Please encourage the preschool targeted "Chirp" magazine to limit their images of bottles and increase (from zero) their images of breastfeeding.
Thank you to everyone who sent in letters! We have received a response from Chirp magazine!
Thank you for all your emails about the use of bottle images in the Babies
issue of Chirp. It was an oversight on our part not to include something
about breastfeeding in the magazine. We appreciate you talking the time to
send us your concerns. You have made us more aware of this important issue
and we will certainly approach the topic differently in the future.
Mary Beth Leatherdale
Editorial Director, Owlkids
Below is the original letter sent to Chirp Magazine.
Editor-in-Chief: Hilary Bain (email@example.com)
Art Director: Barb Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chirp Magazine: email@example.com
10 Lower Spadina Ave., Ste 400
Toronto, ON Canada M5V 2Z2
Dear Editor-in-Chief Hilary Bain and Art Director Barb Kelly,
I was disappointed in the Chirp issue "All About Babies". Please in
the future, do NOT show bottles or bottle feeding associated with
babies. Today it is a well researched fact that breast milk is the
optimal nutrition for babies. Breastfeeding is also best for mothers.
The Canadian Paediatrics Society (CPS) states : "The Canadian
Paediatric Society recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first
six months of life for healthy, term infants. Breast milk is the
optimal food for infants, and breastfeeding may continue for up to
two years and beyond. " (For the complete CPS statement see: http://
www.cps.ca/english/statements/N/BreastfeedingMar05.htm ) The American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that formula fed infants have
higher risks for infectious diseases, death, obesity, diabetes, etc,
and that mothers
who do not breastfeed are more likely to have breast cancer,
osteoporosis and other serious health problems. (For the complete AAP
statement see: http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/
Sadly, many babies are not being given the best possible start in
life. Part of the reason that more babies are not breastfed is the
lack of breastfeeding images in popular media, especially when
compared to bottle-feeding images. Although your reference to formula
feeding may not have been intentional, it does send a subtle message
that "bottle feeding is normal and the only way to feed an infant" to
your audience of young impressionable children that read Chirp, and
parents and caregivers that read the magazine with their children.
Also, since your target audience is pre-readers, the 12 pictures of
bottles sends a very clear message when compared to absolutely NO
breastfeeding in any form.
Chirp does a great job in promoting kid's self-esteem, manners,
cultural awareness, and general education. In the future, please
consider the influence you have on children and do NOT show bottles
or bottle feeding associated with babies. Thank you for your time and