How Does Encanto Help us to Imagine Better Infant Feeding Policy?

As parents of small children, many of us are very familiar with Encanto. After watching the movie for the third time in a weekend, one of our co-founders had fun on Twitter imagining infant feeding stories through the lens of the movie and its cast of characters, the gifted members of the Madrigal family. What follows is an edited version of these threads.

Spoilers ahead: If you haven’t seen Encanto yet – are you living under a rock? – read no further!

The whole thing started with Bruno…

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Tell MPs About Your Experience of Breastfeeding Support (and What You Think of This Biased Survey!)

How to conduct a biased survey: Firstly, ask loaded questions that preserve your key assumptions (in this case that breastfeeding ought to be encouraged and stopping or not starting is a bad thing). Secondly, distribute among groups who support your mission (e.g. breastfeeding advocacy groups).

These are the questions asked by MP Alison Thewliss in this survey to inform a debate in parliament on Tuesday 8 March:

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More on NICE Guidelines for Postnatal Care

We recently contributed to a ‘topic engagement’ on the NICE guidelines for postnatal care. We previously submitted detailed comments on the full set of guidelines for postnatal care, which you can read here.

This time, NICE wanted comments on its ‘quality standards’ and areas for quality improvement in postnatal care. We said the following:

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What Do Women Really Think of the Baby Friendly Initiative?

Are you ready to hear what women really think about breastfeeding and pumping in the context of a so-called ‘Baby Friendly’ setting? This recently published paper in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine gives some very interesting insight.

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We Say a Farewell and Seasons Greetings to All

At the end of this year, we said farewell to Dr Heather Ryan. Heather is going to work for Nestlé and has left IFA, since she will now have a conflict of interest. We wish her very well in her new role and we thank her for her contributions to our work.

We wish all of our members, followers and friends seasons greetings and best wishes for the new year. We hope that 2022 will see a renewed focus on compassion, autonomy and safety in infant feeding policy and practice. We will continue to shine a light on harmful effects of current infant feeding policy and practice on UK families. Onwards and upwards!

Whose Guilt is it Anyway?

Roll up, roll up! This evening we review another paper looking at guilt and shame in infant feeding by researchers at Liverpool University.

The paper starts, as most papers in this field do, with a recitation of the WHO creed that breastfeeding has, like, a million health benefits, and six months of exclusive breastfeeding is recommended and then breastfeeding for two years alongside other foods… Fear not: this paper will commit no heresy!

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