Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Dear Friends..... WABA

Date: 2 July 2010 08:32:56 GMT+01:00

Subject: Breastfeeding Advocate thrown off the BBC World Service

Dear friends,

We have just received news via LACTNET (Lactation Information and Discussion) that Morgan Gallagher, Chairperson of Nursing Matters, a non-profit making, voluntary organisation that advocates for breastfeeding babies was thrown off a BBC World Service programme for saying that unsafe formula feeding kills babies in Africa.

Portions of her posting on LACTNET - reproduced with permission from Morgan.

" Just a quick note to let you know, I've just been thrown off a BBC World Service programme, for saying that unsafe formula feeding kills babies in Africa.The programme went out live at 6pm, BST time, here, and I was booked, at  the last minutes, to do an hour of the whole world programme, and then the 30 minutes afterwards, on Africa only.

When I asked the discussion about breastfeeding be 'creepy' be about women  being put in impossible position, and maybe we should look at why an intelligent, articulate, well educated woman in the UK would be so creeped out by a baby touching her breast... the mic was closed.  When I said we needed to address the pressure to formula feed, not the pressure to breastfeed... the mic was closed.  When I stated that 4000 babies die everyday from unsafe formula feeding... the mic was closed.

When I was then taken off air, and roundly shouted at by the producer.  I challenged her, and stated that we could not have global context discussion on breastfeeding, without discussing formula feeding, and how on earth could she ask a women in Nairobi if she'd support a woman to formula feed if she wanted to?  That ignoring the situation in Africa with formula, and acting  if we were all in the UK, was precisely the bias they were showing.  She said the World Service was for everyone, and I asked how a women in the slums in Kenya, tonight, would feel, listening to us prattling on about  formula feeding as a supported choice.  Did she have any idea who many babies would die tonight, in Kenya, from formula feeding? She blew up, said I'd said formula feeding kills babies, and that was making her very angry, and I was out of the programme.  A taxi would be called to take me away right away, and good bye."

Morgan has blogged about her experience in detail and you can view it here:


To listen to the entire podcast (about 50 minutes long) please click on the link below.

WHYS 30 June 2010: Is breastfeeding 'creepy'? Wed, 30 Jun 10

Kathryn Blundell is the deputy editor of a leading parenting magazine here in the UK and she's got women all over the the world talking. She didn't breastfeed her children - she says that her breasts are for sex not for feeding.

If you've had children, did you feel a pressure to breast-feed?


We hope that you will share this news with your network especially for those who have experience in living or working in resource poor settings to write to the BBC that as a worldwide broadcast - they must carry a world view perspective and understand they have a responsibility to ensure that it is made clear that while the "choice" to formula feed in the UK or Western Europe might be one that can be made with limited negative impact on child and mother that this is simply not the case in much of the world- that that formula feeding commonly results in death in much of the world.


Julianna Lim Abdullah, IBCLC
Senior Coordinator
Information, Communications and Networking

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