Friday, August 6, 2010

Appealing to Oprah

Today I saw a tweet by Mama Pear Designs asking for people to join her effort to petition Oprah to do an episode on breastfeeding.  On her Breastfeeding Blitz page, she has examples of the letters she has sent to Oprah, including one you can copy and paste.  I wanted to help her out because I believe Oprah is very influential, regardless of your opinion of her or her show.  I wrote my own letter to Oprah and submitted it here.  I chose to use my own words and experience.  It was difficult figuring out what I wanted to say in only 2000 characters.  Below is my submission.  Please take the time to visit Mama Pear Designs, take a look at her inventory, read her Breastfeeding Blitz, and consider writing to Oprah yourself.

When you speak, the nation listens.  You have inspired so many to get healthy, continue reading, and helped women talk about sexual abuse.  You have the power to normalize and encourage.  That is why I feel doing a show on breastfeeding would not only be appropriate but an amazing support to mothers, women, fathers, and families everywhere.

I am a new mother and wanted to breastfeed.  There was so much more to learn than just put him to my breast and go.  The lactation consultant at the hospital gave him an unrealistic schedule to follow and told me that she needed to spend her time with patients with "real problems" since my son was latching.  I was scared and nervous and worried about doing right by my child.  I can't tell you how many times family offered to buy me bottles or insisted I pick up some formula "just in case."  I had the support of my husband, but the media and society at large seemed to be against me.  I was able to find a group of women online who were supportive and could answer my questions.  I credit them with a lot of my breastfeeding success.

There has been no lack of negative press for breastfeeding lately.  From women getting harassed in public arenas to celebrities tweeting their disgust for breastfeed to journalists writing about the "negative" aspects of breastfeeding.  It would be incredible for someone to give some positive press to the subject.

Please consider doing an episode to highlight women and breastfeeding.  The more women see breastfeeding as natural, acceptable, and positive, the more likely they are to breastfeed.  Breastfeeding has been shown to be mutually beneficial.  I did not laden this message with facts and stats and figures.  That can all be found easily enough.  I instead chose to write from the heart and appeal to you as a new mother and a woman who would have benefited from more support.  We need to change our culture to accept women breastfeeding as much as we accept a woman bottle feeding.

***I was not encouraged, paid, or otherwise compensated to write this post. The opinions expressed are completely my own, it was my own desire to write to Oprah, and my choice to post about it.

Edit--Here's another letter I wrote to Oprah!

Dear Oprah, 

I am writing to respectfully beg you to do a show on breastfeeding. Our country lags behind the world average for breastfeeding for a number of reasons. At the forefront is a lack of support. It seems like each day brings a new celebrity bashing breastfeeding and a new study showing how immeasurably beneficial it is. New moms don't get the support they need from friends, family, and employers because of the cultural barriers. Our country NEEDS to do something about our weight epidemic and the first step is to encourage breastfeeding. There's no doubt about your ability to persuade the masses. Please, please, please do a show to normalize and encourage breastfeeding.  

As a new mom, I can't tell you the extent to which I was and am discouraged from breastfeeding. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if I was the last mom to be discouraged, insulted, and belittled for using my body as it was/is intended? You have that power. Please consider doing a show about breastfeeding.  

Thank you for your time and consideration.

1 comment:

Lara said...

Thank you for supporting the Oprah Breastfeeding Blitz! If we keep spreading the word, it will happen! Thanks for your support and the great mention!