Chelsea and Westminster hospital has sparked an outcry from parents after a poster campaign that appears to shame mums into breastfeeding resurfaced online.
The poster was highlighted by Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington – herself a mum to Grace, 10, and Joe, 12, – who captioned a tweet of the controversial pic with the words: ‘Hey Chelsea and Westminster hospital. Sit down. Thanks.’
On one side of the image is a form-fitting purple dress alongside the words ‘Breastfeeding mums get their figures back sooner’; while on the other side is a pair of patent red heels with the words ‘Breastfeeding mums don’t have to spend their money on formula milk’.
Social media users reacted to the post in shock and disbelief.
One user wrote: ‘This is disgusting. This is the sort of ill considered garbage that increases women’s feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Future Mum’s. Mum’s To Be, New Mum’s and Experienced Mum’s DO NOT NEED TO have their decisions ridiculed in such a sycophantic, sadistic manner! Shameful!’
While another fumed: ‘Oh yes, when I was crying in paper pants & stale sweat at 5am bc I couldn’t get my newborn to latch on & it was very swiftly sending me actually insane, this would have REALLY helped me.’
However, there were some who argued that while the campaign’s wording was a little misguided, it still sent out an important message.
One wrote: ‘Weird. Why is breastfeeding ‘gross’? The article/advert may be misguided as not all women can breast feed, however, scientifically it has been proven to be better for both mother and child.’
Another added: ‘I’m not supporting the ad, but breast is best doesn’t mean let your baby die rather than give it formula. This debate is so extra from both sides. Formula cans say Breast is best! But aren’t we lucky that we have formula so no child in need loses out.’
The images are actually taken from a 2011 campaign, and appeared in a newsletter at the time.
The newsletter said: ‘The Trust has also launched the Yummier Mummy publicity campaign to promote the benefits of breastfeeding for not only babies but also women in a fun, innovative way.
‘Examples of the eye-catching posters used to promote the Yummier Mummy campaign are pictured.’
What do you think of the campaign? Do you agree that breastfeeding needs to be promoted in a way that will get people’s attention? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know your thoughts!