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Posts Tagged ‘PhD in Parenting’

Baby smothered on airplane

December 2, 2009 1 comment

Yesterday, one of my feeds brought to my attention the November 25th incident of a mother falling asleep on a plane and waking to find her baby had smothered. At first I didn’t know if it was true, but quickly realized it was as Twitter and the AP started posting various articles about it. It is so heartbreaking! PhDinParenting did a great post today about the incident and shared many of the comments and points I had intended to share. Please take a look at her post.

When I saw this yesterday, my first comment on twitter was:
@cindyambrose I saw ths earlier & hadn't had time 2 verify so I dnt post it. How horrifying!! ive 2 wonder if it was blankets arnd the baby

I was thinking exactly what Annie from PhDinParenting stated in her post. It is a disgrace what these airlines (malls, stores, businesses in general, ladies walking by, etc) are asking women to do.

Breastfeeding is the most natural progression after giving birth! How many more babies have to die (from formula, blankets, or anything else) before we open up our eyes and accept that women are made to nourish and protect their children themselves!

We don’t need to cover that up!

This article just makes me so sick and so sad!  And I felt just the same about how the article was worded. It felt like another example of media twisting a situation for shock at the cost of another human being’s feelings and emotional state.  This article did a somewhat better job (but is still placing blame on the mother, as if she did it on purpose.  Better would be something to the affect that it is a tragic accident.)

And, once again, breastfeeding does not smother babies! Correct positioning ensures that babies noses are not touching the breast. No mother (whether bottle feeding or nursing) should fall asleep in a chair or couch due to the risk of the child falling from the chair, into a crack, or otherwise entangling in blankets. This has NOTHING to do with the act of breastfeeding!  And this isn’t about co-sleeping either.  Even the most avid co-sleep activists will tell you that there is a safe way to do it and then there are ways that are not safe.

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Response to PhD in Parenting about Nestle

November 18, 2009 6 comments

A blogger that I really admire and many of you follow too, Annie at PhD in Parenting, played a major role in the Twitter storm surrounding the Nestle Family blogger event.  How did one woman make such a big splash?  By standing up and asking her fellow bloggers one question really.  She asked them how they “feel about supporting a company that puts profits ahead of the lives and health of babies.
What followed was a fantastic series of questions presented to Nestle, which they, in turn, “answered”.  I use quotations because I can’t really say that double-speak is an answer.  She has provided the full text of this conversation on her blog and is finally nearing the end.  As she prepares to respond to their final message she is seeking comments from her fellow bloggers and I decided to offer my thoughts here.  Here is what she posted:

As a follow-up to the Nestle Family event and a lot of the misinformation and doublespeak that Nestle passed along to the bloggers, I decided to send them some follow-up questions.
The last question on the list was:

Moving forward, what steps do you plan to take to use social media and engagement with bloggers to get input into corporate policies and practices? Or are you looking to social media simply as a cost effective marketing tool?

Nestle’s answer to this question was:

We are always looking for ways to engage in meaningful dialogue with consumers and others interested in Nestlé. Certainly, engaging in social media will continue to be one of many ways we try to do that. We welcome ideas from you and your readers. We hope you’ll visit us at http://creatingsharedvalue.org to share your comments, opinions and questions.

I should also add, for context, that Nestle deleted its @NestleFamily twitter account and has directed people to send their questions to @nestlecsv instead.

What do you think?

What do you think of Nestle’s answer? What do you think of its track record surrounding the Nestle Family event? How do you think Nestle should be using social media?

So what do I think?  Is it possible for a company that has made no real attempt to offer true, honest, and verifiable answers to make any positive use of social media?  Is it reasonable for me to even think they could or should?

It is obvious to me that any corporation worries first about their bottom line.  If it hurts the stock or value, it isn’t good for the company.  But shouldn’t we be holding corporations to the same ethical standards that we hold individuals to in this world?  If a doctor or any person knowingly manipulated another human being in a way that caused them death or serious illness there would be an outcry against them.  We have become more upset as a nation about a man stealing life savings from people than we have about a corporation peddling formula to women who can’t afford it and can’t prepare it safely, knowing that after the free trials are gone, so is their own milk supply.  So, is it realistic to think they will change?  The skeptic in me says no.  But, is it OK to sit by and not say anything?  My whole heart says, NO!

I think that Nestle has proven through their interactions with this blogger that they are not interested in any form of “meaningful dialogue with consumers and others interested in Nestlé”.  Actions speak louder than words!  They are very willing to assign someone to communicate their talking points and attempt to save face, but not to have a true dialogue.  If they were really willing to sample the blogging community for input, they would have taken this opportunity and run with it. Instead they pulled the @nestlefamily  twitter account, as it was overrun with negative comments.  I truly believe that their involvement in social media will continue to be a safe and protected display of their company.  They will not ask difficult questions or offer real insight.  They will continue to spin the realities of what they are doing and pass blame and responsibility elsewhere.  And all the while, children will continue to die.  It will require governments to step up and create meaningful and supported legislation to get this company to do what they should be doing in the first place.

So, Annie, to answer your questions… Will Nestle use social media the way I think they should?  No, not at all.  They have proven that.  I think this event was evidence that Nestle is only interested in their bottom line, not in the lives of their consumers or the world they have such a large impact on.  I think that their answers were contrived and I agree that they were mostly double-speak and missed the heart of most of the questions.  I think that they will continue to use social media as only a marketing tool, not a platform for effective dialogue.  I think that they will continue to pretend that this unrest and boycott don’t truly exist.  And the saddest part for me, is that I don’t know how to change any of it.  I can choose not to support their company (which is very difficult when they own so much) and encourage others to do the same.  However, for me, the biggest change I can make is working towards a movement in our world that empowers women so that they do not need Nestle to do for them what they can naturally do themselves.  By supporting breastfeeding worldwide, by giving to causes that raise awareness and provide resources, I can make a difference.  The fewer women that use the formula that is pushed on them, the fewer babies that die.

So, I may not be able to change the culture of a company, but I CAN and WILL play a part in changing the culture of the world!

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