While reading some online articles, I spotted this ad and noticed it particularly because of this book. Has anyone else seen it?
I'm guessing they used this picture because babies make people want to give money, especially babies who have survived disasters and really do need help. It's a shame, though, that they are showing a baby receiving something (which may be expressed breast milk, but is much more likely to be some kind of infant formula) from a bottle.
This well-meaning relief worker has not been trained to follow the recommendations in Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies, developed by the IFE Core Group (including representatives from UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR, WFP, IBFAN-GIFA, CARE USA, Fondation Terre des hommes and the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN)).
The use of bottles and teats in emergency contexts should be actively avoided (Section 6).This flyer is also informative. First, mothers should be given all possible support to continue lactation or even relactate. If that's not possible, HIV-negative donor milk should be given. If none is available (and the culture does not support breastfeeding by another mother; apparently some do), then ready-to-feed infant formula should be used (which does not require mixing with water). All such feeding should be done with a cup.
I don't mean to target the American Red Cross. I'm sure they work hard to help victims of all sorts of disasters. This ad could just have easily come from any number of aid organizations. I also don't intend to use this blog as a medium to showcase mistaken aid organizations. I just noticed it as a current example of the pervasiveness of formula feeding and bottles in the world today after reading The Politics of Breastfeeding.
Charity Navigator has an excellent article reminding us how to donate in ways that will truly benefit disaster victims. Please also consider supporting disaster-relief organizations on a regular basis so they will be ready to respond to any crisis without waiting for additional donations. As always, continue praying.