly - whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

International Women's Day

 

How is Doulas of Memphis #PledgingForParity?

In addition to providing the best doula support for Memphis families, Doulas of Memphis is committed to providing opportunities for the doulas themselves. We've built sustainability and a living, thriving wage into our business model so that our doulas can work to provide for or enhance the income of their families. We believe that being a doula is a rewarding career, and we're invested in our doulas so that we can serve you for years to come.

For many moms, there is little flexibility in the workplace. Many women either must leave their children full-time to go to work, rely on the income of their spouse/partner, or scrounge up income wherever they can find it. Our on-call schedule affords our doulas flexibility and more time with their families, while also providing them room to grow.

Doulas of Memphis is leading the way for parity in doula work with our agency model. We are invested in the city of Memphis and the communities we serve. We appreciate each family's unique style and we support women in their goals for birth and parenting. We're here to help with referrals and to help families figure out what works for them.  We empower fathers by including them and providing a safe space to ask questions. When you work with Doulas of Memphis, you can feel confident in both the service we provide and the environment we have created for our doulas. That's how we're #PledgingForParity. How about you?