In this sixth episode of The Birth Geeks podcast Michelle Branco, MPH, IBCLC is a lactation consultant and public health advocate shares her thoughts on the risk of risk-based language, changing the environment to enable parents to make truly informed decisions, ethics and professional communication, the WHO Code, Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), linguistic inclusivity, the normalization of natural, thing things you should never travel without when going on an airplane.
Quotes from Michelle Branco, MPH, IBCLC:
-They don’t have to really tell the truth. We have to tell the truth as professionals.
-When we talk about risk-based messaging, we’re really talking about fear-based messaging. Fear-based messaging takes on a significant responsibility on the part of the party making it. When you induce fear in someone, you really have a responsibility to provide them a solution to the fear that you have created.
-We always find a way to guilt mothers.
-What research we have shows us that regardless of how people feed their babies, they feel guilty about it and they feel judged about it.
-Parents are going in feeling like they are already under the microscope and being critiqued.
-A lot of the downstream effects we see of bottle feeding and of the use of infant formula could be mitigated by better practices in terms of food safety, actual preparation, but also better practices with responsive feeding.
–>All of those evolved mechanisms that help babies with satiety and self-regulation… we’re over-riding those with typical bottle feeding.
-I think the term evidence-based is sometimes used as a blunt instrument to stop conversations.
-We don’t always draw on the evidence that we should be drawing on.
-When you use terms that your target audience is familiar with, they are more likely to accept your message.
Links Mentioned in the Episode or of Interest:
- Want to hear more from Michelle? GOLD Learning
- Michelle is involved with Safely Fed Canada
- Safely Fed Canada’s Facebook page
- Diane Wiesinger’s Watch Your Language Essay
- Julie Smith Time Use Studies for caregivers for bottle vs breastfed baby (Unfortunately behind a paywall, but you can read the basics here)
- Timing of First Milk Expression to Maximize Breastfeeding Continuation Among Mothers of Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants
- Dr. Amy Brown Breastfeeding Uncovered
- Dr. Kimberly Seals Allers
- The Big Letdown
- Robert Hahn & Marcia Inhorn Anthropology and Public Health: Bridging Differences in Culture and Society
- Alison Stuebe: Might There Be Risks to Risk-Based Language?
- The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants