Friday, February 27, 2015

Are Brelfies the Next Internet Trend?

If you are on Facebook, you have seen them.  And Facebook is trying to ban them or delete them.

What are they?  They are “brelfies”.

Brelfies are breastfeeding selfies.  Photos of mothers and babies, breastfeeding are the latest
trend and it isn’t only celebrities such as Pink that are doing it.  Regular people, just like you and I, are taking photos of them breastfeeding.  Facebook, trying to enforce their nudity policy is trying to delete these photos, but most moms think Facebook is wrong to include breastfeeding photos as nudity and delete them.  It is estimated that one in five mothers of breastfeeding babies have already posted a “brelfie”.  Celebrities such as Alyssa Milano, Gwen Stefani and Pink even post brelfies.

On Wednesday February 25, 2015, Twitter lit up after a woman stated that those who post brelfies are just “showing off.”  However, the parade of mothers who posted in response said the things a lot of us say: “It is natural for babies to eat at the breast.” “Breastfeeding should not be sexualized.”  Some photos were calming and beautiful, but some mothers posted photos that were comical and clearly jabbing at the woman who attempted to pass judgment. 

You can Google the word brelfie or even check out the #Brelfie hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.  There are even brelfie pin on pinterest.
It is my hope that brelfies help to make breastfeeding more mainstream.  And why not?  Isn’t that what breasts are intended to do?  Feed babies?  If brelfies do change the way people “look” at breasts and breastfeeding, this brelfie movement will demonstrate the power of the consumer. 

Professionals can advocate in many different ways for change to occur, but it is (and always has been) the consumer who has the power.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Don't Be Afraid of the Blog! Part 3

What to post when you are not inspired!

Blogging is most easy for those who like to write.  Writers and birth researchers have a lot to say – all of the time!  With new studies literally being published daily, it would be feasible to update your blog 3-4 times a day with new material.  However feasible that is, it is just not practical.  And sometimes, writers’ block is a reality.

Writers’ block comes when you are not inspired or on fire about a certain topic.  It may come when other facets of your life take precedence.  It may come when you are highly stressed. And some days, it doesn’t have a reason to appear.

So what does a blogger do when you either don’t have time to post or have writers’ block?  Here are a few suggestions that I have used over my eight years as a blogger:

1. Find a new video and post it OR put up a treasured oldie.  Combing through YouTube is great as you can not only find videos to use in your practice but you also learn which ones NOT to refer to your clients and peers.  All a video needs is a sentence or two about why you like (or don’t like) a certain video. (See a sample video clip below).

2. Invite a guest blogger to post on your blog.  Newer bloggers want to get noticed and drive more people to their own blog.  Experienced bloggers realize this and often are happy to share exposure.

3. Schedule a blog carnival.  What is a blog carnival?  An established blogger hosts the carnival selects a topic(s) for the carnival.  Then the host puts out a call for submissions to others asking them to participate in the carnival.  If the carnival is one day, the host may only ask for small submissions in order to put them together.  If the carnival is a week or perhaps a month, the host will be posting each day of the week or month.  The guest can publicize his/her blog and thus drive more people to the guest’s.  A carnival also calls attention to the host’s blog.  To maintain the integrity of the host blog, the host will need to proofread the guest blog entries for grammar, punctuation and, in the case of birth professionals, evidence-based information.

4. Post a meme, photo, or cartoon.  You can make memes on sites such as  These can be funny, true or funny and true.  Hosts avoid aggressive or
New Product Reviews
snarky memes as that may detract from the audience.  If you post a photo or cartoon that originally was not your own, you will need a photo release or permission to reprint on file.

5. Information about a book, video or new product.  Often you will see a video, read a book or use a new product and can’t wait to share it with your peers.  Your blog is the perfect place to showcase your finds!  Book reviews and video reviews help others select what is right for them as long as they trust your opinion.  Remember that any type of review is your opinion mixed with factual details (such as length of a video, cost of new product or publisher of a book). 

Don’t forget that whatever you post on your blog, publicize it on your website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media.  Having a social media circle of promotion can be key to your success as a blogger!

Sample video clip from Mothers Advocate (

Monday, February 16, 2015

Don't Be Afraid of the Blog! Part 2

Like me, you may be a visual learner and one who likes to be "doula'd" through a situation.  For you, there is this very helpful video which walks you through the entire process!  Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Don’t be afraid of the Blog! Blogging for Beginners….

A component of social media that seems to have everyone in a frenzy is blogging.

What is a blog? It is verbal shorthand for weblog or a web based log of activity or information.

1. Decide to whom are you blogging. Parents? Professionals? Will this be an opinion piece or something evidence based? Know the definition of plagiarism and don’t fall into this practice.

2. Will this blog be from you personally, several individuals or on behalf of your company?

3. How much time do you have to write? Can you devote one day per week to write the piece and put it on your blog?

4. Yes turn on your spell check feature, but do you have someone to edit the piece for errors that spell check will not find?

5. Based on the above questions, what will your blog be called? Now that you have some of the
basics down, it is time to choose a blog platform and set it up. While there are at least a dozen platforms, the top two platforms are Wordpress and Blogger. Both are easy, free, and creative in
design. Investigate them both and then you’ll need to decide on free hosting or pay-to-host. The difference, other than spending money, is that your blog URL may look different. For example, a free blog URL will look like this A pay-to-host blog UR will be To some it matters what the URL looks like, to others, not so much.

For the purposes of this blog, I am going to walk you through the steps of creating a blog on Blogger.
Personally, I have found Blogger also easy and free and compatible with my own website. Linking a blog and a website in the “circle of social media” is important for blog success! But that is marketing, which will be discussed later. To set up a blog in Blogger, go to Create an account or you can use your sign-in information if you have a gmail account. You will then be prompted to name your blog, and put in the URL. You will want the name of your blog in your URL. Then you’ll be prompted to select a template.

In the next blog, we’ll take a look at working on your template once it has been selected.

Monday, February 09, 2015

What's with the new Similac "Mommy Wars" ad ?

Are there differences between parenting styles?  Of course, there are.  Are some mothers more outspoken than others?  Yes, there are.  But is it as vicious as this video portrays?

An ad for an artificial baby milk, Similac formula, attempts to quell the "Mommy Wars" - an imagined tension that exists between mothers in the "hood" (motherhood).

In reality this is an ad.  Plain and simple.

However, as advertising often does, it exaggerates a situation - this time, the choices in parenting that mothers have and do make.  What business is it of a formula company about the choices moms have? Plenty.  They are out to sell formula.  And with the statistical data showing an increase in breastfeeding, this company had to do something.

So here comes the "Sisterhood of Motherhood" and "Similac StrongMoms".  Who doesn't want to be part of a sisterhood?  What Mom doesn't want to be Strong? Similac hopes to convince you of their nutritional guidance through baby's first year.

What guidance does a baby need: aim for the breast and nurse.  Quite simple - no special guidance or website needed for that.

And now Similac has OptiGRO.  What?

Well, it's the closest to breastmilk than ever before.

Ok, but Similac is owned by Abbott Labs.

And Abbott Labs is a pharmaceutical company.

Basically, they make a profit when mothers do not breastfeed.