Women's health groups in Mexico City are understandably unimpressed by the city's new strategy to encourage and normalize breastfeeding with mothers. The series of posters, which has already been taken down from the city's website, feature a few very slender and toned female celebrities topless and braless. Censoring their breasts is a banner that reads "No les des la espalda, dale pecho" or in English, "Don't turn you back on them, give them your breast." Oh good.
Regina Tames, a reproductive rights advocate found the campaign rather disappointing on a number of levels. Carrie Kahn at NPR reports:
"It's not only a very terrible campaign in terms of how it looks, but it's also the message that if you don't breast-feed, you are a bad mother and you are the one to blame," Tames says.
Encouraging breast feeding is crucial for Mexico, which has the one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Latin America. Tames attributes this to a whole intersection of issues including poverty and long work hours, as well as a huge stigma and even bans against breastfeeding and even pumping milk at work. Furthermore, using baby formula is very commonplace:
Heath advocates also point to Mexico's unwillingness to regulate companies that sell baby formula. Mexico has yet to sign on to the World Health Organization guidelines that restrict hospitals from handing out free baby formula and marketing their products to new mothers.
But it looks like the City's taken the criticism to heart, working to draw up a new campaign. Hopefully one that's less focused on famous and beautiful and sexualized topless women while putting the blame on mothers and more on the importance of breastfeeding.
Image via Twitter.